After ages of hype since first dropping into the action in Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, Diana Prince has taken center stage at last in Wonder Woman. Was it worth the wait?
It begins with a young Diana in Themyscira, known as the “hidden” island. There the Amazons have lived a peaceful existence for thousands of years until … Let’s back up.
Diana (Gal Gadot) is the daughter of Queen Hippolyta (Connie Nielsen). As the film opens we see Diana at an early age desiring to be a warrior like the other Amazons. Diana watches the others honing their battle skills and can’t contain her enthusiasm to join in. Queen Hippolyta will not allow Diana to join in the fun… She seems overly fearful about Diana becoming a skilled fighter. Eventually the queen concedes and allows Diana to train with her aunt, General Antiope (Robin Wright) even though, as we learn, with good reason she is still very resistant to Diana’s training. But Diana excels under her beloved aunt and eventually spars with her. It’s then that Diana learns why she has felt different from everyone on the island, and it’s also at this moment Diana learns the key to her difference makes her a mighty warrior.
Shortly after Diana has found herself to be stronger, faster and fiercer than the other Amazons, everything changes. An American military pilot crashes through the barrier hiding Themyscira from the rest of the word. His plane lands in the water just offshore. Steve Trevor (Chris Pine) is an American spy who draws Diana away from her safe nest and into the horrible word of men — a world that is in the middle of a Great War that Diana attributes to Ares’ influence on mankind. Look for some surprises as Diana meet face to face with the God of War!
The brilliant decision to give us the backstory of Diana and a visual of where her “innate” goodness comes from helps us understand Wonder Woman’s passion to fight evil and do good. This movie ties together the Wonder Woman series we grew up watching on television with DC’s struggling cinematic universe.
Pine has perfect comedic timing, and as Steve and Diana spend time fighting evil their chemistry on screen is off the charts.
Another brilliant decision was made in using World War I as the backdrop for this film. Moving through the aftermath of war compels us to look within ourselves and find our love for humanity.
Danny Huston (General Lunden) was a perfect choice and makes a believable, if overzealous, evil general, akin to his role in the X-Men universe’s Wolverine franchise. His sidekick and psycho-scientist Doctor Poison (Elena Anaya) makes for a wonderfully sick duo poised for world dominance.
Everything about this film is refreshing. The action is perfectly illustrated with the right amount of CG; the comedic banter is in place and relevant. The heartbreak of war is cleverly shown without graphic mutilation scenes. Perfect!
Brunette girls everywhere will want to be Wonder Woman and young lads will no doubt dream of growing up to be a spy!
I loved this film for many reasons, not the least of which were the memories of childhood fantasy of having the lasso of truth!
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