Wednesday, February 6, 2013

ANI-MOVIES, *Wonder Woman

'Bout f*cking time Wo-Wo got her own gig! After three other made-for-video animated movies, DC Universe put together the first origin story involving one of their Big 3, Wonder Woman. Unlike Superman: Doomsday, Justice League: New Frontier, and Batman: Gotham Knight, this one isn't continuing from an already established storyline. It takes the original premise of Wonder Woman from the 40s, and resets it for the 21st Century.

A few thousand years ago, the Amazons were under the subjection of Ares, the Greek god of war. Queen Hippolyta leads her sister-warriors in a battle to liberate themselves from Ares, and their bastard son, who like all good mothers, Hippolyta beheads. The Amazons are freed, and allowed to live on a secluded island called Themyscara(aka: Paradise Island), but must keep watch over the now less than powerful Ares who they keep imprisioned. Shoot ahead to modern day where skirtchasing pilot Steve Trevor crashlands on the island and is taken in by Diana, the daughter of Hippolyta brought to life from clay. The Amazons determine that Steve is not a theat, and hold a tournament to see who would be the one to take him back home. Diana disguises herself as a common warrior, and wins. But, its discovered that Ares seduced his jailer Persephone, and the two of them made their escape off the island. Diana now has to deliver Steve back to America, but at the same time find Ares. Once back in the States, Steve offers to help Diana. After a few drinks, they are attacked by a demigod working for Ares. Diana stops him, and learns that Ares is at an ancient temple leading to Tartarus. Diana and Steve fight Ares and Persephone in the temple, but are unable to stop them from entering the underworld, where Ares gets his uncle Hades to restore his godly powers. Steve takes the injured Diana to a hospital, where they explore their feelings. Ares then leads an assault on Washington D.C. with an army of monsters. Diana rushes to stop him, but is outnumbered. Fortunately, the Amazons arrive, and go all 300 on Ares' forces. Not even the combined might of zombie Amazons, and Ares' now more empowered strength stops Diana and the others from defeating him. Diana returns with others to Themyscara, but Hippolyta realizes that the Amazons should continue to learn more about the "world of man", and appoints Diana as their emissary. Diana now goes incognito as a regular American citizen with Steve knowing her true identity, which is now dubbed Wonder Woman. The film ends with her taking on the supervillainess, Cheetah.

This was actually one of the better DC Universe selections. The animation was truly exceptional from the first two American-animated movies(Batman: Gotham Knight was all anime), and the story moved along really well. The only real downside was that alot was cut out for the sake of meeting Warner's 75 minute time limit. I dunno why, but all their OVAs have to be no more than 75 minutes. Because of this though, there's quite a few corners that get shaved, like no explanation of where the technology for the invisible jet came from or how Diana even knows how to pilot it, and how a powerless Ares made it off Themyscara and all the way to Cuba with no boat or anything.

The voice acting was pretty fair too, especially Nathan "Captain Hammer" Fillion as Steve Trevor. The character designs were also good. I liked the fact that they went back and made Hippolyta a brunette unlike on Justice League and the original Wonder Woman TV series where she was always blonde. Ares seems like a villain from a Yoshiaki Kawajiri anime film. Artemis looks pretty buff, like she usually does in the comics. Diana appears to be alot taller and athletic than in most other animated incarnations of her. Aside from the colossal design she had in Justice League: New Frontier, this version has her as a real warrior type, and not just a buxom chick in a swimsuit. Plus, she actually uses her tiara and lasso as weapons which she barely did on Justice League or on the 70s live-action show.

Aside from the short runtime on it, Wonder Woman is a very satisfying superhero movie, animated or otherwise. The whole focus on this was mainly on Wonder Woman's mythological ties, and since she's a myth-based hero like Thor, Hercules, and Captain Marvel, at least most of the plots she's involved with are about gods and demons. Since this movie got most of that taken care of, if they end up doing some kind of contuation from it in say Wonder Woman 2, they'll hopefully be able to focus a little more on the actual superhero side of the character. Definately want to see Wo-Wo take on Villainy Inc.!

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