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Reviews - The Film

Wonder Woman
Original Release Date - March 3rd, 2009 (DTV Only)

On the mystical island of Themyscira, a proud and fierce warrior race of Amazons have raised a daughter of untold beauty, grace and strength Princess Diana. When an Army fighter pilot, Steve Trevor, crash-lands on the island, the rebellious and headstrong Diana defies Amazonian law by accompanying Trevor back to civilization. Meanwhile, Ares (the god of War) has escaped his imprisonment at the hands of the Amazonians and has decided to exact his revenge - intending to start a world war that will not only last for centuries but will wipe out every living being on the planet, starting with the Amazons! It is up to Princess Diana to save her people and the world by using her gifts and becoming the ultimate Wonder Woman!

Editor Rob Desales
Casting and Voice Direction Andrea Romano
Music by Christopher Drake
Wonder Woman created by William Moulton Marston
Story by Gail Simone and Michael Jelenic
Screenplay by Michael Jelenic
Executive Producer Sam Register
Producer Bruce Timm
Line Producer Bobbie Page
Directed by Lauren Montgomery
Animation Services Moi Animation Studio
Keri Russell as Princess Diana / Wonder Woman
Nathan Fillion as Steve Trevor
Alfred Molina as Ares
Rosario Dawson as Artemis
Marg Helgenberger as Hera
Oliver Platt as Hades
Virginia Madsen as Hippolyta
Skye Arens as Little Girl
John DiMaggio as Deimos
Julianne Grossman as Etta Candy
Vicky Lewis as Persephone
David McCallum as Zeus
Jason Miller as Thrax
Rick Overton as Slick
Andrea Romano as Presidentís Advisor
Tara Strong as Alexa
Bruce Timm as Attacker

Reviews by Zach Demeter, James Harvey, Disney Boy
Media provided by Warner Bros. Animation

Review (Zach Demeter)
Itís been quite a while since the last DC Universe title saw release and our glimpses of Wonder Woman have started and stopped since July of 2008. Now those who were eagerly awaiting this production can finally see what months of interviews and images has led up to: the first full-length animated Wonder Woman film. While weíve seen her recently in Justice League and the recent The New Frontier DC Universe title, never has she been given a solo animated outing that focused solely on her origins and supporting characters.

In terms of setting and story, there isnít a whole lot here that is worth mentioning. Itís set in modern times and the story is simply an origin story mixed in with some mischief kicked up by Ares, God of War. Trailers for the film showed off plenty of action-packed sequences and the film certainly never disappoints when it comes to the throwing of fists and clashing of swords. For many finally having a strong and solid adaptation of Wonder Womanís origins will be more than enough to bring them around to this film. After years of complaints about a naÔve Princess Diana in Justice League and Justice League Unlimited, fans will finally get their more mature Diana, complete with full ensemble of superpowers (minus the flight and twirling spin trick) and her own love interest and rogues gallery.

Before I delve into the film itself, I feel I should mention a few things about my general feelings towards this film. I honestly didnít know what to expect when trailers were released and the interviews and still came flooding from Warner Bros. Animation. For the most part Iíve enjoyed all of the DC Universe productions, but I just wasnít all that excited about Wonder Woman. Itís not that I donít enjoy the character, I just never really cared about her either. Still, thatís what this film was for, right? To create a nice origin story for the character that received some of the least balanced treatment among the ďBig 7Ē in previous animated outings. In a sense this is decent film, but, and Iíll probably catch flack for saying this, there really isnít anything reallyÖwell, wonderful about it.

Let me start off with what I did enjoy about the film. The voice acting, for the most part, was pretty solid. Keri Russell as Wonder Woman was impeccable and Nathan Fillion as Steve Trevor was a solid performance and the two together certainly had a bit of vocal chemistry going on, even if their characters didnít really show it much. Virginia Madsen was strong as Hippolyta and Alfred Molina brought one of the greatest villain performances Iíve heard from the DCAU in a long time as Ares. Unfortunately not everyone was perfect, as I felt Rosario Dawson really didnít understand her character all that well, as she didnít match the tone of the rest of the Amazon warriors, nor did she read the lines with any kind of feeling. Perhaps that was the intent behind her character, as Artemis really was kind of a stiff character to begin with, but whenever she was on screen I felt the performance was simply lacking.

