Movies: Wonder Woman

Starring: Gal Gadot, Chris Pine
Directed By: Patty Jenkins
Written By: Allan Heinberg (screenplay)
DC Entertainment, 2017
PG-13; 141 minutes
5 stars (out of 5)


I teared up a few times while watching this movie, seemingly at random. I mean, I honestly don't know why. There's a force of empathy behind this film; it has a depth most superhero movies lack or try to fake. And Gal Gadot is simply amazing. She brings such a blend of wonder and purpose to, well, Wonder Woman.

The story is straight forward enough. Diana, Princess of Themyscira saves a WWI pilot who flies into their bubble and crashes in the ocean. When she learns of the war, Diana feels compelled to go stop it. After all, it is the sacred duty of the Amazons to bring peace to mankind and to put an end to Ares, God of War.

Reluctantly, Diana's mother lets her go.

Cue the fish-out-of-water story in which Diana is introduced to the world. But while it has its funny moments, this is not played so much for laughs as for contrast. Diana sees what is and imagines what could be if only men weren't at war and under the influence of Ares. Her focus on her goal is a through line that holds things together. We see and feel Diana's pain whenever she witnesses some new act of insensible violence, whenever she reacts to seemingly bizarre pronouncements that will doom thousands of men to die. "How can you say that, believe that?" she cries, and we nod. We're used to thinking of war as hell, but here we're shown that war is pretty fucked up, too, and it's the little guy who pays the hefty bill for it.

I'll say some of the plot twists were pretty telegraphed, but that didn't detract from my enjoyment of the movie as a whole. This is well written, well acted, and beautifully directed and filmed. (Don't bother sitting through the credits, though; DC has opted not to follow Marvel into the world of little teaser scenes at the ends of their movies, at least in this case.)

Chris Pine does a nice job as the love interest. He's the typical Chris Pine type of character, but without the cocky smugness. In fact, he plays the fish out of water more than Gadot as Diana, as someone trying to steer this strange and beautiful woman through the world, and he does it well.

I'd say more but I don't want to give anything away to those who've yet to see the movie. In short, it's really good, and I was especially glad to be able to see it with my daughter, who was awed by Wonder Woman . . . And really wants some boots like hers?

1 comment:

Roland D. Yeomans said...

I also thoroughly enjoyed this movie as well. Gal Gadot's Israeli accent added to the feeling that she was not of Man's world. I hope WB decides to hire Patty Jenkins as the director of the sequel. WB seems intent on shooting itself in the foot with their movies. It would not have cost them that much to buy her out of the option for the sequel if the movie had bombed. Sigh. Lovely review.