02 June, 2017
Wonder Woman is now rolling out into cinemas.
The DC films have had a really rocky start - but it appears the tide may be turning.
The specific god to be thanked for WW, if she'll excuse the familiarity, is Zeus. Director Patty Jenkins crafted a near-perfect interpretation of Diana as a character, making the movie amusing without being forced, and sensitively depicting the horrors of WWI without dragging the story down.
Remember that episode? Back then her reviews were decidedly more mixed. Through him she learns about the war-ravaged outside world of 1918 and decides she needs to put an end to the conflict. Here, she's a figure of remarkable totemic power.
The last one is yet another that plays with mythology, and that is Queen Clea. She was invented in 1941 by William Moulton Marston, a Harvard-trained Ph.D. psychologist-cum-advice columnist for Family Circle magazine. Also, and not insignificantly, the warriors led by General Antiope (Robin Wright), are some of the fiercest babes ever to grace the screen. Amazons can die, she knows this first hand.
We have a female director in Patty Jenkins (her "Monster" won an Oscar for Charlize Theron) helming this movie, and her confident vision is obvious from the opening scenes of this origin story. She also conveys a sense of wonder as Diana tries to understand the fashion, politics and food of her new surroundings. "But when it comes to bodily pleasure..." And they gave her a cape draped round her neck and shoulders, making her bust less prominent. Until First World War spy Steve Trevor (Chris Pine, the flawless, charmingly lovestruck foil to Gadot) pitches up pursued by German planes, no mortal man had ever visited the island. Full marks go to Allan Heinberg's screenplay that keeps you riveted throughout the story's undulating journey. Since getting her own title in 1942, Wonder Woman has been published by DC Comics continuously (apart from a short break in 1986).
This also reminds us that superhero movies don't have to be all about punching the bad guys - Diana does not so much as raise her sword until she reaches the German trench, rather relying on her bullet-deflecting bracelets and her Amazonian shield.
"The fact that Superman and Batman have gotten a bajillion reboots and we're finally getting a Wonder Woman movie is insane", said Myisha Haynes, 31, a video game marketing artist in Berkeley. In it, she is an aristocratic young woman who suffers from a split personality in the form of the Cheetah. By the end, Steve's sacrifice (among other things) convinces Diana that humanity is worth saving and it ends with her as a fully-fledged superhero ready to defend the world. She battles a fiendish German plot to weaponise nerve gas. Strong before sexy, and with all her super-powered accessories updated too.
This is where "Wonder Woman" really takes off, but the film is in no hurry to get to the battlefield. Gadot radiates the goodness without sentimentality or wide-eyed winsomeness. It's LONG. Seriously, can a comic book film not clock in at under two hours anymore?There's some sections spent with Diana's new found team, including a Scottish soldier (Ewen Bremner) and a Native American smuggler (Eugene Brave Rock) that feel like filling time. There's not a single moment when he isn't being a pig, so when he makes a grand speech that he doesn't view women as damsels in distress and defends his gender, I was rolling my eyes. "She's just so obviously made for men to look at and ogle, '" said Lepore. No small feat when your action is set during the Great War.
Of course it will. She is the flawless Wonder Woman - a true blue hero who's as believable in her bafflement of women's fashions and social mores as she is dead-lifting a tank and swatting away machine gun fire with only her arm cuff.
If it takes a hippie kick-ass warrior demigoddess with thigh-length boots and a forehead tiara to rescue another DC movie, so be it.