Wondy is pretty good. A very conservative, traditional Hero's Journey compared to DCEU's output to date, but the sincerity makes it work as the movie doesn't try to lampshade it or undercut its drama or emotional resonance to seem "wisened up". It plays with moral ambiguity and actually utilizes the setting correctly (it's simple and obvious, but it's there), without losing its optimistic streak. It knows when to lift things up (and the humor is actually appropriate rather than forced and delivered in reserved doses - apart from one (or two?) examples that were deliberately set up in such a way to serve the main twist of all the things) and when to play things straight. Gadot and Pine have a tremendous chemistry together and Diana/Steve are the first pairing in comic book movies that I've really enjoyed in god knows how many years and both characters are established and developed really well. The villain is handled interestingly, in that the twists the movie cooks up are so predictable you can see them from a mile away, but it's subversive and serves the film's overarching themes well.
The first act, which repeatedly slides way too close to cheap clichéd pathos, gets the movie off to a bit rocky start, but after Diana leaves it quickly picks up and builds to the conclusion really well. As for the other problems I had; some of the supporting characters needed to have their arcs properly played out and the ending could have been assembled better (it has a bit of a stop-and-start hiccup problem and the final CGI-heavy battle is a necessity for the characters involved, but still feels a bit out of place in the context of the overall relatively grounded movie). Those are just minor problems that do not take that much from the movie as a whole though. It's an all around well told self-contained story that satisfyingly follows through on central characters and themes it sets up, which is more than we far too often get in this genre.
After the mixed signals of Suicide Squad and Justice League's kneejerking marketing campaign, WW rekindled hope that they have things figured out beyond doing wild "Uhh, let's do what GotG did!" damage control from now on.
Edit: Appropriate that "sincere" is the first word that came to my mind when I wanted to describe why Wonder Woman works. Because that's exactly what Jenkins was aiming for and what makes the movie stand out from certain competitors (and as I hope I made clear in my post, I don't necessarily mean just Snyder's work here).
This may be a cheesy question, but what do you want people to take away from this movie?
Did you say cheesy? Cheesy is one of the words banned in my world. I’m tired of sincerity being something we have to be afraid of doing. It’s been like that for 20 years, that the entertainment and art world has shied away from sincerity, real sincerity, because they feel they have to wink at the audience because that’s what the kids like. We have to do the real stories now. The world is in crisis.
I wanted to tell a story about a hero who believes in love, who is filled with love, who believes in change and the betterment of mankind. I believe in it. It’s terrible when it makes so many artists afraid to be sincere and truthful and emotional, and relegates them to the too-cool-for-school department. Art is supposed to bring beauty to the world.
Can we give Jenkins the reins to DCEU, please?