Ladies get ready for your superhero and you’ll find her at the movie theater Wonder Woman. She’s been around for a long time entering the world of DC Comics back in 1941, yet has appeared only once in a live action film on the big screen according to my research. That first appearance was a little over a year ago in Batman vs. Superman and she surprised everyone with a lot of critical accolades. Smart, Warner Bros. had already been working on a film for the spunky and courageous lady for this release. Was it worth the challenge? You bet as this film is a ‘wonder’ in story and motion picture making.
In a secluded alternate universe away for the modern world a tribe of Amazons live a life of unending tranquility. But, within that calm is a female army of bow and arrow markswomen preparing for an event that may never come. It’s the invasion by the God Aries who has been waiting for a chance to destroy the tribe and especially Queen Hippolyta (Connie Nielsen) a concubine of Zeus. While Hippolyta has always kept hidden away on Paradise Island from Aries, the reason was not clear why until Diana his half-sister was born.
Safe in this environment Diana (Gal Gadot) has grown to and adult while learning all the aspects of being a warrior. Now as proud as she has become stubborn, Diana has been anxious to fulfill her destiny. Well it’s about to happen as a WWI airplane piloted by Captain Steve Trevor (Chris Pine) crashes through the barrier that has kept the Amazons safe from the outside. Pulled to safety by Diana a fight breaks out as a boat with a squadron of Germans has been tracking Steve. When Diana finds out about the world outside she senses that an even greater danger involving Aries awaits her.
The film continues from the opening 22 minutes for another two hours of adventure and a carnival ride of mind numbing action. Director Patty Jenkins uses a more than usual amount of lengthy acting dialogue. It’s a good technique of informing the audience of how Wonder Woman grew up as a budding Amazon warrior and later the determined Princess she turns out to be. I like the way she feeds time into the capsule so even the most ardent DC Comic fan, who hold dear their super warriors, gods and fighters, have some semblance that the Amazon race never grows old, they just “grow up”.
Jenkins, who helmed one of the most honored films Monster, returns to directing movies on the big screen with this blazing adventure keeping Wonder Woman interesting, visually dominant and exciting. While she has been working with TV episodes of “The Killing” and “Entourage”, she has been absent from movie theaters since 2003. Taking one of DC Comic’s prized superheroes, Jenkins gives the Amazon a feminine touch with a savage determination to save the world.
That brings me to the star of the movie Gal Gadot who has all the right moves, the expressions and spirit of Wonder Woman. There’s a flare about her that most actresses who have tackled the likes of Black Widow, Cat Woman and Storm could not hold a candle. If you look back over the years the Marvel and DC Comics have brought some exciting films to the screen, but it’s always been the male mutants, Gods, inventors, mad scientists, crime fighters and villains that have filled movie theaters. Well, move over super heroes, there’s a new “Gal” in town and she’s about to show whose boss. Look for her in the upcoming November release of The Justice League.
In support, Chris Pine works hard to get some meaningful screen time trying to make his character important and thrilling. But it’s not until the finale that he’s able to provide the heart needed to instill some misty eyes in an audience rapt with fighting and chaos. Like most of the male characters in the film, his Captain Steve Trevor is just a pawn used to give Wonder Woman the main stage. But finally in act three a little chemistry between Diana and Steve starts to fill the void. Thank goodness Jenkins achieves it, and in the nick of time before the final curtain comes down.
Wonder Woman has been rated PG-13 for sequences of violence and action, and some suggestive content. Mom’s with preteens show exercise caution when bringing their naive youngsters, especially the girls, as male near nudity and suggestive dialogue is prevalent during a lengthy scene within the first hour.
FINAL ANALYSIS: A tip of the hat to DC Comics/Warner Bros. for providing a cool female warrior to the superhero/gods/ universe.
Additional Film Information:
Cast: Gal Gadot, Chris Pine, Connie Nielsen, Robin Wright, Danny Huston, David Thewlis, Said Taghmaoui, Ewen Bremner, Eugene Brave Rock, Lucy Davis, Elena Anaya
Directed by: Patty Jenkins
Genre: Action, Adventure, Fantasy
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for sequences of violence and action, and some suggestive content
Running Time: 2 hrs. 21 min.
Release Date: June 2, 2017
Distributed by: Warner Bros.
Released in: 2D, 3D where available
The comments within this review are the critic’s expressed opinions.