Tag Archives: Gal Gadot

Wonder Woman (2017) Movie Review by Darrin Gauthier

Wonder Woman

Director: Patty Jenkins
Writers: Allan Heinberg (screenplay by), Zack Snyder (story by)
Stars: Gal Gadot, Chris Pine, Robin Wright

Plot:  When a pilot crashes and tells of conflict in the outside world, Diana, an Amazonian warrior in training, leaves home to fight a war, discovering her full powers and true destiny.
Running Time: 2 hours 21 Minutes
Rotten Tomatoes Score: Critics  92%   Audience  88%

Why I Watched it: I can thank itunes for putting this on for .99 cents cause I’m not the biggest DC fan but I gave it a go.

Random Thoughts: So many critics bring up in their review about how this was directed about a women and being about a woman super hero and I think that’s great but it doesn’t make it a great movie because of that, I don’t care who directed it, man, women, what nation their from just direct a good movie, now I would love to see more woman directors get a chance at doing blockbuster movies but I can’t judge them till they do it.

What I liked: Speaking of the director Patty Jenkins I think she did a great job in two areas, one she isn’t known for directing action films and she shot the crap out of this, some of the best part of the film is the action, very well done and she also tried for the most part to get away from DC’s style over substance MO and yes there’s still too many slow motion shots but I thought it was shot very well.
I wasn’t sold on the casting of Gal Gadot but she’s very good here and she can strike that Super Hero pose like nobodies business and it helps that she’s very likable.  It’s her movie and she carried it well one of the reasons the film works so well is she wears this character very well and everything fits with her.  I also really liked Chris Pine, I say that cause I don’t usually like him to me he’s more smug than charming but here he finds a chemistry with Gadot and he’s comfortable with being the second lead and that’s tough for an actor who’s the lead in his own franchise.  The character had an arc and he wasn’t just thrown in as a romantic sub-plot.
One of the things that usually bug me about comic/super hero movies is the origin part and what hit me was we haven’t really seen Wonder Woman’s origin story told on the big screen. It worked for me gave her a decent set up.  The other thing with the film is that it looked great and sounded great, so hats off to the tech departments cause they hit it out of the park.

What I didn’t like: The whole Gods stuff kind of bothers me, I have to say I find it hard to cheer for a God, it’s what always bothered me about Thor, not that relateable  and also the whole fish out of water stuff just doesn’t ring true, Wonder Women says she’s study people and knows about men and women being together but when she goes into the world she doesn’t know why couples hold hands. As much as I liked the cast I have to say the casting of Danny Huston and David Thewlis was really lazy casting, heck Huston has played the same role in the X-Men franchise and really he brings nothing to the part at all, I like Thewlis and I won’t spoil his role but once you see it’s him you know and that’s half way through the movie.  They should have either casted against type or went with lesser known actors.
Here’s my pet peeve the film is too long at close to two and half hours, bottom line the film does drag and also they have all this time and instead of telling us where Wonder Women is from and how it’s been hide for this long and also how a pilot could crash right in their river/lake/ocean doesn’t make sense and it’s not explained instead they waste a could 15-20 minute battle that we have seen countless times and is boring, oh look Gods are fighting, yawn.  The film does some things really well and tries to break the mold a bit but then falls back on a very well worn cliche for their finish.

Final Thoughts: It’s a good looking film, and I really liked parts of it, very watchable and one of the better DC movies period.  Wonder Women did it’s job by setting up the character and giving her a voice.

Rating: 7/10

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Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016) Movie Review by Stephen McLaughlin

BATMAN V SUPERMAN

Director: Zack Snyder
Writers: Chris Terrio, David S. Goyer
Stars: Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Jesse Eisenberg, Gal Gadot

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice or “BvS” picks up directly into the climatic battle between Superman and General Zod fighting over the city, but from the perspective of Bruce Wayne (Affleck) who witnesses death and destruction in the midst of the fight to the death between Krypton’s finest.

I have to say that when I decided to review this, I intentionally wanted to do this after my “Man of Steel” review I did a few moths back. That was until fellow Movie Burner Kevan recommend I view the ultimate edition before making my mind up on where I stood with The DCU’s latest instalment.

Coming in at just over 3 hours you could forgive me for telling Kevan to get on his bike after watching the first incarnation (theatrical cut) which I wasn’t to in awe with in the first place. One of the major issues I had with that version was the choppy pacing and plot of the movie. It felt rushed and key elements felt missing. But enough of that. I’m here to review the “Big One” yes as I said, 3 hours of Affleck’s Dark Knight and Cavill’s Son of Jor-El. Did it surprise me? Yes, It did in fact.

