Wonder Woman (2009)

Rating: ****
Review Date: 3/28/09
Producer: Bruce Timm
Music: Christopher Drake
Cast: Keri Russell, Nathan Fillion, Virginia Madsen, Alfred Molina, Rosario Dawson, Tara Strong

Spectacular! Warner Brothers animation has put together an incredibly intense and mature interpretation of DC's classic comic book character, as well as pushed the boundaries of PG-13 rated material. The film is shockingly violent, and comes close to rivaling the depth and sophistication of Japanese anime. My mind reels at the thought of where this film could have gone if the producers had been allowed to push the envelope even further. The story retells the origin of Diana, Princess of the Amazons, and her duty to return an injured Airforce pilot home. And then there's the little problem of Ares, the God of War, escaping his bondage and going on a killing spree of global proportions.

Much like Bruce Timm's other DC projects, the animation and character design are superb, and Wonder Woman is strong and sexy without pandering to fan service. He respects the character, which invites the audience to do the same. The animation is quick and fluid, and the combat scenes are excellent and exciting. Christopher Drake's music score is wonderful and really underscores the emotional intensity of the tale, setting a new record for how quickly I was moved tears. The voice cast is delightful, with Keri Russell, Virginia Madsen, and Rosario Dawson delivering phenomenal performances. Virginia Madsen's Hippolyta is outstanding, and I was very pleasantly surprised by Keri Russell's Wonder Woman. The only disappointment with the film is the male chauvinism inherent in American cinema. They can't just let a female character be strong without some idiot male making snarky sexist comments. In this case, the idiot male is Steve Trevor (Nathan Fillion), who is pretty much a complete asshole and deflates much of the tension in the story. While Diana doesn't take any crap from him, he's still a constant annoyance that enforces the notion that women always have to prove themselves. Otherwise, the film is pure gold and highly recommended.