I enjoyed the movie but thought it could have been better. My main gripe was when Aries spontaneously appeared for the final smack-down with Wonder Woman towards the end of the movie.
There were so many opportunities for the film to hint at his hand throughout (rather than just hearing Diana tell us that Aries was behind the war), and so many squandered opportunities for both of them to posture throughout the script, that it felt quite odd for him to suddenly appear in the watchtower and then escalate into the atypical DCEU smackdown-of-the-gods as we have seen before. We also saw some of the standard tropes during the movie in the exposition dialogue (“is that all you’ve got” et al) which felt like more work could have been done, even though it still stands above the Justice League work by far.
Gal Gadot’s performance was excellent and the script was well grounded throughout the rest of the film which gave it a more human element than other DCEU scripts have had. It was more relatable and her “fish out of water” performance was funny. Themyscira (her island home) was also beautifully rendered.
Superhero movies are everywhere these days, but I find ones that deal with god-like beings more challenging because they are an ‘outside context problem’ for mere mortals. Marvel has taken much of the god-like stuff off-world, isolating it in context from humanity, which makes it more engaging. Marvel also has a cast of superheroes who aren’t all god-like beings but are instead humans with augmented abilities which can make it easier to write relatable stories, and also more vulnerable as characters.
I don’t find it surprising that Warner Brothers has chosen now to focus more on individual films (the DCU) rather than trying to run with an integrated universe from the get-go (the DCEU) and I think the slow and steady approach that worked with Marvel will benefit them. Assuming the superhero genre remains popular in the long term!