The animation was also quite a delight, with really lush backgrounds (the aerial fight was really quite fantastic; Iím not sure what kind of backgrounds were used, but the texture and detail on them was really great) at times and a few of the later shots of D.C. were nice and epic in scale. There was one unsightly piece of animationÖHades. He looked like a male Ursula from The Little Mermaid. Needless to say, it creeped me out. In addition the music, composed by Christopher Drake, was nice and epic and the piece that accompanied the final fight in the film was perhaps the strongest out of the entire film. Iím definitely looking forward to hearing the isolated score, whenever itís released.

Of course the aforementioned action in the film is all quite spectacular, but I actually have a few gripes about that. My main issue with this film, supposedly fully warranting its PG-13 rating due to the violence contained within, really isnít all that grand. Yes, there is some limb dismemberment and a bit of blood here and there, but there really wasnít all that much to drop your jaw at. Swords that stabbed individuals came out completely clean, with only the tiniest amount of blood showing up elsewhere and quite frankly for a film that sounded (based on the early NYCC reviews) like it was going to be running with rivers of blood, it was a pretty timid affair. It seems that Warner wants these titles to be PG-13 only so far as to warrant the rating, but as soon as they get to it they hold off on taking it any further. Language is mild, violence, while plentiful, is for the most part bloodless and the ďadultĒ situations amount to nothing more than some prostitution jokes and sexual innuendos.

What also confused me was while this film surrounds a bunch of Amazons, the amount of breast shots and aforementioned innuendos is surprisingly high. While Diana definitely stands her ground, Trevorís advances are almost relentless and the amount of ďOh, geezeĒ faces he makes whenever a situation occurs that tests Dianaís patience became incredibly annoying after awhile. Again, I get that these films are supposed to appeal to a wide range of audiences, but there needs to be less juvenile behavior and cartoonish moments for these films to be truly ďadult.Ē When you think about it, Mask of the Phantasm and Return of the Joker (and even Sub-Zero to an extent) had fewer ďall-ageĒ jokes mixed in with their stories, so why weíre being fed so many of them now in this DC Universe PG-13 ďonlyĒ line is a bit strange.

There are other tiny elements in the film that irked me but really arenít worth moaning about for an entire paragraph (simple things like dragon fire breath seemingly stopping in mid-air for no reason [top right corner of one of the D.C. sequences, if youíre wondering] and why the tequila that Trevor and Diana drank was brown [yes I realize some tequila is brownish in color, but this stuff looked like whiskey]), but honestly I wasnít as impressed with this as Iíd hoped. I think a large part of it was that I was previously expecting absolutely nothing from the film as I was unsure how a solo-outing for Diana would fare, but after the seemingly unanimous praise that the film received at NYCC and how violent it was, my expectation level went up a few notches. I shouldíve kept it at the lower end of the spectrum.

Honestly I think the main disappointment stemmed from the overly fast paced speed of the film, as it seemed no sooner did Diana and Trevor come to New York were they hot on Ares trail all of the sudden (a plot point Iím still not clear onÖnor am I sure how Ares got to America or how the Amazons all showed up on boats in the waters of D.C.). There was also very little chemistry between Diana and Trevor and we seemed to be more made to believe they liked each other simply because thatís the only man Diana ever met, yet she never actually shows any real interest in him (except when she ďpinesĒ for him later). I will say that they did make Dianaís character a lot less naÔve than previous animated incarnations, so that was a positive aspect at least.

In the end Wonder Woman is an entertaining film for the most part, but nothing that actually made me excited to be watching it. The action sequences were well done and choreographed brilliantly (I especially liked some of the physical moves of Diana during the alley fight), but between the choppy pacing and other small quirks, I just didnít find Wonder Woman to be all that great of a film.

