*Warning: Spoilers Ahead*
They've finally done it. After three lukewarm films in the form of Man of Steel, Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, and Suicide Squad, the DC Extended Universe finally has a real winner. A movie that stays true to its main character and tells a great story about a genuine hero. And that movie is Wonder Woman.
I have to be honest; I was hopeful but skeptical. Given that DC has been playing catch-up to Marvel over the last several years with rather spotty films, there was a lot riding on this one. Not to mention that this is also Diana's first major film, as well as the first real modern super-heroine film (sure there was Elektra and Catwoman, but we don't talk about those).
But regarding the film itself, there is a lot to love. How it was set entirely in a flashback cleverly subverted contradicting the current timeline, the setting, costumes, and accents were on point, and the plot was strong throughout. Even though it was set during a war, there were much-appreciated moments of humor throughout. It's not as dark as Batman v. Superman tried to be, but really benefited from that choice because Wonder Woman is not an inherently a dark character. She's meant to be hopeful and bright, and the tone nailed it.
Everyone did great in their roles as well. Gal Gadot was the perfect choice to be Wonder Woman: she has the look, the presence, and looks great kicking ass. Her Diana Prince isn't too shabby either, and I loved her reactions when experiencing what man's world has to offer. She displayed genuine emotion: love, despair, anger, determination. That's a far cry from some of the other DC heroes who have opted for being nothing but moody and broody (I'm looking at you, Bruce).
Chris Pine's Steve Trevor was also delivered a very good performance as being the skeptic to Diana's naivete. And in a lot of ways, he is her guide in this world. This is a man who knows what man is capable of and how the world works, but still like her wants to help people. There was some great chemistry between Pine and Gadot, particularly in the boat on the way to London ("All twelve volumes, huh?"). I particularly thought Lucy Davis' Etta Candy was thoroughly enjoyable as well, thankfully a far cry from the chocolate consuming bumbling sidekick she was in her original appearances, and the rest of the supporting cast was very strong as well.
There was also a good amount of social commentary there as well. Diana's remark about secretaries being equated to slavery, though pawned off as humorous, obviously strikes a chord. And the Chief's blunt answer to her question of what happened to his people paints Steve in a shade of grey she hadn't seen before.
Even though it is a very good film, is it fantastic? I would have to say no. The mixture of a mythical island of warrior women to World War I era Europe is a bit goofy to say the least, but at least they kept true to the source material. I felt like the action sequences would have been a little better had not so much slow-motion had been used, and the two primary antagonists, Doctor Poison and General Luddendorf, were more or less evil for the sake of being evil. And at the end of the day, it's a superhero origin story through and through (which isn't necessarily a bad thing). Even so, these are minor gripes in the overall scheme of things.
Overall, this is a very solid superhero film (and film in general), and most definitely the best DC film yet. Man Of Steel would probably place second, but not by a long shot. If this is the direction the DC Extended Universe will be taking from now on, then I can't wait to see what's in store.