Mar 16, 2009

[Movies] Wonder Woman (2009)

Wonder Woman (2009)Not to sound overly, stereotypically gay, but I've always had a soft spot for Wonder Woman. Sure, it's one thing to poke fun at the old TV series that had her spinning around like a top (and with one of the most fabulous theme songs of its time, haha), but on paper she has always been an interesting contradiction.

In more recent years, DC Comics has been putting a lot of effort to making sure she's returned to her more violent Amazonian roots as opposed to just having her be the token female of the group whose sole purpose was to lasso folks and make them confess the truth of their crimes.

DC recently released a direct-to-DVD animated movie about the Amazon's ambassador to the world of man in an interesting update to her origin story. I'm really starting to like these DC movies - more, more, more!

The Wonder Woman DVD movie follows the story of the Amazonian Queen Hippolyta and how she and her warriors face off against Ares, the God of War and ultimately imprison him for his misdeeds. At the same time, the gods bless the Queen with a daughter of her own crafted out of clay - Diana, who eventually grows up to win the trials and become Wonder Woman. As expected, Ares remains the central villain of this tale, as he often has in many Wonder Woman stories, but that seems generally fitting in the long run.

I was surprised that Wonder Woman was voiced by Keri Russell, whom we all remember from Felicity where she was all...well, kinda whiny for my tastes, but that's me. She carried the voice of Diana rather well and certainly made sure she presented herself as the strong Amazon warrior and not just the super-powered girl walking around in USA-themed skivvies.

I was also glad to see that they decided to have Artemis (voiced by Rosario Dawson) in the story, since she's always been one of my more favorite characters in the Wonder Woman universe. You have to admit, she was always presented as the die-hard warrior and perhaps a true Amazon in that sense with one heck of a temper. She was in great form in this movie and not just some random supporting character thrown in for cameo purposes. While in this world her history was altered slightly to make her one of the loyal Amazons instead of being part of a splinter group, it didn't take anything away from her core character.

This was a generally great movie that touched on the major parts of Wonder Woman's origin story while making sure to update the tale to more or less fit in modern times. They did manage to explain most of her powers and tokens of her office and yet frustratingly enough decided to avoid explaining certain big ticket items like why on earth she has an invisible jet, hehe. I guess you can't win them all.

One of the key points that really made this a strong film was making sure to properly embrace the mythology aspect of the Wonder Woman mythos. From the very beginning, this has always been one of the key points of her stories and they returned to this in a rather grand style including their uniquely humorous interpretation of the Greek gods - you just have to see it to believe it.

This is a definite must-see for any fan of DC-brand storytelling or of Wonder Woman in general.

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