Fearing that the actions of Superman are left unchecked, Batman takes on the Man of Steel, while the world wrestles with what kind of a hero it really needs. This is the basis of the plot and of course the title of the movie. What I liked though was that this was actually a side issue if you please if you look at it from the real villains point of view. Yes Lex Luther played by Jesse Eisenberg is surprisingly unhinged as the famous and traditionally Superman villain. The character at times was a little annoying but to be fair I liked Eisenberg’s take on the character. He was unassuming and unpredictable, key factors in any villainous role.

Affleck’s Batman is possibly the biggest surprise in this movie and an interesting entrance for the latest version of The Dark Knight. You have to appreciate that the last portrayal by Christian Bale of the character was almost perfect in every sense and it was only 2012 that he hung up the cape. Anyone filling those shoes would find it tough to be accepted by the average fanboy. Ben Affleck up to this point was making more heads turn for his writing and directorial work, so you can imagine not everyone was pleased by the appointment. This is why I feel that this Bruce Wayne is interesting in the fact that it isn’t an origins movie (although there are a few flashbacks scenes that don’t necessarily overshadow proceedings). We’re stepping into this characters story somewhere in between a weathered Batman and still has a fight in him Batman. It is shown on screen that he has already lost a sidekick to the joker on on of his displays and I felt this was something different that could be accepted.

Cavill just appears to be made for his role as Clark Kent / Superman in every sense. He was consistent in Man of Steel and really picks up where we last saw him with ease. But it has to be said that the character is a lot darker in BvS. I suppose in the previous film you could get away with the introduction of the character finding his way and place in the world. Here that is established and that is credit to writers Chris Terrio and David S. Goyer for giving the character another dimension.

The reintroduction to Amy Adams’ Lois Lane, Laurence Fishburne’s Perry White and Diane Lane’s Martha Kent cements the continuity from MoS to BvS flawlessly. All three of them have bigger part to play and have enough screen time to make an impact. Gal Gadot as Diana Prince / Wonder Woman is something that didn’t need to be there and along with some video footage of The Flash, Aquaman and Cyborg was there to set us up for The Justice League Movie a year down the line. It didn’t hinder or distract the audience from the storyline. In fact, it excited fans and hinted what was coming next.

The above is basically what I would have said about either version of the film if I’m being honest. The cast wasn’t the issue, nor was the storyline. It felt The had so much material that the decision was made to cut some interesting sequences to narrow the running time down a bit, resulting in a jolting and off the pace movie. This ultimate edition fills the holes in and as a result helps keep the flow of the movie going and keeping you entertained which is strange for a movie this length.

Visually Zack Snyder’s hands are all over this. The graininess of Man of Steel is still evident and I’m glad. The shades and colour schemes once more are like another character in the movie and gives it an edge that I’ve always enjoyed from Snyder. Did the movie still have issues after viewing the extended cut? Of course it did, but this version helped me to enjoy and absorb this universe a little easier. Some of the sub plot wasn’t exactly that interesting to begin with and the whole Martha Kent / Martha Wayne revelation still has me sniggering a bit.

Overall BvS could have been much more. But the Ultimate Edition is the only version I will watch now for its filling in the pacing a bit better and to be honest. The expectation of a Batman/ Superman face off is far greater than what actually came out but I can accept that as I don’t regard this as a bad movie at all. It is entertaining and multiple viewings are required to absorb the plot. If you haven’t seen BvS (any version) I would recommend the ultimate edition. If you have seen the theatrical cut and were initially put off (like me) I would give this one a chance. Recommend.

Criminal (2016) Movie Review by Darrin Gauthier

CRIMINAL

Director: Ariel Vromen
Writers: Douglas Cook, David Weisberg
Stars: Kevin Costner, Ryan Reynolds, Gal Gadot

Plot:  In a last-ditch effort to stop a diabolical plot, a dead CIA operative’s memories, secrets, and skills are implanted into a death-row inmate in hopes that he will complete the operative’s mission.

Running Time: 1 hour 53 minutes
Rotten Tomatoes Scores:  Critics 30%       Audience   47%

Why I watched it: The cast alone, that is a deep cast and now you add into the fact how hot Gal Gadot is it’s even better.

Random Thoughts: Two things hit me while I was watching this: 1. Did they need this big name cast for the movie they were doing and 2. this is like  Self/Less that Ryan Reynolds was in he just switched roles.

