Who would’ve thought that, of all of the superheroes from DC, Wonder Woman would have the best track record when it comes to movies. Sure, she’s only had a total of two movie outings, the original animated Wonder Woman movie from a decade ago and the live-action solo film starring Gal Gadot. But it does prove that the Amazon Princess has a lot of star power, which is probably why she was next in line to get a solo film, Wonder Woman: Bloodlines, within the DC Universe Animated Originals Universe.
Unfortunately, Wonder Woman: Bloodlines destroys her perfect record of having good movies, as this is a pretty mundane, if not forgettable entry in the DC Animated Universe.
As this animated film has just been released on both digital download and physical media recently, this will be a SPOILER FREE review so those who are still interested can go in without knowing anything. I’m just that kind of guy.
Anyway, Wonder Woman: Bloodlines starts with a new retelling of how Diana left Themyscira to return fighter pilot Steve Trevor back to “man’s world” before the events of Justice League: War, the very first film DC Animated Originals movie. After that, it goes to the story proper where Wonder Woman needing to find a way back to Themyscira to stop a potential invasion from Doctor Poison and Villany, Inc. and save a friend. But it seems like someone else is pulling the strings from behind the scenes…
That’s the basic gist of Wonder Woman: Bloodlines as far as I can remember anyway. Honestly, the overall plot comes off as rather muddled and, more often than not, things just happen. Some characters just pop in and don’t really do anything than just be a glorified cameo for Wonder Woman fans to points at and exclaim, “Hey! I know that character from the comics” before disappearing into the folds of plot convenience. I guess it’s fun for them to see some obscure Wonder Woman characters appear in the film but it just feels like it comes from nowhere and doesn’t lead anywhere.
There’s also a sub-plot with the villain Silver Swan as, like in the comics, she does have close ties with Diana. I honestly liked following this story a lot but it both bogs down the movie as well as feels rushed. She’s supposed to have this major character arc and, while I liked the idea they were trying to do here, the execution just fell flat because I ultimately didn’t care by the end.
The vocal performances are mostly good in Wonder Woman: Bloodlines. The best performance to come out of this film is undoubtedly Rosario Dawson as Wonder Woman. She brings a lot of humanity to the character and she has the chops to pull off a dramatic line or two. Then again, Rosario Dawson has been playing Wonder Woman in all of the DC Universe Animated Originals since Justice League: War so she has a lot of practice by now. The woman who does the voice for Silver Swan, Marie Avgeropoulos, does a good job of emoting as well when needed but there’s just something about her screaming that just didn’t work for me. I also have to give high marks to Constance Zimmer and Courtenay Taylor who play Veronica Cale and Doctor Poison, respectively.
While everyone else does an okay job overall, there is one vocal performance that I just didn’t like. That would be Adrienne C. Moore as Etta Candy. I get that they made Etta Candy a sassy go-getter with smarts this time around and that’s what Adrienne C. Moore was trying to do. But she does have a tendency to not speak clearly, at least not as clearly as the rest of the cast, making it difficult to understand what she was saying at times. It certainly didn’t help that a lot of her lines were just groan-worthy. Suffice to say, this sad combination of factors made me hate Etta Candy whenever she was on screen.
The animation here is rather schizophrenic as it does look good during the action scenes, especially when things are flying around and a lot of dynamic camera angles are being used. However, when the slower moments and dialogue scene are happening, things just come off as very sterile and drab since you can see how boring the background are when everything is standing still. Looking back at it now, I guess all of the background look really bland and unfocused, even during the fight scenes but you just don’t have time to register how drab they look since you’re too busy focusing on the battle.
The biggest weakness of Wonder Woman: Bloodlines is the story. As I said earlier, things just seem to happen for no reason. It’s hard to fully explain what I mean as this is a SPOILER FREE review but there are just things that don’t really make sense. Villains show up to fight Wonder Woman when there is no real reason for that villain to be there. There’s even a battle that abruptly stop for no apparent reason other than the main villain calling off the fight. And the big climatic battle at the end is Wonder Woman facing off against something that wasn’t hinted at the least! I will say one thing about the climatic battle: It is rather good. But it doesn’t excuse the fact that it left me wondering if they actually talked about that monster or not.
At the same time, however, the film is extremely predictable. You basically know the story arc Silver Swan is going to follow and you can figure out who the villain working behind the scenes almost instantly. I’m not even a big Wonder Woman fan so I have very little knowledge about her rogue’s gallery and her allies but the instant that one character popped in, I could’ve pointed at the screen and said “There’s the big baddie!” It’s that obvious.
I would generally say skip Wonder Woman: Bloodlines as it is a weak entry into the DC Universe Animated Original series of film. But, at the same time, if you’re following the entire series, you may need to at least view it once since it may be setting things up for future entries. If you’re a casual viewer though and just wondering how Wonder Woman: Bloodlines holds up as a standalone film, don’t bother watching this.
Have you seen Wonder Woman: Bloodlines? What did you think of it? Let me know in the comments section below!