So where does this film stand in terms of DC Universe productions? Well (as of now at least) Iíd put it above Superman/Doomsday at least, as the more I watch that film the less I enjoy that one as well, but as flawed as the other two DC Universe titles were at times, I never picked out and noticed so many quirks as I did with Wonder Woman. Still Recommended for DC animation fans of course, but there really isnít much in this production that would make me want to recommended it to anyone else.

Review (James Harvey)
Wonder Woman has always been a hard-sell it seems, and unfairly so. While I can understand the somewhat reluctance to get involved with a character that can be difficult to relate to, you have to admit that she's a great romantic figure, one that reminds me, personally, of some of the best characters in classic literature. An Amazon born of the clay, she rose to become an ambassador of peace, falling in love with the world she's never seen. How classic does that sound? Regardless of that, and save for a hit live-action series from the 1970s, she's had a difficult history in the media. Even though she's an influencial character, Wonder Woman has never really broke out of the shadow of Batman and Superman, her male DC Comics counterparts. Well, hopefully that will all change with Wonder Woman, one of the best DC Universe Animated Original Movie DVD releases to date. Let's get that pesky synopsis out of the way and dig a little deeper into this new animated feature.

On the mystical island of Themyscira, a proud and fierce warrior race of Amazons have raised a daughter of untold beauty, grace and strength Princess Diana. When an Army fighter pilot, Steve Trevor, crash-lands on the island, the rebellious and headstrong Diana defies Amazonian law by accompanying Trevor back to civilization. Meanwhile, Ares (the god of War) has escaped his imprisonment at the hands of the Amazonians and has decided to exact his revenge - intending to start a world war that will not only last for centuries but will wipe out every living being on the planet, starting with the Amazons! It is up to Princess Diana to save her people and the world by using her gifts and becoming the ultimate Wonder Woman!

The opening battle sequence for Wonder Woman is a sight to behold, full of sharp directing and beautiful animation. While the battlefield is littered with corpses and combative foes, the backgrounds are detailed and lush. It's an absolutely stunning opening, and also pretty violent. Swords clash and heads fly as the Amazons struggle to defeat an evil foe. And this sequence is literally just the beginning. All this sequence does is provide the backdrop for the rest of the movie. Once the words "Wonder Woman" blaze across the screen, the movie picks up with the leading character, Princess Diana, front and center. And, thankfully, the movie does live up to the promise of the opening sequence, even if it does falter a little here and there.

Without a doubt, Wonder Woman is a fun movie, full of striking visuals and great performances. Nathan Fillion is absolutely perfect as Steve Trevor, who has some of the best dialogue bits in the movie. Fillion manages to play up the cocky nature of Trevor without it becoming too overbearing or tiresome. There's one moment in particular, when Fillion bares his soul after unknowingly stepping into Wonder Woman's Lasso of Truth, where we get an understanding of who Trevor really is. Keri Russell also manages to hold her own in this movie. I'll admit I was initially skeptical of her being cast as Wonder Woman when the news originally broke, but she does a good job with the role. She really does push herself into the role admirably and manages to pull it off. I don't think she absolutely nails is like Fillion with Trevor, but she does solid work as Wonder Woman, even resulting in some really hilarious moments here and there. Russell's voice also helps define Diana's age in the movie, too. She's still young and, I suppose, a bit fresh when it comes to the world around her, and we see that. There's one amusing scene where Wonder Woman, just arriving in New York, tells a little girl to "Unleash Hell" in an effort to console the child. Trevor and Diana have great chemistry and, thankfully, Trevor never overshadows Diana despite his strong presence in the movie.

Overall, I thought the movie was very well cast, with everyone pulling their weight respectively. If there was a weak point, I'd have to say that Rosario Dawson was a bit too rough as Artemis. I understand the character and what Dawson was going for, but I don't think she pulled it off as well as she could. There were some line reads that sounded so stilted compared to the others.