What I Liked: This is a slick looking film, and all the technol stuff is good, it’s shot well, the sound is good.  Yes I’m reaching there’s not a lot to like about this film but by the cover it’s a good looking film.  I will say out of all the name actors in this Kevin Costner is very good here and why he stands out is because he truly is the only thing making this movie watchable, he’s not only having fun but he seems to be the only one invested in the story and his character.  All the other character’s in Criminal are types but Costner fleshes out some things, he might be over acting at times but i’ll give him that, he’s funny and also makes the most from a truly badly written script.

What I Didn’t Like: This is a waste of some very good actors.  This is one of my pet peeves with bigger Hollywood movies they get big names to play small parts and small parts that aren’t written well but by putting a name in the role it will hide the fact that the role is under written.  There was no need for Tommy Lee Jones in this movie, if you’re a fan of his don’t bother he’s barely in it and really does nothing except be Tommy Lee Jones. Poor Gal Gadot is just playing the wife in peril role a bit of a step down from Wonder Women, she’s fine but this is just such a cliche.  Alice Eve and Michael Pitt must have lost bets cause I can’t figure their careers have fallen this badly, they are playing supporting roles and have not much to do, you might not even notice Eve.

Pitt plays his role up big time gives him way more ticks than the script had probably, he’s trying. I have to say this about Gary Oldman, he’s real bad in this, he screams most of his lines, you can tell he has nothing to play in the script and he resorts in bad over acting, he’s unlikable and he plays like nails on a chalkboard,  he plays his character with one speed, he’s a cliched character type to the max.  I will say this I love Gary Oldman but this is the worst performance I’ve seen him give.

Watching this film and seeing good actors struggle really hits home how important a script is, a plot outline is one thing, but the script and a director’s vision are the two most important things for making a film.  I do blames the director for this, Ariel Vromen, how do you get a bad performance from Gary Oldman?  This film just has no hook for the audience, it seems like we’re watching an idea, a first draft.

You might think I forgot to mention Ryan Reynolds, I will warn you he’s barely in it, so if you’re a fan and just watch this movie for him don’t bother go watch Deadpool again, he’s not bad but it’s a cameo, the lead is Kevin Costner, don’t let the trailers fool you.

Final Thoughts: Criminal is an bloated boring film.  I will add that it’s a tough watch at almost two hours.  It’s all flash and almost no subsistence.

Rating: 3/10

Wonder Woman (2017) Movie Review by John Walsh

Wonder Woman Review

Director: Patty Jenkins
Writers: Allan Heinberg (screenplay), Zack Snyder (story by)
Stars: Gal Gadot, Chris Pine, Robin Wright

Warner Bros and DC have had a tough time in recent years trying to emulate the success of comic rivals Marvel in their continued attempts at growing a successful, cinematic universe. Man of Steel was a very decent film, but the subsequent releases of Suicide Squad and Batman vs Superman had failed to hit the heights, leading to an onslaught of criticism for both DC and the studio. This certainly hasn’t been helped by the amateurish indecision and confusion often displayed by the latter.

But I digress, this isn’t yet another DC bash fest. It’s easy to do that and it’s certainly the ‘in’ thing at the moment. Personally, I love DC and the plethora of fantastic characters and stories they have at their disposal. I want to see them get to grips and build momentum with their cinematic universe and they’ve certainly got some fairly promising releases coming up. The first of these new batch of films is Patty Jenkins Wonder Woman. Now, I’m going to admit that I wasn’t overly excited for this film (for the same reasons I’m not that excited for the Han Solo standalone) and watched it with some slight trepidation. I’m happy to say that it proved me wrong. Admittedly, it’s story wasn’t the strongest I’ve seen and there was some minor niggles in there, but I thought it was a well cast, taut and pacy affair.

It begins in Themyscira, the Amazon island home to Diana (Gal Gadot) and her female dominated group of fierce warriors, magically hidden from the outside world. It’s 1918 or at least it is when the film finally kicks into action following an enjoyable, short and intriguing training montage come backstory. Incidentally, I’ve seen quite a few people bash this segment of the film, but I thought they got it just right. It tells of Diana’s rise to demi-god warrior status, whilst also highlighting the plight of the Amazonian’s in their previous battle with Ares. That last part coming in the form of a neat moving, little painting montage of sorts. Yeah ok, it was maybe slightly rushed, there was some inconsistencies like the defiance of Queen Hippolyta (Connie Nielsen) and then her sudden change of heart on the training issue. In short, they could’ve delved more deeply into it, but this film is quick paced and they did what was necessary.

Diana’s idyllic existence on Themyscira comes to an end almost immediately after a final training battle with her Aunt, General Antione (Robin Wright), when a mysterious plane manages to break through the magical barrier before crashing into the water right in front of her. It’s almost like fate is calling her forth. This leads to a sudden intense battle between pursuing German soldiers and the Amazonian’s. The result of which (there’s a spoiler in there that I won’t give away) gives Diana the encouragement needed to step into her ‘Wonder Woman’ persona. The identity of the pilot is revealed afterwards as Captain Steve Trevor (Chris Pine), an American spy working for British intelligence who possesses a diary that could potentially save hundreds of thousands of lives. His harrowing insight into the horrors of WW1 and the deaths of innocents all but makes Diana’s mind up. She and Trevor make their way off the island with the reluctant blessing of the Queen and seek to save humanity.

The two make their way to London (very quickly, too quickly) where they meet stony resistance from the British intelligence services and military, even after warning of a new hydrogen based gas being developed by Doctor Poison (Elena Anaya) and General Ludendorff (Danny Huston), which could swing the war back in Germany’s favour and kill thousands before peace can be brokered. There’s some real good comedy moments in this part of the film that deserve a mention and I had a good chuckle at. Afterwards, Diana chastises said military leaders and Steve for their meek impetus on the matter, and the latter flustered, volunteers to take her to the front with a small group of others to bring the fight to both Poison and Ludendorff. This ragtag group, completed by a drunken (how original) Scotsman called Charlie (Ewen Bremner) and Sameer (Saïd Taghmaoui), a Moroccan secret agent, set out for German occupied Belgium together. They’re joined over there by Chief Napi (Eugene Brave Rock), a Native American (Lord knows why he’s there?) trader that’s in it for profit.

One of the areas where this film excels for me is in its development of Diana’s character into Wonder Woman. She leaves the insular society of Themyscira completely oblivious to the customs or norms of wider humanity and all the little naiveties and perplexed questioning which stem from this are perfectly portrayed by Gal Gadot. By the end of the film, she’s learnt a great deal, embraced love and empathy fully and is very much transformed into Wonder Woman. She’s not the greatest actress, but she does a great job and despite concerns she looked perfect for the role. Alongside her in this origin journey is Trevor played by a fantastic Chris Pine. This guy is on fire at the minute and he’s one of my favourite things about this film. There’s an argument to be made for him perhaps overshadowing Wonder Woman at certain points and stealing her glory, but I don’t really buy into this. I thought the two played off each other beautifully and had great chemistry together.

It wasn’t all positive though, I did have some niggles. Firstly, the fractured nature of the films villains. They could’ve picked one and stuck with it, but instead we get three and none of them are particularly memorable. Ludendorff seems to be the main villain for three quarters of the film whilst never actually doing anything. Doctor Poison hangs onto his coat tails, relying on a face prosthetic and social awkwardness to look ominous. Then there’s a twist at the very end which reveals the true Ares. This seemed unnecessary and a hastily added way for them to have a final show off for Wonder Woman against an opponent that would provide an actual challenge. The second niggle is a pet hate of mine and that’s actors speaking with corny accents in English dialogue. This film is littered with this especially in German scenes. What made this all the more grating was that they had Diana speak in proper foreign language. Why? Thirdly, the overuse of slow-mo in fight scenes. It was better than King Arthur’s terrible attempts, but still way overused.

Visually, I thought the movie was stunning. There were some dodgy points, especially in the finale, but it was mostly superb. The early parts in Themyscira were beautiful, as were the trenches/no mans land and the early 20th century London looked authentic. I also loved the period costumes, especially Pine’s gear. That coat deserved a mention in the credits it was that good. I wasn’t too impressed with the soundtrack however. It just didn’t strike a chord with me for whatever reason and for the most part it was unmemorable.

Overall, I loved this film. A Wonder Woman film has been a long time in the making and, whilst it’s not my favourite character of all time, I can understand the importance of getting a strong female superhero out there. Was it perfect? Hell no. It didn’t need to be though. To quote the haggard gimp of a prime minister we have, it just had to be ‘strong and stable’. It was that and some. Patty Jenkins did a great job marrying comedy and action together to produce a highly enjoyable film. Special mentions to David Thewlis and Etta Candy too, both of whom I failed to mention. The latter in particular provided lots of good comedy relief and was excellent. I just pray now that Justice League, the Flash and Aqua Man can continue in the same vain and that DC can start genuinely rivalling Marvel. Any road, this is well worth a watch for anybody into this genre.

Rating: 3.5/5