In the last few years, DC has produced 3 direct to DVD animated movies: Superman/Doomsday, Justice League:New Frontier, and Gotham Knight.
While “New Frontier” was a fun ride through an alternate DCU, the other two were mostly disappointing. After reading a positive review and hearing about the Green Lantern “sneak peek” on this DVD, I didn’t hesitate to make the purchase.
This movie was great! While I’m a fan of the DCU, and read Gail Simone’s(who helped write this script!) run on wonder Woman for about a year, I wouldn’t call myself a true fan of Wonder Woman. The problem with the character, for me, has always been too much emphasis on Greek mythology. Sandals and togas have never been synonymous with “action” for me. It all seemed like such an unapproachable genre. Before “300” came to theaters, that is. And the Wonder Woman animated movie owes a lot to Zack Snyder’s sword and sandal flick.
The film more than earns its PG-13 rating with brutal violence from beginning to end. The movie emphasizes the warrior nature of the Amazons in every action sequence and fans of violent fantasy will not be disappointed. (I counted at least 3 decapitations!)
The movie is top-notch across the board. Casting, directing, sound effects, music, animation and the strongest point of the film: the script. Somehow, while being a “tough as nails” serious action experience, this movie also has wit and charm that made me laugh out loud more times than I can count!
Keri Russel (Felicity) seems an odd casting choice for Diana. But the huskiness in her voice (not showcased in “Felicity”) gave her feminine voice the right balance of beauty and strength.
Nathan Fillion, known best from the cult series “Firefly”, was incredibly likeable and funny as Steve Trevor. Steve Trevor’s presence keeps the outrageous fantasy moments in the film grounded, much the way John Crichton did so beautifully in Farscape. This movie wouldn’t be what it is without Fillion and Steve Trevor.
In another unusual turn, Alfred Molina (Spiderman 2) lends his voice to the part of Ares. And though his voice plays against the visual look of Ares, the unique contrast creates a really interesting blend that makes Ares stand out, rather than fade into forgettable stereotype.
To sum up, any fan of fantasy action or comic books should see this movie, and fans of DC and Wonder Woman should buy it without hesitating! Lauren Montgomery (Director) is also helming this summer’s Green Lantern animated movie, so I’m even MORE excited for that now as well!
The film also touches on some interesting issues that might spark worthwhile conversation. Early in the film, Diana’s mother, Hyppolita, says that man (specifically the male half) is wicked, disloyal and above all untrustworthy. Later, two different characters say, “The heart wants what the heart wants. Even that which is worst for it.”
And finally, in an exchange between Diana and Steve-
Diana: Must you flirt?
Steve: It’s only natural.
Diana: Suppress it.
There seems to be a rare acknowledgment somewhere in the writing of this script that our natural desires as humans are often terrible and need to be controlled. In other words, (surprise!) we are not “naturally morally good”. We are naturally self-serving. This isn’t a central theme, but one that can be heard in the script and brought up after viewing.
Another line that caught my attention was Steve Trevor, when he said sarcastically of Amazonian isolationism, “Like less communication between men and women is what the world needed.” I couldn’t agree more with his frustration!
Rated PG-13 for violence throughout and some suggestive material