Starring: Keri Russell, Nathan Fillion, Alfred Molina, Rosario Dawson, Virginia Madsen, Marg Helgenberger, Oliver Platt
Written By: Michael Jelenic, Gail Simone, (story and screenplay) William M. Marston (characters)
Directed By: Lauren Montgomery
Distributor: Warner Home Video
Original Year of release: 2009, Commemorative Edition 2017
With the live action Wonder Woman film arriving next month, Warner Brothers has released a commemorative edition of their fantastic 2009 DC Universe animated film simply titled Wonder Woman. A film that seems almost forgotten by general fans. Sure the whole world remembers Lynda Carter on TV kicking ass and taking names. Despite the show’s success and the character’s long history, it has taken decades to get a Wonder Woman movie made. Why is that exactly? Is it that guys don’t wanna see guys rescued? Those women in general just don’t make up enough of the movie going public? Before she appeared in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice an animated feature released directly to video was a safe bet for both Warner Brothers and DC Comics. Thankfully it has been re-released again and her live action film is on its way.
Written by Michael Jelenic, Gail Simone, and directed by Lauren Montgomery Wonder Woman is tour de force of both action and story that not only rivals but surpasses most superhero movies. A bloody prolog reveals the basis for how and why Hippolyta (Virginia Madsen) took her warriors to Themyscira (Paradise Island). More importantly, it lays the groundwork for not only the hatred Ares the God of War (Alfred Molina) has for his former beloved Hippolyta, but just how Wonder Woman (Keri Russell) came to be born.Origin stories are always a must in first outings or re-introductions of a character to a new audience and often times they bog down the story with oversimplified exposition. Here it ties in nicely to the whole plot and serves it perfectly. Does Peter Parker’s origin have a lot to do with stopping the Green Goblin? Not really. Does Ares’ hatred for Hippolyta and his imprisonment effect Wonder Woman? You’d better believe it.
There are of course the well-known trials that Wonder Woman competes in to become the representative of her people to the outside world. There is also her meeting Col. Steve Trevor, the perfectly cast Nathan Fillion, and her journey to becoming a hero, none of which disappoints. The film also escapes any preaching about the equality of women to men. When Wonder Woman is in our world she sees how women act and the hypocrisy of it all. This is done with humor and class and never a pointing finger.
For the action junkie (yes you read that right) Wonder Woman is a balls-to-the-wall, bloody good time. This isn’t a movie for little kids and the prolog rivals the style and look of Frank Miller’s “300” comic. You’ll lose track of the body count and severed limbs as the Amazon Sisters battle the forces of Ares. If you are in it for the animation it is reminiscent of the old Justice League Unlimited series but here it has a realness to it. The old JLU series had that cartoony feel with its over-exaggeration of character traits. Here the look is real and even harsh but it never loses that iconic feel.
There are several documentaries about the history of Wonder Woman and her creator William M. Marston. Marston, a Harvard psychologist and developer of the lie detector, is examined as well as the effect and timing that Wonder Woman had on the youth of America. America itself is examined as well as the pulp books of the day but it is after Wonder Woman’s inception into comics that her presence is felt in everything from Rosie the Riveter to Ms. Magazine. There are downsides to the documentaries. The first is the redundancy of a lot of information. The second is learning that even after all of her strides for women after Wonder Woman joined the Justice Society of America in the comics her first team made her the secretary and she stayed behind when the guys went on a mission.
- Featurette – What Makes A Wonder Woman: For 75 years, Wonder Woman has resonated with audiences because of her loving nature and quest for truth. Hear some of her biggest fans and fellow creators discuss how her qualities have crafted her into the icon we know today.
- Sneak Peek – Batman and Harley Quinn: Sneak peek at the next DC Universe Original Movie, Batman and Harley Quinn, featuring the talented filmmakers and voice cast.
- Creative Team Commentary: Scene and film analysis by producers Bruce Timm & Gregory Noveck, director Lauren Montgomery and screenwriter Michael Jelenic.
- Featurette – Wonder Woman: A Subversive Dream – A definitive look at a psychologist’s dream, and the rich history of one of the pillars of DC Comics.
- Featurette – Wonder Woman: Daughter of Myth – This revealing documentary explores the archetype and tradition of the female DC Comics Super Hero
Wonder Woman: Commemorative Edition will be distributed by Warner Bros. Home Entertainment on Digital HD starting May 2, 2017, and on Blu-ray Combo Pack & DVD beginning May 16, 2017.
Check out the original 2009 DVD review by Rob Vaux HERE on the Retro Sci-Fi Movie Page.
Check out the original 2009 Blu-ray review by James O’ehley HERE on the Retro Sci-Fi Movie Page.