Part comic book superhero, part Greek mythology, part “Star
Wars”-type good vs. evil conflict, “Wonder Woman” is a surprisingly
cohesive narrative. Though
definitely an action movie, it also features a good sense of wry humor,
and---how can you be more politically correct?----is all about female
Gal Gadot, the Israeli model-turned-actress, is especially suited
for this statuesque, athletic action hero role.
The whole movie is a flashback from the present, in “Wonder
Woman”'s guise as Diana Prince, as a way of introducing the viewer to
her “backstory,” beginning with her childhood on a sheltered island
Here's where the mythology breaks in.
Zeus created man in his image, and man started out good, but Ares,
Zeus' son, was jealous of the affection Zeus was developing for mankind,
so Ares became the god of war, and caused man to dissolve into greed,
avarice, and violence. Athena
counters by creating a race of (female)
Amazon warriors who will keep the peace in the world (similar to the
Jedi?), and they spend their lives in training for their important
Diana knows her mother is the Queen of the Amazons, but her mother
is so anxious to protect her daughter that she tells her nothing of her
origins, and forbids the Amazon training for her, a command which her own
sister disobeys. But Diana
still doesn't know she's descended from Zeus, and is herself a demigod.
Her mother decides she can find that out on her own, when she
decides to leave the island “to fulfill her destiny.”
Enter the handsome World War One flying ace, Steve, played by Chris
Pine. He crash-lands in the
ocean just off the coast of the Amazon island, and Diana, now grown (and
not a little curious), rescues him just in time for the War to follow him
in the form of pursuing Germans (always the bad guys).
Diana thinks that this “war to end all wars” must be her call
to duty, though Steve keeps trying to tell her that the thing is a big
mess and no one person can make that much difference.
Diana, though, believes the story book her mother always read to
her, that if Ares, the god of war, is slain, then there will be no more
Naturally, Steve and Diana develop an attraction for each other,
but since this is the comics, we're only going to suggest any lovemaking.
We're too busy trying to save the world here.
OK, what sounds like a convoluted mess of a plot actually isn't,
because award-winning Director Patty Jenkins maintains a tight pacing, and
is smart enough to spend most of the camera time on her two big stars, and
keep everyone else secondary. It's
fast-paced, it's fun to watch, and it preps us for more Wonder Woman
appearances in future superhero films.
Girl power, anyone?