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WONDER WOMAN: BLOODLINES (2019)

Wonder Woman: Bloodlines - Cover‘Warner Bros.’ have recently released a brand new full length animated adventure starring DC’s number one female icon, Wonder Woman. It was directed by Sam Liu and Justin Copeland; it utilized the vocal talents of Rosario Dawson, Jeffrey Donovan, Marie Avgeropoulos, Kimberly Brooks, and Adrienne C. Moore; and it lasts for 83-minutes. Please enjoy,


Wonder Woman: Bloodlines


THE STORY:
Gods of Themyscira, please hear my call, because I require your help in this my hour of need.

You see, not so long ago, when I first arrived on man’s world with Steve Trevor (Jeffrey Donovan), I was befriended by two mortal females, Julia and Vanessa Kapatelis (Nia Vardalos and Marie Avgeropoulos), who allowed me to stay with them until the time came for me to eventually take up my crusade.

Obviously, I never forgot about their kindness and generosity, and as you'd expect, I did my best to keep in touch with them over the years. That’s why I was so surprised when Julia told me about some trouble Vanessa was having with a mysterious group of thieves. Some trouble that sadly resulted in the death of the mother, the rebirth of the daughter, and the request of yours truly, Diana, Princess of Themyscira (Rosario Dawson), who’s now asking you for some help to find my way back home again. Otherwise, oh Lord, what next transpires may turn biblical when adversaries attack. As a gigantic gal gets a kick up the bum - a female fiend doesn’t know when to run - an evil goddess just isn’t any fun - and at the end of the day, look out world, because here comes Wonder Woman.




THE REVIEW:
Before I sat down to write this review, I decided to watch a couple of relevant YouTube videos in order to clarify certain things in my mind. After all, ‘Wonder Woman: Bloodlines’ is a fairly peculiar film, but only in regards to the way it was structured and how certain aspects were conveyed.

Wonder Woman: Bloodlines - Diana
Structurally, the overall narrative plays out in a fairly episodic fashion, as it begins with two partly related prologues that then leads into the main slice of the story. Prologue One, for instance, acts as a precursor to this cartoon as well as another, ‘Justice League: War’, by telling us why Diana left Themyscira and traveled to ‘man’s world’. Whereas Prologue Two, on the other hand, introduces us to the Kapatelis family, Julia and Vanessa, by showing us how they helped Diana acclimatize to her new surroundings. And as for the main story in itself? Well, if truth be told, it manages to tie everything together, up to a point, by telling a tale where Diana tries to help a friend who's got mixed up with a group of her old adversaries.

Not that this is a bad thing, mind you! If anything, it’s always nice to follow a clean and crisp series of events that aren’t perpetually bogged down by needless paraphernalia. But that said, on occasion, certain parts of the plot felt like a showcase of sorts, a showcase that wheeled out a variety of different characters without giving them any real emotional depth or backstory. This included characters like Ferdinand (voiced by Michael Dorn), who basically popped up halfway through the adventure and lingered more than he should; Giganta (voiced by Kimberly Brooks), who had a brief cameo at the beginning and then fizzled out quickly; as well as The Cheetah (also voiced by Kimberly), who initially appeared more relevant than she actually was before she likewise fizzled out.


Wonder Woman: Bloodlines - The Cheetah


Now, where the overall style of this film is concerned, visually, everything seen on screen resembled most of the other films currently produced by 'DC Comics' and 'Warner Bros. Animation', ranging from the 'Justice League' series of movies all the way to the 'Batman' series of movies. So, if you’ve seen any of these flicks before, then I’m sure you know what to expect to see now: A lot of pretty looking people who sport doe-eyes, flawless complexions, and well-proportioned frames, making their way through a variety of different landscapes and backdrops, such as suburban homes, monochromatic office buildings, and ancient kingdoms. Although, I must admit, I did enjoy seeing Steve Trevor‘s Oliver Queen goatee (nice), Etta Candy‘s comfy schoolteacher cardigan (whoopee), as well as the variety of different outfits worn by the great one herself, Wonder Woman, both modern and traditional by design (wink-wink). I was also happy to see the classic looks sported by a few of the villains, especially Giganta and The Cheetah, who both rocked in their contemporary costumes in a very Silver Age style.