The movie does have a couple other detractors, though. It tends to jump around for the last twenty minutes, and while the movie does set up that Trevor and Diana are closely following Ares, I don't think it's handled as well as it could have been. This comes apparent especially for the final battle which has the Amazons just showing up in Washington, DC after Ares pops up there mere moments before. Yes, the Amazons do have a magic mirror to view the outside world, and Paradise Island does seem to pretty damn close to North America, like a few miles away at most, but they do show up way too fast for my liking. But, again, one can assume that the Amazons were also tailing Ares, making it easy for them to show up when they did. Still, how everyone winds up in the same place at the end seems a bit contrived and could have been handled better. It's not too distracting, but I guarantee that it may give you pause to wonder, even for just a few seconds. Since I'm not a life-long Wonder Woman fan, I am sure I missed a few other inconsistencies a dedicated Princes Diana fan would have picked up, but that seemed to be the major dropped story-point for me.

Well, there's also the unexplained invisible jet the Amazons possess, but I'm sure others more knowledgeable in Wonder Woman lore than I can touch upon this better.

To get back on track, I still think Wonder Woman is a solid animated action-adventure, emphasis on "action." As extremely evident by the opening sequence, this movie isn't for the faint of heart. The battle scenes alone make this movie not entirely kid-appropriate. We see a huge amount of stabbings and decapitations within the opening moments, and then many more during the climactic battle. The amount of dead in this movie is staggering. And, as violent as these battle scenes are, they're aren't as violent as early reviews will lead you to believe. In fact, based on the commentary track for the movie, they seem to have been toned down from their original presentation, which would be understandable given the final product. Despite that, it's still a violent movie, even if some of the more graphic moments, such as decapitations, are done in silhouette.

Thankfully, the epic battle and fight scenes are countered with Trevor and Diana, who are paired up for the majority of the movie. Like I said above, there's good chemistry between the two, and that helps balance the movie. If the movie was just an animated retread of 300, then it would get tired really quickly, but that's not the case here. The script provides a lot of light and quiet moments that allow the characters to breathe and move the story along naturally. Even the villains are given some delicious moments, especially a very disturbing Hades, who has some really great, creepy scenes. Everyone has a moment to shine here, making it possible to actually care about what happens and how the movie unfolds, even if the movie succumbs to some erratic skipping toward the end of the feature.

A lot of this is easily overlook-able thanks to some of the truly beautiful animation we see on display here. I briefly mentioned it above, but I'd like to go a little more in-detail for a moment. Whether it's the opening battle scene or the detailed cityscape, the animation on Wonder Woman is top-notch, and possibly the best looking DC Universe Animated Original Movie title to date. The movement is so fluid, with some of it even bordering on rotoscope-smooth quality. There's one scene involving a zombie Amazon (yes, you read that right) that is animated in draw-dropping fashion. Yes, there are a few glitches here and there, but any animation errors are far and few in-between. The only things that may stand out to the trained eye is the occasional obvious use of CGI, to bulk up the size of battle scenes and number of characters, or the odd jumpy animation cycle, such as walking cycles or the odd background movement cycles. But, like I said, it's nothing that takes away from the story at all. Overall, Wonder Woman likely has the best animation to date for a comic-themed direct-to-video animated feature, full of beautiful detail and sweeping visuals. The movie is truly an eyeful.

If I had to compare it to the previous DC Universe Animated Original Movie releases, I'd rate it as the best yet. Much like Wonder Woman, each of the previous installments had their flaws, but also had major redeeming factors, too. Justice League: The New Frontier was a great production, but struggled to fit a massive story in a meager 75-minute movie. Batman: Gotham Knight was an interesting experiment with six loosely related shorts, with some better than others. Superman Doomsday was an unapologetic smashfest that was heavy on visuals but a bit light on story. Regardless of their faults, they were all enjoyable and fun, but Wonder Woman does them all better for one major reason. While there may be a few unexplained jumps, the movie doesn't feel as rushed as previous animated features. Wonder Woman is allowed to breathe for the 75-minute run time.

