I love the DCEU movies. I know a lot of people won’t agree with me on that one, and I can understand that up to now they have each been flawed, but there’s nothing quite like watching your favourite superheroes come to life all over again. However, for Diana of Themyscira, Wonder Woman has never had a big screen movie, ever. Until now.
Gal Gadot’s first portrayal of the Amazonian princess lit up the dark brutality of Batman Vs Superman: Dawn Of Justice, with a quick but satisfying look at just how wonderful a cinematic Wonder Woman can be. Gadot’s return to the leading DC heroine is certainly triumphant, and honestly, I can’t imagine anyone else in the title role.
Not only is she beautiful, Gadot gives a powerful performance not just through impossible punches, but her ability to evoke audiences with her likeability, bravery and determination. When discovering the real world for the first time, she embodies a wide-eyed childlike innocence, and even a naivety when telling of her plans to kill Ares, the God Of War, a plan she hopes will destroy all wars once and for all.
If you’ve read the comics, specifically the New 52 storylines, you’ll probably already have a good idea of the plot’s mythology, that includes Greek Gods and Themyscira, a concealed island that solely consists of female warriors known as the Amazons. Diana is the daughter of Queen Hippolyta (Connie Neilsen), a daughter that, in the Queen’s words, was sculpted from clay, and given life by Zeus. Diana trains with her aunt Antiope (Robin Wright) against her mother’s wishes, with an ambition in sight; to fight for those who cannot fight for themselves.
Chris Pine may be somewhat used to playing a handsome male lead, but Steve Trevor is more than a damsel in distress when his plane crash-lands in Diana’s paradise island. Trevor is an American spy working for British Intelligence during WW1, and demonstrates a heroic bravery that proves you don’t need superpowers to be a hero. The onscreen chemistry between Gadot and Pine is vibrant and provides some great emotional moments that will make you laugh, cry and everything in-between.
The large supporting assemble, which includes (but certainly not limited to) Danny Huston, David Thewlis and Elena Anaya were all perfectly cast. Anaya in particular was eerily creepy as the facially scarred Dr Poison. My personal favourite supporting performance came from Lucy Davis as the delightfully charming Etta Candy, Steve Trevor’s British secretary who has a quick-wit and laugh-out-loud comedic timing.
Story-wise, I couldn’t really fault a thing, apart from perhaps I might’ve liked to have seen the story set in WW2 like the original comic, but at the same time it doesn’t really make a tonne of difference. Far swifter pacing than the previous DCEU movies, with literal jaw-dropping cinematography that really does make you gaze with wonder. A couple of scenes left tears in my eyes just from the sheer beauty and powerful sense of justice. Not to mention, there is a MASSIVE plot twist, which I wouldn’t have predicted. Director Patty Jenkins should be immensely proud of herself and her show stopping production team. Not only is Jenkins the first woman to have directed a female-centred blockbuster superhero movie, but she’s done a fantastic job of giving Diana the movie she thoroughly deserved, and even worth waiting several decades for.
Wonder Woman truly is a role model for female kind; witnessing such a badass woman overcome stereotypes and prejudices (many of which, despite the 1910’s setting of the movie, women still have to face to this year) to save the day really does make everyone’s inner feminist cheer. I really believe that this a movie any woman who has ever been treated unequally at any point in her life, should watch. Whether we’re immortal Amazon warrior super heroines or not, we are ALL Wonder Women.
What did you make of Wonder Woman‘s big screen story? Let me know in the comments!
*All photos are official stills from the movie, distributed by Warner Bros.*