Wonder Woman: Bloodlines - Giganta
Anyway, that’s enough of that for the time being, because now I think we should sit back, relax, and check out the following filmic facts: (1) ‘Warner Bros.’ first screened this animated adventure in New York, New York, on the exact same day Diahann Carroll tragically passed away. She was a groundbreaking actress, singer, and model, and the date was the 4th of October, 2019. (2) The screenplay for this film was written by Mairghread Scott, and she’s generally best known for either writing or consulting for such TV shows as ‘G.I. Joe: Renegades’, ‘Marvel Rising: Initiation’, and ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’. (3) The Silver Swan was first created in 1982 by the same creative team who came up with the Carol Danvers version of Captain Marvel: Roy Thomas and  Gene Colan. There have been three different iterations of this character so far, which includes the Helen Alexandros version [‘Wonder Woman’ #288, 1982], the Valerie Beaudry version [‘Wonder Woman’ #15, 1988], and now the Vanessa Kapatelis version [‘Wonder Woman’ #171, 2001]. (4) In the comics, Etta Candy is traditionally depicted as being a Caucasian woman, not an African American woman, and she made her debut in ‘Sensation Comics’ #2, cover-dated, February 1942. (5) To follow on from my previous point, and you might like to know that, unlike this film, Wonder Woman doesn’t have the ability to fly in the comic books, but she does have the ability to fly her invisible plane. (6) One of the taglines used to promote this picture, states: ‘Her greatest fight will be the one to get back home’. (7) This is the sixth time Rosario Dawson provided the voice of Wonder Woman for a ‘DC/Warner Bros.’ cartoon. The other five projects included, ‘Justice League: Throne of Atlantis’ [2015], ‘Justice League vs. Teen Titans’ [2016], ‘Justice League Dark’ [2017], ‘The Death of Superman’ [2018], and ‘Reign of the Supermen’ [2019]. (8) After this animated escapade let out a boo-boo, Rosario Dawson starred in the horror-comedy, ‘Zombieland: Double Tap’; Marie Avgeropoulos starred in the TV series, ‘The 100’; and Jeffrey Donovan is going to star in the Dutch drama, ‘Honest Thief’.


Wonder Woman: Bloodlines - Diana, Steve, and Etta


In closing my review of ‘Wonder Woman: Bloodlines’, I would just like to make a couple of things perfectly clear. Yes, I know that this film was made to cash in on the anniversary of Diana’s very first appearance (which happened in ‘All Star Comics’ #8, published October 21st, 1941). And yes, I know that some of the characters featured in this film were included to test the waters for some of the up and coming projects (presumably, The Cheetah). But even so, that doesn’t necessarily mean that it wasn’t a worthwhile watch, because most of the actors did a pretty good job at voicing their respective roles, the overall narrative was simple and fairly logical to follow, and most importantly of them all, it had a good old fashioned wholesome message behind it. A wholesome message about believing in yourself and not allowing others to affect your choices. I also enjoyed following the final fight between Diana and, wink-wink, old Snake-Face, as it was very reminiscent of Ray Harryhausen's cinematic representation of classic battles between 'Gods and Mortals', heightened to fairly dramatic proportions.

Wonder Woman: Bloodlines - Silver Swan
That said, however, what held this film back, mainly revolved around how it was perpetually bombarded by superficial slugfests (The Cheetah), unneeded segues (Ferdinand), and a story that was ill-paced and ill-equipped to deal with a character of Wonder Woman's stature. After all, Diana is a multifaceted character and has many different dimensions to her personality. On the one hand, she's a God, she's a warrior, and she's a person of royal breeding. While on the other, she's a hero, she's a female, and she's a proverbial fish out of water. So, with some benefit of hindsight, it does seem as if the people behind this project didn’t really know which aspects of her personality to play up or play down, all the while trying to tell a story that takes her from her ancestral home and brings her right into the modern-day.

Either way, overall, I’d say this wasn’t a bad film, but in the same vein, it wasn’t a great one either. So in all fairness, I would only recommend it to die-hard fans of Diana and her ever manipulated mythology.

THE RATING: C+

WONDER WOMAN: BLOODLINES (2019) WONDER WOMAN: BLOODLINES (2019) Reviewed by David Andrews on November 04, 2019 Rating: 5

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