It goes without saying that Wonder Woman is an animated feature that actually does have something for everyone, as odd as that may sound. We get comedy, romance, action, amazing animation, everything, and it's all actually balanced really well. Just keep in mind that, like the previous DC animated features, this movie it not appropriate for the younger set. Easily the best DC Universe Animated Original Movie title to date, it seems as though the creative team behind these direct-to-video animated features are finally getting a hang of what they can and cannot tell over a 75-minute period, and Wonder Woman is an example of a step in the right direction. Not to say that the previous DC Universe Animated Original Movie titles were bad, they weren't, but they seem to be finding their comfort zone on how to work these 75-minute features and Wonder Woman is a prime example of that. This direct-to-video animated feature is nearly perfect, and pretty much is until the third act when the script takes a few jumps that seem to come out of nowhere. Despite the flaws, once again, I find myself standing behind and touting this release as Highly Recommended. Wonder Woman is a great installment in the DC Universe Animated Original Movie line, and a movie that I'm sure fans new and old will gladly get behind.

Review (Disney Boy)
It was with great anticipation and joy that I sat down to watch DC's latest animated film, Wonder Woman. For far too long, comicbookdom's original heroine has been left warming the bench as Batman, Superman and Spider-Man get to have all the animated and live-action fun. So it is a great relief to confirm that the film holds together very well, bringing strong characterizations and considerable action to vivid, 2D life. It stands tall, easily the most impressive of DC's recent series of direct-to-DVD features, but - to fans of the character who have waited years for a movie like this - it all boils down to one question: Does it do justice to Wonder Woman? The short answer is...depends on what you consider most important to the character

Wonder Woman the character, however, as anyone who has followed her evolution in the comics can attest, isn't quite so easy to nail down. Diana is the embodiment of numerous contradictions. A gorgeous, virginal Princess in a revealing one-piece who speaks of strength of character, inner beauty and women's rights. A proud and skilled warrior on a mission of peace to undo the influence of the God of War. An outsider from a race of immortal, reclusive women trying to teach the modern world to be more open-minded. If a writer swings too far in any one direction, Diana can easily be reduced to a vapid pin-up or man-hating brute.

Case in point, the popular live action series from the 1970s. If Lynda Carter's beloved portrayal of the Amazing Amazon laid the sweet and feminine on a bit too thick, Bruce Timm's Justice League and Justice League Unlimited tried to rectify this by depicting her as more of an aloof outsider with a royal temper. Neither really managed to achieve the balance between beauty, brains, brawn and compassion believed by many to have been the crowning achievement of George Perez's famed relaunch of the Wonder Woman title in the early 1980s. His 62-issue run on the book brought Diana's mythological origins to the forefront, including supporting roles for the full Greek Pantheon, established her firmly as an Emissary of Peace and developed the unique attributes of each of her rivals, including Circe, Dr Psycho and the Cheetah to name a few). Though the first six-issue storyline from those books is used as a template for the events of this movie, Wonder Woman confidently marches to its own tune, stripping down each of the characters to the bare essentials and redefining them for a new audience.

Perez attributed the Amazons' mistrust of men to their suffering at the hands of demigod Heracles and his army, who used seduction as their weapon to conquer and imprison the female warriors. Timm's Justice League recast Hades, Lord of the Underworld, as the handsome aggressor, and the Queen's one-time suitor, in an attempt to provide Diana with a more visually Satanic foe. This film finally brings Diana's long-time comic book arch-nemesis Ares, God of War, to the forefront of the action, but re-envisions him as a Justice League-style Hades, Satanic motifs intact, in order to tie him more closely to Hippolyta. In a new twist, Ares' abuse of the Queen is shown to have resulted in the birth of a son, a situation she rectifies early in the film, providing Ares with ample motivation later on to go after Diana.

