Tuesday, 15 June 2010

Wonder Woman (2008)

While DC Comics characters haven't fared that great at the cinema quality-wise (Catwoman? Aaaargh! Superman returns? Yaaawn. The Dark Knight? Meh. Batman Begins was great though...), the ever growing range of animated feature films based on their most popular characters is something really special. here are a bunch of films without the constrictions of a major live action feature film, meaning that they can take a few more risks. I'd heard some great things about the 2008 animated Wonder Woman movie from this range, and thus I thought it was high time I checked it out. I can tell you in all honesty that it was a most worthwhile purchase. The voice cast is awesome, including Rosario Dawson, Alfred Molina and Nathan Fillion amongst its delights.

The film took me by surprise to be honest, as I wasn't really expecting quite this level of violence, including some very nicely edited shots that suggest so much more than is seen (a very cool element of this film). Basically, the flick is an origin story for Wonder Woman, telling of her journey from the mythical land of Themyscira (land of the Amazons) to the land of men and women, and the dangers she brings along with her. A fighter pilot befriends her (in a manner of speaking) and is her window to the modern world.
It doesn't hang around, clocking in at just under 80 minutes, but it doesn't need to be any longer. It gets everything that it needs to do done with a very tight pace and some superb animated visuals (just like the rest of the animated DC Comics features you can find on DVD for next to nothing right now). It's pretty loyal to the contemporary idea of the origins of the Wonder Woman character, but, again like the rest of the range, doesn't get bogged down with fanboy-pleasing continuity.

The animated Wonder Woman movie is a great purchase for fans of the comics and the various animated shows featuring the Justice League, but do approach with caution if you're going to watch it with a child, as there is some serious carnage on display. The animation is crisp and fluid, as well as nicely stylized, and the direction and editing are a delight. The sound design is a highlight for me, as that alone adds a huge amount of scope and epic scale to the latter half of the story. I'd love a copy of the score as it's quite powerful and memorable. This animated Wonder Woman movie is not a perfect film (the 'men are all pigs' angle gets old really quickly), but as a piece of cool entertainment featuring an iconic character, it's little short of a wonder.


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