The Princess of Themyscira arrives on blu-ray this week, loaded with special features and a continually exciting movie experience. Come inside to see my thoughts on how the latest DCEU home entertainment release stacks up.
Wonder Woman is, well, the story of Wonder Woman. Yes, it's another comic book hero origin story, and is set within the larger DCEU, but the World War I setting gives it more than enough freedom to do its own thing. The movie tells the story of how Diana encounters the world of man, prompting her to leave the only home she's ever known, Themyscira, to become the hero we all know and love.
When Steve Trevor manages to crash onto the hidden island of the Amazons, he brings to light the problems facing the world of man to the warriors (who've been secluded for a long time). Diana sees the threat of the World War as a return of an ancient enemy and leaves the island with Steve in an attempt to do what she feels is right. Along the way she discovers the modern world and the wonders/horrors it contains. It is this element that provides the film's humor (of which there are some incredible moments) as well as presents the moral themes within.
Diana's inexperience in our world and overall naivete allows the audience to witness to horror of war through brand new eyes and brings a new sense of perspective to it all. The film is filled with examples of this, but the "No Man's Land" scene highlights this best of all. As a viewer, we understand the idea of Trevor's willingness to ignore the problems on the frontlines in order to stay on task for the mission. It would bypass danger so they could complete the bigger task that could ultimately end the war. Diana, however, only sees that something needs to be done and that innocent lives are at stake.
She has the power to do something and doesn't hesitate to jump into the middle of a war zone. The point being, it's easy to overlook the "small" people, but even if your goal is noble, it's important to help people when you can. If not, you're no better than the enemy you're fighting. With other themes presented about equality and justice, the film has great messages without coming off heavy handed.
On paper, and in general terms, Wonder Woman sounds like your typical comic book movie. In some ways it can be, but its presentation takes it above and beyond "typical." Between the humor, the character moments, and action sequences, Wonder Woman does so many things right it remains enjoyable no matter how many times you watch it. It's entirely unsurprising how popular it was this Summer upon initial release, with both critics and fans.
If you've seen the movie in theaters, it's just as enjoyable on blu-ray and a film I suspect I'll be watching quite a few more times over the years. While I've enjoyed the DCEU films so far (admittedly more so than my fellow movie critics), there's no doubt in my mind Wonder Woman is the best among them. Personally speaking, the movie alone is worth the price of the blu-ray.
Sight and Sound
Warner Bros. delivers another solid blu-ray experience with Wonder Woman, offering up an excellent video transfer. From the bright and colorful paradise of Themyscira to the drab grays and stark landscapes of the war, every scene is presented in crisp clarity. The blacks are deep, allowing the characters and scenes to stand out sharply without any visible crushing.
The surround sound is equally well handled, thrusting you right into the middle of the war/action sequences. The dialog is given proper priority as well so that you won't be adjusting the volume up and down between action scenes. All in all, there's no real complaints to be had in terms of the technical aspects on the blu-ray. It's an excellent representation of the film.
Wonder Woman on blu-ray comes loaded up with these bonus features on the disc:
· Epilogue: Etta’s Mission
· Crafting the Wonder
· A Director’s Vision: Themyscira: The Hidden Island
· A Director’s Vision: Beach Battle
· A Director’s Vision: A Photograph Through Time
· A Director’s Vision: Diana in the Modern World
· A Director’s Vision: Wonder Woman at War
· Warriors of Wonder Woman
· The Trinity
· The Wonder Behind the Camera
· Finding the Wonder Woman Within
· Extended Scenes
· Blooper Reel
The extra scenes offer up some fun moments, especially with Etta, but aren't wholly necessary to the film either. As such they serve as neat little bonuses for fans to watch, though I don't suspect I'll take time to watch them again. The best featurettes on the disc offer a really great look behind the scenes of how the film came together, straight from Director Patty Jenkins' mouth. The remaining ones give you a glimpse at Wonder Woman's comic history and how she fits in with the other icons of comic heroes.
All together the amount of special features on the disc are pretty substantial and provide something for new and long time Wonder Woman fans. On top of the already great movie, that's quite a bit of bang for your buck on this blu-ray release.