For the convenience of the scriptwriters, Ares is portrayed as more of a mortal, which permits Diana to engage him in hand-to-hand combat sequences, but ultimately robs their relationship of the nuanced respect they've shared for years in the comics. If Greg Rucka, Phil Jiminez and George Perez were able to spin stories out of Diana and Ares' opposing ideologies without allowing either to triumph simply by smacking the other in the face, one can only wonder why Simone and Jelenic opted not to rise to the occasion and avoid the typical, tired hero/villain showdown. The end result is an Ares who never really comes across as charming, menacing or powerful as the producers would have intended and the film suffers as a result. Even once he's finally regained the full breadth of his powers at the end of the movie, his plans are disappointingly one-note. The comic book Diana convinced Ares that launching a nuclear attack on the world would only kill off the worshippers from whose devotion he draws his very existence. If handled correctly, such a conclusion would have made both Diana and Ares look a little more wise, but then I often find myself wondering why Perez's work isn't followed more closely.

His Diana was as much an eager, joyful young woman as obedient servant of the Gods. Though she lacks the ability to fly under her own power, a trait she's had since the 80s, this Wonder Woman is more the captain of her own ship, acting without any prompting from Goddesses or time for tearful farewells. As much as this re-interpretation empowers the character, her likeability suffers, and in that respect, she's not alone. Hippolyta and the Amazons are shown early on to be remorseless killing machines with a stiff upper lip even when faced with betrayal at the hands of one of their own. Their Paradise Island is less a sanctuary of higher thinking as a prison from which even the Queen secretly hopes to escape. They are defined almost entirely by the abuse they're suffered and as such, nowhere near the aspirational figures from the comics.

So, it only stands to reason that this Wonder Woman would be similarly unsentimental and battle-ready, not that this accounts for all her odd reactions throughout the movie. When Steve realizes Ares' presence has incited acts of violence in Greece and Turkey, Diana is content to remain in New York and do tequila shots while waiting for further murders to occur and a pattern to emerge that will better pinpoint her enemy's location. Later, when she's threatened by a mugger in an alleyway, this Diana replies "Maybe I want somebody to get hurt". In one of the movie's cutest bits, she even teaches a young girl how to impale the boys who refused to allow her to partake in their jousting match. Ambassador of Peace, I think not, and it's a shame. Whatever you want to say about Carter's flouncy, grinning Diana, she stole the hearts of a generation in a big way. Even Justice League Unlimited's Princess eventually softened up a bit over time. This Diana still has a ways to go and as such, the movie lacks something quintessentially "Wonder Woman".

From a visual standpoint, though, the film proves the days of groaning over the limitations of digitally-inked animations are far behind us now. The story opens with an epic battle the likes of which we've never seen in any previous DCU animated project, and continues to bring cleverly-staged, if somewhat overbearing, action sequences right up until the closing credits. The characters move across the screen with grace, with extra flourishes given to everything from small hand gestures and follow-through movements to hair and clothing. Though the basic look of the movie is still Bruce Timm-influenced and a far cry from Disney-levels of intricacy, the added shadows and diffused light create new, intoxicating environments. The freshness of Themyscira's air is almost palpable. Its lush, ancient forests contrast nicely with the gritty streets of New York. The cloudy skies, especially, bring a level of realism and sense of scope to the world of the movie that marks a considerable step up.

As far as character designs are concerned, a small controversy was already brewing months ago, when an early promotional image showed Diana bearing more than a passing resemblance to another seemingly ageless icon...Cher. Thankfully, when this Wonder Woman leaps deflects bullets with her silver bracelets, the comparison will quickly be forgotten. Fans will be pleased by several small touches, including Diana's Greek facial features and her mother's brunette locks, and disappointed by the one obvious misstep - Ares. Until someone can make a case for why the blue armour he's worn for the past thirty years is somehow less classic than the Joker's signature purple suit, I will continue to speak out against this red-and-black look. He's not Satan and audiences don't need to see the color red to understand that a villain is evil. Etta Candy gets a similarly disappointing redesign. The "pleasantly plump," as Timm later puts it comic book wife of Steve Trevor seems to have switched bodies with the typically thin Hades off-screen, who, in Wonder Woman, sits on his throne eating grapes as though he were Dionysus. First-time director Lauren Montgomery can hardly be blamed for wanting to set some of the characters apart from their past incarnations, though, and overall, has much to be proud of.

Perhaps the only aspect of the film that cannot be debated, even by the most particular of critics, is the invaluable contribution of composer Christopher Drake. Hippolyta has two rather moving, if noticeably dialogue-free moments in the picture, first when she sculpts her daughter into existence on a rainy morning and then when she unflinchingly allows her to leave home despite wanting her to stay. Both are bolstered by Drake's enveloping score, which does most of the heavy lifting, bringing deep emotion to all the scenes and covering for where the script or performances fall short. A soundtrack DC had better be on the way because this man has pulled off quite a feat.

The all-star cast, meanwhile, is something of a mixed bag. Keri Russell (Felicity, Waitress) breaks free from her primetime past as soft-spoken Felicity Porter to deliver a surprisingly confident performance as the titular heroine. Rosario Dawson (Sin City, Seven Pounds) brings an inspiring level of passion and commitment to her role as the Amazon Artemis. Alfred Molina (Spider-Man 2, The DaVinci Code) and Virginia Madsen (Sideways) play well off each other as Ares and Hippolyta in the opening scene, but fall flat elsewhere. The simple truth of the matter is, voice acting is an art unto itself, and not every actor can bring across a well-rounded performance using only their voice.

Screenwriter Michael Jelenic, with story support from Gail Simone, takes special care to craft a self-contained adventure in no way hampered by the film's limited running time, a brisk 70 minutes. The overall structure is sound, even though some of the supporting character arcs come off half-baked. Though they aim for a King Triton-like growth on the part of Hippolyta, the character feels more held back than anything else, boxed-in by the script's desire to portray her largely as a bitter, one-note victim instead of the cautious and loving Queen fans have come to love. Similarly, Jelenic prefers to have Diana's mission of peace come about as a result of the events of the film. Both are interesting variations, but like Justice League before it, run the risk of leaving fans feeling as though they're getting an upside-down cake.

Elements like the infamous Invisible jet and Ares' armies of monsters are thrown in without explanation. The Amazons fly atop winged horses that pop up conveniently for the battle scenes, but otherwise appear not to live on their island. In the climax, Ares calls upon lighting and raises armies of undead warriors, apparently without either Zeus or Hades' assistance. These sorts of random occurrences don't initially detract from the picture, but stick out upon repeated viewings.

More successful are the attempts to create chemistry between Steve and Diana, a couple whose Lois and Clark-styled beginnings were gradually abandoned in the comics, leaving Diana without a romantic partner for much of her 60+ year history. Though Simone, current writer of the Wonder Woman book, has been pushing the limits of Diana's eternal virginity by pairing her up with Tom "Nemesis" Tresser, fans have struggled to warm to the idea of this fresh new suitor having the honour of 'getting it on' with the Princess. Nathan Fillion (Firefly, Castle), who plays Diana's original blonde boy toy as the familiar jackass with a heart of gold everyone knew in college, and is likely to win audiences over with his relatable, mature sense of humour. When Steve quips about the "God of Dependability" or starts spilling his heart out because his foot is stuck in the Lasso of Truth, you can't help but smile. His "men are pigs" shtick eventually wears thin, but that's more the fault of the script, whose overall depiction of men leaves much to be desired. He doesn't completely seem like the perfect man for Princess Diana and there is often more animosity between them than affection, but the same can be said of the movie as a whole. Very close, but no tiara.

Still, this film feels as much like a tactical move as anything else. In creating a functional template for a feature film and proving to audiences that Diana can kick butt without the presence of a Justice League, perhaps Wonder Woman will encourage DC to finally move forward with a live-action film franchise or regular animated series. Then again, the PG-13 rating, with a slightly more bloody R-rated version eventually on the way, and implied sexual content kind of negates this picture from the "kiddie flick" category. Without the support of the Saturday Morning Set - who buy the toys that get cartoon shows turned into movies - can this film really make the impact needed to convince studios that kids, and their parents, will spend cash to see more of the Amazing Amazon? Only time will tell. And what is time to an immortal...?
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