A proper mixing of tone and atmosphere

Picking up the ball left by Christopher Nolan and creating a contrast between it and the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the DC Extended Universe has tried to brand itself as a franchise featuring darker superhero stories... but it hasn't exactly worked as planned. It's not only had adverse effects on key characters -- creating a dour Superman and murdering Batman -- but has also made fans wonder if the sun actually ever shines in this particular big screen world. Fortunately, this isn't a style that Wonder Woman entirely disrupts (there is something to be said for franchise consistency), but the film also does find ways to be brighter and funnier without undercutting the drama.

The DC Extended Universe tiptoed closer to comedy with David Ayer's Suicide Squad last year, but it simply wound up being one of many exhibits showcasing how that movie had no idea what it wanted to be. In contrast, Patty Jenkins' Wonder Woman is far more consistent, and while it's able to make audiences hold a collective breath during battle sequences, the film is also surprisingly humorous throughout -- with much of that coming from the fantastic interplay between Gal Gadot's Diana and Chris Pine's Steve Trevor. The movie feels as relaxed as Man of Steel and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice feel stifled.

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