Wonder Woman is an American superhero film based on the DC Comics character of the same name directed by Patty Jenkins and stars Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman/Diana Prince with Chris Pine, Robin Wright, Danny Huston, David Thewlis, Connie Nielsen and Elena Anaya in supporting roles. It is the fourth installment in the DC Extended Universe.
Set in 1918, the film tells the story of Diana who grows up on the island of Themyscira, home to the Amazon race of warrior women created by the gods of Mount Olympus to protect humankind. Queen Hippolyta (Connie Nielsen), Diana’s mother, forbids her from training as a warrior but her aunt General Antiope (Robin Wright) defies the Queen and secretly trains Diana.
When soldier Steve Trevor (Chris Pine) is rescued by Diana when his plane crashes off the coast of Themyscira he tells the Amazons of the Great War that is raging across Europe. Diana believes that Ares, the God of War, is responsible and wanting to ensure he is stopped she decides to leave with Steve to travel to Europe to find and defeat him.
Once they arrive they enlist the help of Steve’s secretary Etta Candy (Lucy Davis) and ally Sir Patrick Morgan (David Thewlis) as they put together a small team consisting of spy Sameer (Said Taghmaoui), marksman Charlie (Ewen Bremner) and smuggler Chief (Eugene Brave Rock) to help them find General Erich Ludendorff (Danny Huston) and his scientist Doctor Maru (Elena Anaya) who intend to release a deadlier form of mustard gas at the warfront.
Director Patty Jenkins gives us a beautifully told origin story which shows the transformation of Diana from a naive warrior to inspirational hero who provides a beacon of hope during dark times.
Visually the film succeeds with beautiful imagery and effects brought to the screen by Jenkins, cinematographer Matthew Jenson, production designer Aline Bonetto and costume designer Lindy Hemming.
Gal Gadot rises to the challenge of playing Diana portraying both her strength and innocence in equal measure as well as injecting warmth and humour into the character.
Chris Pine is charming as Steve who provides the love interest for Diana as well as being the main sounding board for her questions about mankind. Equally Diana plays a pivotal role in helping Steve understand what it means to be a hero.
The World War One setting allows for many action scenes which showcase Diana’s Amazonian fighting style and skills in battle using just her sword, shield and Lasso of Truth. This style of fighting versus the weaponry used by the soldiers and the changes in locations ensures the action never gets repetitive.
Where Wonder Woman does fall down is in the film’s major villain Ares. Though he appears throughout the film his character and motivation are not adequately developed resulting in this being shoe-horned into the final act of the film in a lengthy monologue to Wonder Woman when Ares confronts her. Having said that his presence does help to support Diana’s journey and development into a fully formed hero.
Overall Jenkins and Gadot have succeeded in bringing an origin story which is both exciting and inspiring and is worthy of the popular character!