Review of 'Wonder Woman'

wonder_woman.jpg On the beautiful island paradise of Themyscira is the home of the Amazons, all-female warrior clan. The island is protected from the outside world by a shield put into place by Zeus after casting Ares, the god of war, into the world of men. A young princess, Diana (played by Lilly Aspell), yearns to train with the other warriors but is forbidden by her mother, Queen Hippolyta (Connie Nielsen), who is convinced there is no reason for her daughter to become a warrior. Defying her mother in secret Diana sneaks away at night to train with General Antiope (Robin Wright). Over time she becomes a powerful and talented warrior. When a plane crashes through the protective shield the pilot, Steve Trevor (Chris Pine) is rescued by Diana (Gal Gadot). She is told that there is a great evil in the world and that many nations are fighting in the “war to end all wars” (World War 1). Convinced the war is being orchestrated by Ares, Diana leaves the island with Steve to seek him out. It is near the end of the war and the armistice is about to be signed but German General Erich Ludendorff (Danny Huston) is convinced he can lead Germany to victory with the help of his chief chemist Dr. Isabel Maru, AKA Dr. Poison (Elena Anaya), who is on the brink of developing a gas weapon. Diana is quickly caught up in the reality of a world at war and must come to terms with the fact that life is more complicated than she thinks.

One of the few superhero movies that has actually made me feel for the main character as her simplistic view of the world comes crashing down as she is thrown headlong into dirty and gritty death and destruction without honour and often with meaning. Shown that life involves compromises for the greater good it is a hard lesson to learn. The story is told from Diana's viewpoint and we grow to care for her but dread the reality we can see she must face. What could have been a silly, light story much like the original television series staring Linda Carter, “Wonder Woman” is anything but. Sure, she has the rather attractive (and fairly skimpy) outfit but it is made apparent very quickly that Diana is not to be messed with. The action sequences are breathtaking and very well realised seldom dipping into the absurd (yes, save for the finale where things get slightly more…fantastical).

It is refreshing to see the female lead treated very respectfully without the cliches of the flashing of lots of flesh and sex left right and centre. There is a flirtation with Pine's character but this is very much a minor plot element and it is the strength of Gadot's Diana that predominates. Her innocence and conviction in what she believes to be true makes her eventual revelations that much more painful to watch. It is her strength of character that allows her to adapt to her new reality and do the right thing. A much more compassionate and human super-hero.

The predictable big action finale delightfully has it's share of surprises which will keep viewers on the edge of their seats. Here's hoping this is the first of many big screen outings by the Amazonian princess. Yeah, ok, suspend your disbelief at the fantastic elements involving the gods and enjoy an amazingly well-executed superhero film.

Rating: “I have absolutely no complaints”

Review Date: 2017-06-27

Directed by: Patty Jenkins

Studio: Atlas Entertainment

Year: 2017

Length: 141 minutes

Genre: Action/Adventure

Other reviewed films by Patty Jenkins: