I went to the theater yesterday and watched Spider-man: Homecoming and Wonder Woman back to back. Both are very good and I am actually glad that DC finally managed to put out a good movie instead of trite BS. I still liked Spider-Man better but both are worth a watch.
What I particularly liked about Spider-man is that they essentially skip all of the origin story stuff. At this point it is kind of unnecessary since pretty much everybody already knows it already anyway. It is kind of refreshing without having the constant refrain of “With great power comes great responsibility”. Kind of sneakily these words, while unspoken, are still the core of the movie as it is largely about hubris.
The movie also has an excellent little twist in the middle of it which I won’t spoil, but I loved how the tension was just racheted up in the scenes following. Also there is another little twist set up at the very end that I get a great kick out of.
I also loved the very diverse casting. I mean it still white-bread Peter Parker instead of Miles Morales (and in retrospect I find it funny that they gave a role to Donald Glover who a couple of years ago a lot of fanboys had wanted to play the lead in a Miles Morales Spider-Man film) but in the movie you have a bunch of different kids just interacting and nobody raises a stink about what race they are. I was particularly surprised that they made Flash an indian guy. I do find it weird though that a lot of the characters do not have a last name but I guess this is done to obscure things and have fans of the comics keep guessing.
Wonder Woman was also very good and as said above I am happy that DC finally managed to put out a competent movie. It still has some big flaws though. The first thing is the color palette most of the movie is just 15 shades of concrete and little else. You could think this is because its a War movie but even the scenes set on the island of the amazones at the beginning of the film are kind of washed out. Looking at some stills from the film on Google image search it might have been a projection issue, but considering this is week 7 of the movie in my region I would hope its not and the stills aren’t that much of an improvement either.
This really becomes a problem during the fight scenes. A lot of them are set at night and you have trouble following the action due to rapid cuts showing one dark blob interacting with another dark blob from various angles. It’s not transformers bad because there is no shaky cam but I think they could have done a better job framing such fight scenes.
Also muddled is a bit of the character arc of Diana. It’s good that she has an arc in that she has to grow as a person and accept that her worldview is off and has to correct it, even if it is painful to admit for her, but this is also coupled with a fish-out-of-water setup for part of the movie which muddies the waters a bit.
And little bit of nitpicky, but the framing device (which is actually partially literally) is kind of unnecessary. The only thing it does is establish that Diana is still around in modern day while almost the entire film is set during World War I (a good and underutilized setting in my opinion), but it serves little to the movie itself. For one the film starts with an establishing shot of the Louvre because “cool location” I guess but in retrospect is actually kind of distracting. The framing device is supposed to tie the movie to BvS a bit, particularly with a truck with a big “Wayne Enterprises” logo in the foreground, but it is hardly perfect there because it doesn’t give you any insight there. The movie shows a photograph of Diana with her comrades in war and then starts into the bulk of the film. Seeing the photograph center frame you would think a match cut would come to the moment the photo was taken but instead it starts with Diana as a child. I think the match-cut and later flashback-within-a-flashback would have done better cinematically, or they could have just cut the whole of the first couple of scenes, started directly with Diana as a child perhaps with a voice over, and at the end of the movie just gone back to the scene with the photograph and match cut to Diana looking at the photo again.
Also, while I like that they gave a native american actor a role it does seem a bit out of place that a native american character is near the western front of World War I.
It is still a good movie, mostly because the characters don’t all act like complete assholes all the fucking time. It is leaps and bounds ahead of any other DC superhero movie.