Wonder Woman (M)

In a word: Complete

Wonder Woman  

Gal Gadot stars as Wonder Woman. PICTURE: Clay Enos/TM & © DC Comics

 

"While it doesn't offer anything exceptionally different, Wonder Woman majors on story to deliver an action film which comes with pretty much everything expected."

Introduced as a somewhat mysterious figure in 2016's Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, Wonder Women (aka Diana Prince) here comes into her own in what is largely a prequel designed to tell her story and explain the mysterious photograph seen earlier which depicts her during World War I.

The daughter of the Amazon queen Hippolyta (Connie Nelson), Diana (played as an adult by Gal Gadot), has an idyllic, if somewhat lonely, childhood on the island of Themyscira which Zeus has hidden away from the world and their enemy, his son Ares, the god of war, to keep it safe. Despite her mother's reservations, Diana trained in the ways of an Amazon warrior by her aunt Antiope (played by Robin Wright), a fact which stands her in good stead when the tranquil existence of the Amazons is rudely interrupted by the arrival of an American pilot, Steve Trevor (Chris Pine), who crash lands into the sea near the island.

Hot on his heels is a German warship - turns out Trevor is a spy who has just stolen some important information about a new chemical weapon from the Germans, in particular nasty army head General Ludendorff (Danny Huston) and his evil chemist Dr Maru (Elena Anaya) which could turn the tide of World War I, currently being fought in the world outside.

Fighting ensues and, having repelled the Germans, Diana, despite her mother's forebodings, decides to accompany Steve out into the world - him on a mission to deliver the information he has stolen to the British High Command, led by Sir Patrick (David Thewlis), and her to find and kill Ares using a special 'God-killer' sword kept for that purpose in her homeland.

A period adventure romp, the Patty Jenkins-directed Wonder Woman marks a return to form for DC in the wake of the rather one-dimensional Batman V Superman and the somewhat amoral Suicide Squad with story once more coming to the fore. Sure, there's still plenty of fighting but there's more to the film than just that - alongside the story of their hunt to put an end to the "war to end all wars", Diana's naivety makes a central theme as she ventures into the world outside her home (and by-and-large takes it surprisingly well).

There's plenty of special effects (although no invisible jet) but, despite the mythical origins and character of the star, the film doesn't overly rely on them. And screenplay writer Allan Heinberg and story creator Zach Snyder don't overly rely on gender politics either. There's even time for some interesting philosophical observations about the nature of war.

While it doesn't offer anything exceptionally different, Wonder Woman majors on story to deliver an action film which pretty much comes with everything expected.