One of the biggest (and best) movies of the year has landed on digital download, Blu-Ray and DVD and that is the supremely awesome Wonder Woman.
Audiences may have met this incarnation of her in Batman v Superman, but it is her solo movie that takes us back to the beginning. Before she was Wonder Woman, she was simply Diana… a little girl growing up as a princess of the Amazons. She was trained, against her mother’s will, to be a warrior beyond compare. It wasn’t until she showed incredible innate talent that her mother, aka the Queen, realized that her daughter had a destiny and all the parental protections in the world could not keep her from it.
The world at large invades their peaceful paradise when an American World War I pilot, Steve Trevor (Chris Pine), crash lands on their shores. He talks of an outside world battling for the mere survival of good as evil that seems to be encroaching towards an all-out victory. Answering the call is Diana, who will use her powers to bring justice to the world, in any manner possible… all with the help of Trevor and his band of brazen warriors.
There are superhero origins stories, and there is the utter compelling brilliance that is director Patty Jenkins’ Wonder Woman. From the screenplay to the cast performances to the thrilling and breathtaking choreographed action sequences, this film is hitting all the right notes. Gadot is a miracle as the title character and embodies her in such a way that is equally inspiring to little girls (and boys) the world over, as well as humans of all walks of life. There is nothing in her story that is not relatable on some level… an extraordinary feat for all involved. The actress breathes life into this character that commands attention in every scene, delivering a nuanced performance that takes her character from early fish out of water-innocent ingénue to world war weary soldier who will stop at nothing to ensure that right triumphs over wrong.
Pine could not have been better cast as well, and that is true right on down the line with this cast — from Robin Wright, Danny Huston, David Thewlis, Connie Nielson, Elena Anaya, Ewen Bremner, Lucy Davis and Eugene Brave Rock. One could say that the entire Wonder Woman effort is a stroke of fate. Each soul attached to this project was destined to bring it to life. After all, this is a Wonder Woman movie 75 years in the making, since she first appeared on the pages of a comic book. It had to be perfect and thank goodness, it is exactly that.
For more on the film itself, check out our theatrical Wonder Woman review.
The bonus features included in the Wonder Woman Blu-Ray are simply sublime. As film is a director’s medium, we have start by highlighting the featurette that female filmmakers such as Wonder Woman’s Jenkins. The Wonder Behind the Camera takes us on an inspiring set visit where the talents behind the making of Wonder Woman meet a group of aspiring young filmmakers seeking to follow in Jenkins’ footsteps. It is a unique featurette and one we hope to see replicated on future releases.
Putting the spotlight on Jenkins is a series of bonus features with the title A Director’s Vision. Each takes an intricate look at a pivotal portion of the film and gives us a larger scope insight into how Jenkins’ talents, instincts and sensational storytelling abilities elevated each of these moments, and the film as a whole. Commencing with A Director’s Vision: Themyscira: The Hidden Island, viewers are taken to Diana’s home island and how it was seen from a visionary standpoint, and a practical standpoint in terms of how Jenkins shot it. From there, we get to see her command of the action element of superhero filmmaking with A Director’s Vision: Beach Battle. A Director’s Vision: A Photograph Through Time, A Director’s Vision: Diana in the Modern World and A Director’s Vision: Wonder Woman at War each continue the journey of bringing these integral scenes to life in the gifted hands of Jenkins and her otherworldly talented team.
Crafting the Wonder is more of a traditional behind-the-scenes look at the making of Wonder Woman, but it also chronicles the decades-long effort to bring to the big screen one of the comic book world’s most insanely popular characters. It had to be the right story with the right cast and the right filmmaker, and this bonus featurette shows more than any other how it all came together serendipitously with Wonder Woman.
One of the many locales that captured our imagination in the film is the scenes that take place at Diana’s home island. It was not simply the paradise locale; it was these intense and wickedly wonderful warriors known as the Amazonians. Warriors of Wonder Woman takes us behind the making of the Amazon army as the featurette follows each of the women of Wonder Woman as they transform on various levels into the fiercest warriors of film, circa 2017.
Fans of the DC Comics world will want to dive right into The Trinity. Both comic book creators and filmmakers give us a fascinating and informed look at the titanic three of the DC world, Wonder Woman, Batman and Superman. As these three are known to anchor the upcoming Justice League movie, this short is a don’t miss.
Speaking of Justice League, in what can be seen as a preview of things to come, Epilogue: Etta’s Mission finds Etta Candy getting the boys back together for a secret mission that we think has a direct line to what happens during Zack Snyder’s upcoming Justice League flick.
Lastly, for kicks and giggles, don’t miss the blooper reel. Glad to see these chaps having a ball and it proves once and for all that if the actors on screen are having a blast, so too will the audience. That case has never been truer than with Wonder Woman.
Film Grade: A
Bonus Features: A