Movie: WONDER WOMAN
Rating: PG-13, sequences of violence
and action, and some suggestive content
Release Date: June 2, 2017
Jeanne: "Wonder Woman" is the first superhero film, featuring the fantastic female actress Gal Gadot as the title character, to be directed by a woman, Patty Jenkins. Is Hollywood finally making some progress? I certainly hope this will help turn the tide, because "Wonder Woman" is really an exceptional movie.
For those of you, like my illustrious partner, David, who are not diehard fans of superhero characters, "Wonder Woman" may help change your opinion. Based on the DC Comics "star" of the same name, and boasting a strong, well-written screenplay by Allan Heinberg, who also developed this original storyline with Zack Snyder and Jason Fuchs, "Wonder Woman" has the power to make converts out of the naysayers.
Young Diana (Lilly Aspell), Amazon princess, daughter of Queen Hippolyta (Connie Nielsen) and Zeus, lives on the island of Themyscira and yearns to become a great warrior like her mother and her aunt, General Antiope (Robin Wright). Hippolyta is strongly against her training, but her sister, Antiope, advises her of the importance of Diana being able to defend herself.
As an adult, Diana (Gadot) rescues an American pilot, Steve Trevor (Chris Pine), from his sunken wreckage in the ocean off the shores of Themyscira. She learns about the great World War I being waged and determines she must leave with Steve to help save the world and bring an end to the war.
Steve has stolen the handbook of Dr. Maru/Dr. Poison (Elena Anaya), which contains her recipe for a diabolical mustard gas, a weapon the Germans need to win the war. Dr. Maru's confidante and enabler is General Erich Ludendorff (Danny Huston), a madman who dreams of annihilating the enemy. It is up to Steve and Diana to stop these two before hundreds of thousands innocent people perish.
Gadot is marvelous --- the perfect Wonder Woman! Fans of the TV series will forever love Lynda Carter as the Wonder Woman of the '70s, but Gadot is every bit as good as Carter --- perhaps even a little better. Her physicality is amazing. She trained heavily in different martial arts and gained 17 pounds of muscle for this role --- and it shows. Though Heinberg's intelligent script allows no cheesy, throwaway lines, it is Gadot who carries this movie and makes "Wonder Woman" her own.
Pine and the rest of the cast are all acceptable, with Steve delivering much of the levity, which films such as this must contain. As one would expect, the special visual effects are spectacular --- my favorite being Wonder Woman's flaming lasso. Also, the original score by Rupert Gregson-Williams adds the requisite punch to the action.
Don't be fooled. "Wonder Woman" may look like just another superhero movie --- but it's not. It's a tour-de-force by Gadot, not to be taken lightly.
Opinion: See It Now!
David: Wow! A superhero who flies through the air, vanquishes foes with precision and alacrity, and looks great in a dress...huh? It's not Superman --- it's "Wonder Woman", and as Israeli actress Gal Gadot proves, she's as heroic and as entertaining as any man.
The beautiful 32-year-old Gadot performs her own stunts after studying a variety of martial arts techniques. And in "Wonder Woman", the first movie dedicated to this female super heroine, her exploits are as welcome as her rapport with co-star Chris Pine as Steve Trevor, the American pilot who finds himself falling in love with the Amazon princess called Diana.
Director Patty Jenkins, who helmed "Monster", the movie that earned Charlize Theron her Academy Award for Best Actress, proves she can handle a fast-paced adventure as well as anybody. Actually, given that the battle scenes in "Wonder Woman" are blissfully short --- Jeanne and I always rail against the protracted fight scenes with which male directors seem obsessed --- Jenkins knows when to yell "cut" on the action sequences.
Naturally, without a strong portrayal from whomever won the title role, "Wonder Woman" would not be the smash hit it will become. Gadot more than lives up to the challenge, and is as good at delivering her lines as she is handling a magical lariat.
Opinion: See It Now!