Film Review: Wonder Woman

 

What happens when American pilot Steve Trevor (Chris Pine) crash lands near the land of the Amazons and meets daughter of Zeus, Princess Diana (Gal Gadot)? After Trevor explains that the world is at war, Diana decides it’s time to leave the island of Themyscira against the wishes of her mother, Queen Hippolyta, and become the new hero Wonder Woman.

The film Wonder Woman gets the job done in so many ways. This movie is a delightful departure from the dark themes and angst ridden sub-plots of the other DC universe movies. From the land of the Amazons to a Europe at war, the pacing is near perfect. Also, the movie delivers a excellent version of the origin story and isn’t afraid to take some risks with the Wonder Woman mythology that also succeed on many levels. Speaking of mythology, in last 30 or so years, Wonder Woman scribes have mined her Greek Mythology origins and focused on the problems of the old Gods and the world of men and this movie carries on that tradition while adding some new much-needed textures to the DC cinematic universe.

Photo credit: Atlas Films

Director Patty Jenkins takes a script by Allan Heinberg, based on a story by Zack Snyder, Jason Fuchs, and Geoff Johns, and creates some real movie magic. Jenkins’ Wonder Woman eschews cheesecake pin-up shots for battle action which Gadot delivers.

The film has been kicking around in development hell since 1996 with everybody from Sandra Bullock to Lucy Lawless slated to play the character, but perhaps it was truly worth the wait since this product reaches a very high level of quality that has been rewarded by fans and critics alike.

The character Wonder Woman has always been a bit problematic in my opinion because of some of the sexists themes various authors (mostly male) injected into her story and costuming over the years. Considering the way comic book artists tend to sexualize their female characters, Wonder Woman always stood out as the primary offender of that particular trope. This movie puts much of that skepticism to rest in the best way possible. I questioned the World War One setting when I first heard of it, but it actually works and not only does it work, but it works very well. Gal Gadot was not my first choice of casting either, but I have to admit she did an admirable job. There was no question she stole the show in “Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice” and she builds on that charisma and screen presence virtually guaranteeing that she will be a permanent fixture in the DC Movie Universe. Oh, and we should also recognize side-kick Chris Pine’s performance which displayed considerable chemistry.

Of course, the movie has generated a bit of controversy with some “women only screenings” that agitated the idiotic “men’s rights” movement and to that I say, “Good.” Wonder Woman has managed to step out of the big screen and expose the haters for the backwards thinking fools these protesters are. That’s how you change the world.

 

Overall, I give the film an solid A.

 

Running Time 141 Minutes

Rated PG-13

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