Posted on Thursday, November 3rd, 2016 by Jacob Hall
The new Wonder Woman trailer has arrived and you know what that means: it’s time for a trailer breakdown, where we go through the whole thing frame by frame. Let’s jump right in.
We already knew that Wonder Woman would be bookended with modern day sequences that will tie the film into the large DC movie universe and further push us toward Justice League. Still, it’s a nice choice to have Diana (Gal Gadot) pay a visit to the Louvre in Paris, a centuries-old, distinguished institution that has weathered the years, taking on modern touches to keep itself fresh and relevant. In other words, it’s a very appropriate location for an immortal superhero to visit as an excuse think about (and flash back to) her past.
Remember that really silly scene in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice where the film literally pauses in the middle of the climax so Diana can peruse Lex Luthor’s metahuman files? Well, here’s the same image that Luthor found and Batman stole and Diana saw. It served as an indication of her true nature in that film and it looks like it’ll be the flashback-triggering device here.
We’ll get to Themyscira and Wonder Woman‘s color palette very enough. For now, let’s just focus on how this image is taken straight out of the the character’s classic origin story: an Amazonian warrior who lives on a mystical island inhabited only by women, witnesses a plane (technology she has never seen before!) crash land…
…and one survivor, a soldier named Steve Trevor (Chris Pine), is pulled from the wreckage. The story of the Wonder Woman movie seems to be mostly original, sending Diana and Steve on a mission that has no direct correlation in the comic book world, but the basic template of how these two met and how she ends up leaving her home for the violent “man’s world” beyond appears to be mostly intact. And that’s a good thing – unlike the early days of Superman and Batman, this is a story that hasn’t been done to death on screen.
But this is where the movie appears to start playing fast and loose with the finer points of Wonder Woman’s origin story. Rather than Diana’s curiosity about the outside world, it looks like everyone is spurred into action by an actual invasion of the island by enemy forces. Maybe they’re seeking Steve Trevor, whom everyone seems to be out to kill in this trailer?
In any case, it’s a good excuse to watch Amazon warriors gallop into battle against a small army of World War I-era soldiers, an image that is just too good to pass up. Leading the charge is General Antiope (Robin Wright), the sister of Queen Hippolyta and Diana’s aunt. I can’t believe we’re getting a movie where Robin Wright leads a cavalry charge dressed like a warrior out of Greek mythology. Two thumbs up, Wonder Woman.
One thing Wonder Woman does look to have in common with past DC superhero movies is the slow motion. Let’s not ignore it: there is a lot of slow motion in this trailer. This could be a Zack Snyder note (the man loves his stylized slo-mo) or it could be director Patty Jenkins slowing down time to show off Diana’s superhuman senses and awareness, offering us a look at how she’s able to do things like deflect bullets and make it look easy. Or it could be both.
I’m not sure who the woman zip-lining into battle is supposed to be (and if you do know, feel free to chime in with a comment!), but it looks like she flew into battle at the exact wrong moment. If Diana’s narration is any indication (“I learned this the hard way, a long, long time ago”), this is someone close to her whose death by stray bullet gives her the necessary determination to join Steve Trevor’s quest to end the Great War enveloping the outside world.
Let’s talk about the film’s representation of Themyscira, the mystical home of the Amazons where Diana and her people live far from the eyes and conflicts of modern man. The shots we see of it in the trailer are lovely, evoking ancient Greece and Rome while also containing enough fantastical touches to look like its own civilization. Most importantly, it looks like a paradise and the exact kind of place you’d want to fight to preserve.
The focus of this scene is Steve Trevor, who is informing his hosts of the conflict raging beyond their borders and his mission to “stop the war.” Rather than just an ordinary grunt tossed into an extraordinary situation, it sounds like cinematic Steve Trevor is a figure of great importance, a guy who needs to be protected. And also: how great does Connie Nielsen look as Queen Hippolyta, Diana’s mother and ruler of Themyscira?