Wonder Woman has been one of my favourite characters ever since I’ve been a little girl. I used to watch the series on a Saturday morning and I recall spinning around just like my heroine in the hope that I too would turn into Wonder Woman. If only! The film adaptation has been many decades in fruition, with Sandra Bullock a possible casting contender in one concept. While I am still intrigued by the idea of one of my favourite actresses in this role, I’m pleased to say that the long wait for this movie has been worth it.
The film opens with a sly nod to the DC universe before moving to the hidden island of Themyscira, home of the Amazon warriors. Here, we are introduced to Diana as the sole child on the island, where she dreams of becoming a warrior just like the rest of the female only tribe. While her mother (Connie Nielson) and Queen of the island is reluctant for Diana to follow in her footsteps, her aunt Antiope (Robin Wright) goes ahead and gives her private training on fighting tactics. Eventually, Queen Hippolyta relents once she discovers the secret lessons and hints at the mysterious origins behind Diana’s birth.
The catalyst for the movie’s events occur when spy Steve Trevor (Chris Pine) penetrates the shield protecting the island from the outside world by crashing in his plane. In a refreshing gender role reversal twist, he is rescued by Diana, who is no damsel in distress. Once Diana learns of World War I in the outside world, she is certain that it is the work of Ares, the god of war. She vows to defeat Ares by joining Steve on his mission and once she enters her unknown surroundings, her alter ego Diana Prince is born.
The casting of relative unknown Israeli Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman is a more accurate incarnation of an Amazonian goddess and stays true to its comic book origins. Gadot excels in the role and is the epitome of what I hoped to find in this new version. The actress has a remarkable essence that displays all the traits of nobility, truth and morality required in a superhero, often seen in just her expressions and mannerisms. The moment that Wonder Woman finally springs into action and reveals her costume is the defining scene of the movie and sure to bring a thrill of excitement to every true fan.
Despite DC’s dark reputation, Wonder Woman is full of comedic touches, which enhances the enjoyment of the movie. Gadot and Pine provide much light relief with their banter, although the romance element of the story feels rather contrived. However, it is only a minor part of the plot and does prove to be an essential story device. Supporting actors include David Thewlis, Ewan Bremner and Lucy Davis, who is almost unrecognisable in her role as Steve’s secretary.
The historical setting is an interesting choice, yet remains relevant in this current climate, as well as highlighting many of the movie’s themes regarding humanity. The movie questions the darkness within man and the cruel nature of the human race and emphasises the injustices and atrocities committed throughout history, alluding to issues of race and immigration. Ultimately, the film spreads the positive message that only hope and love can truly save the world.
“I will fight, for those who can not fight for themselves.”
After her appearance in the poorly received Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, the initial set up to Wonder Woman’s back story is complete in this film, paving the way for an exciting sequel. Director Patty Jenkins has confirmed that the next instalment will take place in the US. The movie has smashed box office records in its opening weekend and has been widely praised by critics and fans. To see a female heroine dominate the charts demonstrates the public’s demand for strong female characters. Wonder Woman’s kind traits show that she is a positive role model who deserves to rule the film world for many years to come.