- Director – Patty Jenkins
- Writer – Allan Heinberg
- Cast – Gal Gadot, Chris Pine, Connie Nielsen, Robin Wright, Danny Huston, David Thewlis, Elena Anaya, Saïd Taghmaoui, Ewen Bremner and others
In the recent flood of superhero movies, several have managed to be quite good, but Wonder Woman ranks as one of the few great ones. It’s a film that not only improves upon many of the seemingly built-in shortcomings of superhero movies, but also mixes smarts, sentiment and adrenaline in the best Hollywood style. This is a superior popcorn movie, no matter what the genre. It accomplishes this feat even while being an origin story.
On the island of Themyscira, Diana is raised as the only child among the warrior race of Amazons. Tracing their history back to Zeus and the Greek gods, the women were tasked with protecting mankind. But after a war between Zeus and Ares, the god of war, the gods were wiped out and the Amazons hidden from the rest of the world on their magically-protected island. Diana is an eager student and eventually becomes the most powerful warrior among the Amazons. She also begins exhibiting strange new powers that even amaze her fellow Amazonians. Diana’s world is changed forever when Steve Trevor stumbles upon their island in a damaged plane and crash lands on it. Unknown to the Amazons, World War I has been raging in the rest of the world and now it has found them.
Jenkins’ Wonder Woman is an origin story, but with its direct and relatively uncluttered trajectory, offers a welcome change of pace from a superhero realm that’s often overloaded with interconnections and cross-references. As it stands, it’s intermittently spot-on, particularly in the pops of humor and romance between the exotically kick-ass yet approachable Gadot and the supremely charismatic Chris Pine as an American working for British intelligence, the first man the Amazon princess has ever met.
All in all, Wonder Woman is a cohesive and gripping comic book-adapted origin story that gives the most famous female superhero a live-action entry worthy of the character’s legacy.