Will wonders never cease? The DC Universe finally gets it right.
And really, it could’ve gone either way with ‘Wonder Woman’. After all, she was part of the cluttered ‘Batman V Superman’, making the transition to origin tale a probable bumpy one. Yet, with director Patty Jenkins (who hasn’t helmed a feature film since 2003’s ‘Monster’) taking on this vehicle with nothing but confidence, ‘Wonder Woman’ is not only a great comic book film…..it’s a great FILM, period; a self-assured balance of feminine gusto and franchise appeal.
Gal Gadot stars as Wonder Woman, a.k.a. Diana Prince, a princess of the Amazons, a race of demi-gods meant to protect mankind from the wrath of Ares, God of War. The Amazons live in picturesque solitude, waiting for Ares’ inevitable return – instead, it’s a soldier, Steve Trevor (Chris Pine) who arrives on the shores of Diana’s paradise island, delivering the news that WWI is raging, and mass destruction of the planet and its people is imminent. Finally with an opportunity to be a peacemaker, Diana elects to visit the human realm, plans to kill Ares (she’s assured, based on Trevor’s accounts, that the God of War has indeed re-surfaced) and put an end to all evil.
From there, ‘Wonder Woman’ is sort of a fish-out-of-water tale (granted, this fish is sporting armor), as Diana’s naivety and almost childlike view of war only add to her charm. Rest assured, when it’s buttkickin’ time, Jenkins delivers some electric stuff – but the heart of ‘Wonder Woman’ is its story….a yarn that unravels beautifully with a profoundly sharp sense of both theme and character. Sure, the film is well over two hours in length. But for once, especially compared to the ever-growing stack of often overweening comic book fare tossed our way, we have a movie so good that time flies as effortlessly as its title character.
Armed with a very intelligent script and some crackling chemistry between Gadot and Pine – on loan from the Star Trek series – ‘Wonder Woman’ appears to be DC’s roster member to shake off the glitches out of the gate and get this gang on track to actually compete with Marvel in the spandex-clad storytelling business.
That’s not saying the upcoming ‘Justice League’ is suddenly a slam dunk. But admit it – you’re feeling a LITTLE bit better about it now, aren’t you?