WONDER WOMAN (12A)
SHOWCASE CINEMA DE LUX PETERBOROUGH, OUT NOW
CAST: GAL GADOT, CHRIS PINE, DAVID THEWLIS, DANNY HUSTON, ROBIN WRIGHT, CONNIE NIELSEN, LUCY DAVIS, EWEN BREMNER, SAID TAGHMAOUI, EUGENE BRAVE ROCK & ELENA ANAYA
RUNNING TIME: 2 HRS 21 MINS
DIRECTOR: PATTY JENKINS
It has taken some time to properly launch DC Comic’s Extended Universe – but thanks to a woman’s touch it has finally happened.
In fact it’s actually a women’s touch with both Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman herself – which lassoed in a female superhero film record-breaking $103m opening weekend Stateside – and director Patty Jenkins – who had the biggest opening weekend for a female director – both deserving immense praise for delivering a spectacle Warner Bros so badly needed with Justice League coming out later this year.
After the middling Man of Steel and terribly disappointing Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, DC were definitely playing catch up to Marvel, but this origin story of arguably the most famous of all female superheroes – a worthy mix of likeable characters, sense of humour, well-devised action sequences, and a story with a pulse -takes this to the upper echelons of the genre.
Trained as an unconquerable warrior on a sheltered paradise (a godly-devised women-only land hidden from the outside world) – under the guidance of mentor Antiope (Forrest Gump’s Robin Wright) and overprotective mother Queen Hippolyta (Gladiator’s Connie Nielsen) – Gadot’s (Fast and Furious series) Diana leaves her home to fight alongside man in World War I, after American pilot Steve Trevor (Star Trek’s Chris Pine) crashes on her island shores and tells about the massive conflict raging in the outside world.
Convinced she can stop the threat – believing this is the doing of the God of War Ares –the Amazonian Princess goes on a quest to discover her full powers and true destiny to evolve into Wonder Woman, as she takes on the might of ambitious German general (X-Men Origins: Wolverine’s Danny Huston) and his disfigured killer gas-making sidekick Dr Maru (Elena Anaya).
While the last third peters out a touch with a fairly generic climax that is a good fifteen minutes too long, the first two-thirds of the film – which boasts some thrillingly-crafted set-pieces – are so enjoyable it easily eradicates one or two minor flaws.
Israeli actress Gadot – who was initially maligned for being too thin and not voluptuous enough (with TV actress Linda Carter used as a yardstick) – proves to be a perfect fit for the title character, with Pine (with arguably a career best performance) and British actress Lucy Davis (TV series The Office), providing exceptional support.
That all adds up to a simply wonderful superhero movie that is arguably the best blockbuster film of the summer so far.
Rating: 4/5 Gavin Miller