On Friday, I had an enjoyable day exploring the exhibit hall and attending panels, but the highlight of the day was the big screen premiere of the Wonder Woman animated movie with a talk back afterwards with Bruce Timm (like I even need to tell you... the producer), Lauren Montgomery (the director), and Michael Jelenic (wrote the screenplay).
As I watched the opening sequence of the Wonder Woman animated movie, I couldn't help but think, what a no brainer. An army of Amazon women fighting an epic action packed and extremely violent battle against the god of war and the hordes of Hades. I mean it was a beautiful and exciting opening that got me psyched for a great movie. I must admit, it was so good that part of me was wondering if this was going to be the highlight of the movie. It wasn't.
The movie progresses forward in time and plot with a story that is part epic mythological tale, part action adventure and part... romantic comedy?!? And it totally works.
I wasn't expecting the movie to be so funny or violent, but both attributes make it extremely enjoyable. The Amazons are warriors and we get to see them in battle after blood battle, the strongest of the warriors cutting a bloody path through their enemies. The action is fast paced, bloody and violent. In the talk back that followed the screening, Bruce Timm explained that the first cut received an "R" rating for violence and some things had to be cleaned up to get the rating down to PG-13. He did say, depending on sales and demand, the R rated cut may be released in the future. (So everyone, go buy the dvd and demand the R rated cut!!) Even so, the violence is still top notch, the death count in this movie is quite high.
The comedy was a pleasant surprise. The movie has an excellent voice cast. Nathan Fillion has some of the funniest lines, and his delivery only makes it funnier. Wonder Woman's interaction with Fillion's character Steve Trevor, and her introduction to man's world lends itself to some great comedic moments. One of my favorites is when Wonder Woman innocently explains to a little girl how to sword fight in such a way that she will take down the boys who are not letting her play in their pretend sword fighting game. There are a ton of other scenes which I really want to share, but it will be so much better if you experience it first hand.
The movie is light on drama, but the characterization and relationships are all handled extremely well. This is Wonder Woman's origin, but the supporting characters get their moment to shine.
Its only weakness seems to be its mandatory run time. I was enjoying this movie so much that I was disappointed when it ended. The action moves so quickly that at times, I felt it could have used more of a transition or explanation from one local to the next, but I was having so much fun that I went with it and didn't mind the moments that felt a little rushed.
In short, Bruce Timm, Lauren Montgomery, Michael Jelenic and the rest of the production team have trumped all the previous efforts of the new DC Universe Animated films. Christopher Drake also deserves a well earned shout out for his epic musical score that hits all the right notes and adds another dramatic layer to the awesome little film. Wonder Woman sets a new high mark, which I hope they can match in future efforts, especially since I hear the next one might be Green Lantern. I can't wait.
The DVD and Blu-ray hits stores on March 3, I'm eager to watch it again, I wish my next viewing could be on the big screen as well. You can see a trailer and hear a sample of the score at the official movie website.