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'Wonder Woman' Shines Bright on 4K Ultra HD | Review
Wonder Woman took the 2017 summer box office by storm, becoming the highest-grossing superhero origin film of all-time domestically, as well as the highest-grossing movie of all-time directed by a woman.
Gal Gadot, playing the role she was born for, essays the role of Diana, Princess of Themyscira, a hidden island of Amazon warriors who live a peaceful existence outside the world of men. That tranquility is violently broken by the arrival of Steve Trevor, an American Air Force pilot working with the British to stop the German Gen. Ludendorff and his associate, Dr. Isabel Maru, from creating a deadly weapon that could wipe out mankind. Believing Ludendorff to be Ares, a being who wiped out nearly all the Gods until he was subdued by Zeus, Diana accompanies Steve to the front lines of Europe, hoping to stop Ares before he can claim any more lives.
The movie is perfectly cast, not just with Gadot but Chris Pine as well. His easy, unforced chemistry with Gadot provides the emotional lynchpin of the movie, and works wonders (no pun intended). In fact, it’s the strength of this human element that allows the movie to overcome its narrative deficiencies. In terms of its story, the movie is essentially Thor — a fish-out-of-water romance between an Earthling and a celestial being who comes down to Earth in order to help, and make sense of, humanity. A key twist towards the end of the movie is easy to guess, and ultimately, the flashback structure of the piece is unnecessary, existing simply to add more time onto an already long movie.
Does any of this tank the movie? Not at all. Wonder Woman is still a rousing bit of entertainment, and while it’s not my favorite from the still-young DCEU, it’s gratifying to finally see the DC movies win people over. I only hope that WB and DC capitalize on this momentum with the upcoming Justice League — a movie I have been eagerly awaiting for at least a decade.
Wonder Woman comes to 4K Ultra High-Definition disc looking fantastic. Shot mostly on 35mm film and finished at 2K, the film benefits from the added disc space offered by the dual-layered BD-66. Compression issues are non-existent, with a pleasant level of grain giving the movie cinematic texture. The grain can spike at times, particularly during the relatively drab, grey sequences in Europe, but never to an extent that should irritate anyone. The HDR (high dynamic range) is the real MVP here, giving the movie’s extensive color palette added punch and refinement. Objects like the Lasso of Hestia really shine, and the intensity of the orange fire during the climactic battle is splendid. Black levels hold steady throughout, rarely coming up thin or grey. Highlights look great, too. This isn’t quite a reference-quality disc, but it’s a very good one nonetheless, and should leave both fans of the movie and home theater enthusiasts satisfied with their purchase.
The accompanying Blu-ray also looks fine, but WB has packed a nearly 2.5-hour movie onto a BD-50 with about two hours worth of extras in high-definition. Compression takes its toll in the form of noise and some banding. Plus, after seeing the UHD, it’s hard not to lament the relative lack of punch to the colors on the Blu-ray. It’s not a bad disc by any means, but it pales in comparison to its higher definition counterpart.
SCORE: 4.5 out of 5 (4K) and 4 out of 5 (Blu-ray)
Wonder Woman comes to 4K and Blu-ray with a Dolby Atmos audio track, which I listened to in 5.1. It is great, making full use of the expanded landscape. Primarily a war film, the movie offers gunfire, explosions, cars, tanks, planes, and more, all of which will give your sound system a workout. Bass is deep, but never drowns out dialogue during the louder scenes. Modern big-budget movies all tend to sound great, and while Wonder Woman never really pushes the boundaries, it’s certainly no slouch in its own right, either.
SCORE: 4.5 out of 5
Packed with about two hours of extras, Wonder Woman comes home ready to fight. The much-hyped “bonus scene” turns out to be a cute little epilogue involving Etta, Sameer, Charlie and Chief. Other extended scenes are available, including a longer take of the boat scene with Steve and Diana. Behind-the-scenes featurettes focus on the action choreography, Gadot’s training — both physical and otherwise — for the role, and director Patty Jenkins, who recently was confirmed to return as director for Wonder Woman 2.
SCORE: 3.5 out of 5 SUMMARY A good movie with a great A/V presentation makes the Wonder Woman 4K combo pack highly recommended. Extras are plentiful, if a bit slight, but that shouldn't deter you from seeking this out.