Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

One of my rambling thoughts while enjoying Warner Brothers latest DC Universe Straight to DVD animated movie, Wonder Woman, is that these young, strong, beautiful ladies are on an island inhabited by thousands of other young, strong beautiful ladies completely isolated from the outside world for centuries with nothing to do except read, practice fighting and take baths. Now imagine the reverse. You are a man on an island with thousands of other young, strong and handsome dudes with no women to speak of… for centuries… and you have absolutely nothing to do except read books, jog in the sand and wrestle. Hell On freaking Earth. No matter how nice the weather is. Unless of course you happen to be gay. And if even if you’re not gay this lack of gayness would probably only last for about the first three and half centuries before something’s gotta give. I can’t speak for the women out there because babes do have a certain inner strength and control that we men do lack, but on this island of men I’m guessing the suicide rate is going to be through the roof.

Anyway ‘Wonder Woman’ opens quite rousingly with a brutal battle between Queen Hippolyta (voiced by Virginia Madsen) and her rebel Amazons versus the forces of Aries the God of War (Alfred Molina), Hippolyta’s former lover, who has slaughtered the Amazonian men and enslaved its women. Hippolyta bests Aries but just before she takes her prize in the form of Aries head, Zeus steps in and orders the woman to cease and desist this action against his son with the Goddess Hera making Aries Hippolyta’s prisoner for eternity. At least in theory.

That’s cool and all but what Hippolyta really wants is a child, not counting the one she had with Aries. The Goddess Hera, in addition to safely sequestering the surviving Amazon women away from the world of man on their own island of Femescura, grants Queen Hippolyta this child, one she would call Diana (Keri Russell).

So Diana grows up into quite the frustrated little lady on this island with not a hell of a lot to do except practice fighting, bathe and over-develop until Air Force pilot Steve Trevor (Nathan Fillion) crash lands on her island finally getting Diana the chance to take the pilot back to the U.S.A. and see some of the world. In addition, Aries has managed top free himself and looks to once again reign terror on the world, and in his words, ‘Walk on 5 billion corpses’. Not cool. The only thing standing between us and total destruction is a scantily clad 6’4" warrior princess and this dude who seems more intent on getting this warrior woman in the sack than actually saving the planet earth.

First off, as is typical with these DC animated movies, this is great entertainment. It moves fast, the animation is decent if not spectacular, the voice acting is also decent if not spectacular and it has action to burn… But I had issues. My first one would be the question ‘exactly how powerful IS Wonder Woman?’ Diana’s first fight is with Steve Trevor, who in this battle seems to be Diana’s warrior equal, and mind you he’s just really some random dude. Her next fight is with one of the super strong evil hellions of Aries whose ass she kicks pretty solidly only to next get knocked out by some giant bat a couple of scenes later, who as far as I could tell, only grabs her in its claw. Her final battle is with Aries the God of War who has turned into a combination of Hulk and Galactus (that’s the Marvel in me coming out), and though the God did give Diana some trouble, like repeatedly punching her in the face, Wonder Woman will be available for a sequel if it gets green lit. How can a woman barely beat up some random dude in the morning, a dude she managed to best only because he was briefly distracted by the thought of her breasts, and then kill a God later that night? I enjoyed the fact that this was the origin of Wonder Woman and she’s just starting out but eventually I’d like to see the Wonder Woman who was featured in ‘Justice League: The New Frontier’ who was older, wiser, violent beyond belief and pissed off at the world. Now that’s a woman after my own heart.

Then there’s the issue of Steve Trevor who is supposed to teach Diana that ‘all men aren’t bad’. A task he goes about by trying to get her drunk so I assume he can get under her red white and blue one-piece. Steve, true players don’t need alcohol to close deals. Steve Trevor overall was a disappointing character, not Nathan Fillion who did bang up work voicing the character, but given the option to save the world or chase tail my man Steve chose the latter. A little forward thinking would be nice brother. And where in the hell did the invisible jet come from? I know it’s been around forever but I just want to know who engineered that sucker.

My only other issue is the fact that all of these animated features, be they from Marvel or DC, seemed to have clock on them that they MUST end at 75 minutes. No matter what. This usually puts them at a rush to reach the finish line and the story ultimately suffers because of it. Regardless, this was still some fine entertainment from Warner and DC, which continues its streak of delivering high quality animated films straight to our DVD players.

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