To get straight to the point, Wonder Woman is a soaring achievement that encapsulates all the best qualities of a superhero movie. It is truly a wonderful film (I’m sorry). Patty Jenkins helms this flick as the first female to direct a superhero film, an amazing achievement in itself. Gal Gadot stars as the titular character, and lives on the island of Themyscira amongst the Amazonians where she trains to become a warrior. One day, Steve Trevor, a spy working for British Intelligence, crashes on the shores of Themyscira. After certain events transpire, Diana becomes compelled to enter a world ravaged by World War I and put a stop to it.
All the Negative Nancies can hang their heads in shame as Gal Gadot is excellent as Diana/Wonder Woman. She captures the strength, grace, and the naiveté of Wonder Woman in a convincing and nuanced fashion. The construction of her character and her belief in love and helping others are heroic and inspiring. Chris Pine as Steve Trevor is brilliant. He surprises as he becomes a character with real emotional depth. The supporting cast, including Robin Wright and Connie Nielsen, as Diana’s aunt and mother respectively are great as well. Director Patty Jenkins and screenwriter Allan Heinberg execute emotionally resonant character arcs for both Wonder Woman and Steve Trevor. As the stakes rise, we, as audience members, truly care about Diana and Steve and what is happening to them. The DCEU is known to be steeped in darkness, yet Jenkins and Heinberg find a perfect balance between levity and darkness as well as empowering optimism and pessimism. They are also not afraid to let the camera linger on smaller human moments in this larger-than-life blockbuster. This is perhaps the first big budget Hollywood film that gets feminism right; Jenkins does not hit you over the head with it but instead includes it as a palpable undercurrent. She gets that feminism is not about making men look like little bitches. Rather, it about putting women on equal footing with men through empowerment. This is seen through Diana’s relationship with Steve and his gang; it is a mutual relationship where everyone learns from one another. The action in Wonder Woman is stunningly shot. It exudes all the best qualities of Snyder-esque action scenes.
The film hits with unexpected emotion at the end that might make one shed a tear. The underdeveloped villains and a less-than-stellar final battle are perhaps the only complaints I can find with Wonder Woman. Other than that, Wonder Woman is a win for the DC Cinematic Universe, replete with thrilling moments, great characters, and brisk, yet brilliantly conceived, plot. You will leave the theater inspired to be a hero. Here’s to a great opening weekend and box office performance!
Rating: 4.25 lassos of truth out of 5