Wonder Woman, part of the DC trinity that includes Batman and Superman, finally has her own solo live-action movie.
The latest actress to portray Wonder Woman, Gal Gadot, first appeared on cinema screens in the 2016 film “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice”, and made quite an impact. Most theater audiences went wild when she made a thundering appearance in the film in full costume while saving Batman’s life. The character has had a difficult and puzzling trek to the big screen. It’s not the fact she hasn’t been around long, as Wonder Woman first appeared in comic books in 1942, and has been an integral part of the DC comics world ever since. She has appeared in countless comics, the Linda Carter TV series, and animated films, but the big screen always alluded her, until now. The time for the Amazon princess to hit theaters is now, and she is making quite the impact. For those who have no clue, the character of Wonder Woman was sculpted from clay by her mother Queen Hippolyta (played by Connie Nielsen in the movie), and given life by Zeus in the film version.
At the beginning of the film we see Diana as a child living in Themyscira, a hidden island off the coast of Greece with the Amazons, who were created by the gods to protect mankind from Ares, the god of war. So in the film we get mythology, war, and of course superhero action. We get to see Diana train on the island with the Amazons, meet Captain Steve Trevor (Chris Pine), the spy who crash lands near her island paradise, and experience 1918 London. Diana, with the added last name of Prince, courtesy of Trevor, journeys with her wayward solider back to London and World War 1, as she is convinced she can make a difference by killing Ares, who she feels is causing the great war. While in London, it’s quite amusing to see Diana adopt to life away from Themyscira, and her reaction to ice cream and 1918 clothing is priceless. She also meets Trevor’s secretary Etta Candy (Lucy Davis), who is so funny she nearly steals the film from her powerful co-stars. The film features Diana/WW in dramatic battle scenes fighting German soldiers alongside Trevor, his cohorts and the British military. One of the many inspiring scenes in the film has Wonder Woman running toward a German strong hold alone as she refuses to let innocent people die by not taking action. During the film she also falls in love with Trevor and finally confronts the previously disguised Ares. Despite all the serious matters at hand, there are still plenty moments of humor thanks to Diana’s talent for being naive concerning mans world, and Trevor’s secretary Etta. The actors are all wonderful in the film, and Gadot was born to play Wonder Woman. Pine is excellent as Trevor, and his onscreen chemistry with Gadot practically melts the screen.
This film is groundbreaking for several reasons. “Wonder Woman” is the first film featuring a solo female superhero to actually break office records, and to be directed by a woman, in this case Patty Jenkins (“Monster”). Apparently Hollywood has never trusted their big “event” movies to be placed in the hands of a woman. We shall see how “Wonder Woman” has an impact on the film industry. Hollywood’s lack of trust aside, this film is an amazing cinematic achievement, and even after two viewings I am ready for more. Wonder Woman will return to the big screen in November with Batman and Superman, and other heroes in “Justice League”, and I am counting down the days. Wonder Woman, whose mantra, is “I believe in love”, will no doubt be making plenty of future appearances on the big screen, thanks to the smashing success of “Wonder Woman.” Now get your lasso of truth and head to the theater.
(Rated PG-13), 4 Amazons (out of 4)