Let’s just address the sexy elephant in the room and say that they couldn’t have cast a more wondrous woman to play the titular symbolic icon. Wonder Woman may be a fictitious character, but Gal Gadot sure does make you believe. Hot Damn.
Created by Zeus, the Amazons where put on earth to thwart the corruption of his son Ares (the god of war) over mankind. However when a wounded Ares mortally injures his father in their final battle before disappearing, Zeus’ last act is to create something capable of stopping his son should he rise again: The Godkiller. Guarded by the Amazons, the weapon is hidden on Themyscira an island concealed from Ares and the outside world.
Born and raised on Themyscira, Princess Diana (Gal Gadot) has only known peace. Restless for more, she has trained all her life to be one of the best warriors on the island despite her mother, Queen Hippolyta’s objections. Diana’s chance to leave her idyllic life comes in the form of Captain Steve Trevor (Chris Pine) who crash lands on the island and starts talking about a War the Amazons don’t believe exists. Diana, convinced she can help stop the War by wielding the Godkiller and destroying Ares, leaves the island with Steve for good.
The world of men is more complex than described in all the books Diana has read, but her determination and her morality is her compass as she aims to bring down Erich Ludendorff a German General she believes to be the reincarnation of Ares. Though Steve may not believe in Ares as the root of all evil, that doesn’t mean that the work of the General and his accomplice, Doctor Poison isn’t very real, and needs to be stopped at all costs. Together and with the help of a few friends, Diana and Steve work to put an end to the War, one way or another.
There are a number of ways to approach an origin story and with Wonder Woman, the direction they took felt right. By focusing on a closed moment in history it allowed the audience to connect with Diana – to understand and sympathise with her, ultimately identifying with the person she will become by knowing the journey it took to get her there.
Though having the potential to be incredibly annoying, Diana’s nativity of the modern world was one of the strongest points of the movie. The vulnerability of such a personality made her likeable, added a subtle comedic element and allowed for growth of character development.
It’s funny that something like this has to be said in the year 2017, but it was fantastic that Wonder Woman was unapologetically allowed to lead. I don’t only mean in context of story whereby Diana had a mission almost completely separate from Steve Trevor, but also in the casting. No offence to Chris Pine but he was a pretty dulled down casting choice that meant he couldn’t accidentally or otherwise overshadow Gal Gadot and the overall theme of female empowerment connoted with Wonder Woman.
Heck I really enjoyed this movie but it wasn’t perfect. I have a few qualms with the way a few acts were questionably brushed off. So the Amazons had one job and they let a novice go off an complete it for them? Her mother just let her go without so much as a hint at what she was capable of…never too return? So the Amazons are just chilling on the their beach island leaving the world to its own devices? What is literally the point of them other than to now be eternally useless?
The declaration that, Only love will truly save the world was a little… wet. I’m not saying that it can’t be true…. but coming from the mouth of a great Amazonian warrior felt a little left field. I couldn’t help but think, if this had been a movie with a male lead would his conclusion have been so unnecessarily sappy?
My own personal vices aside, the movie dragged on towards the end which was a shame because it had such a solid set-up. Who made it a prerequisite for all these superhero movies to start pushing the 130 minute mark? Quality over Quantity people.
We have come to a point in time where Comics have their own movie sub-genre and as such comparisons are unavoidable. With that being said, to give a clear view of where Wonder Woman stands amongst the lot: It is way above Man of Steel, Batman Vs Superman: Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad in terms of story, character and development in the newly rebranded DC Extended Universe…. If you really want me to get controversial I would say it was way less annoying than Captain America: Civil War.
So what’s next for Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman? Well although a sequel has yet to be either announced or scheduled in the thoroughly plotted DCEU timeline, she will thankfully be back in Justice League which is to be released later this year.