Film review | Wonder Woman: A (wonder) woman for all seasons... probably

Wonder Woman is a competent-and-confident attempt at finally giving the beleaguered DC Comics cinematic universe a much-needed uplift • 3/5

teodor_reljic
Teodor Reljic
14 June 2017, 10:01am
Gal Gadot is a heroine worth rooting for in the DC Universe’s first cinematic success
Gal Gadot is a heroine worth rooting for in the DC Universe’s first cinematic success
Diana (Gal Gadot) is raised in an Amazonian island created as a refuge for like-minded and like-skilled female warriors by Zeus, who puts this plan into action after the god of war, Ares, nearly cripples him and his entire pantheon – threatening the integrity of the entire world in the process. Raised by her mother Hippolyta (Connie Nielsen) and trained to fight – largely in secret – by her aunt General Antiope (Robin Wright), Diana’s world is quite literally shattered when a World War I flotilla of Germans breaches through the invisible forcefield of their world, bringing with them, however, the American spy Steven Trevor (Chris Pine). 

Taken as a hostage by the Amazonian coven, Trevor is subjected to the ‘lasso of truth’ to reveal the dynamics of the war and its impact on the world. A revelation which shakes Diana to her core and embarrasses her elders, revealing in turn the secret that they have been keeping from her all this time: contrary to what she was taught, Ares is still out there, albeit in an altered form. 

On this note, Diana goes against her mother’s wishes and joins Trevor on his trip back to war-torn Europe... but she’s surprised to learn that the ‘Ares’ she hopes to find and vanquish with her god-killer sword is a twistier beast than she could ever have imagined. 

Though it suffers from a CGI-explosive and generic final confrontation and even drags in parts, Wonder Woman is a competent-and-confident attempt at finally giving the beleaguered DC Comics cinematic universe a much-needed uplift, in the wake of the corrosive effect left by its ‘grimdark’ critical flops Man of Steel (2013), Batman v Superman (2016) and Suicide Squad (2016). 

Directed by Penny Marshall (Monster), Wonder Woman is certainly a much-needed small triumph of gender representation in a genre where this is sorely lacking, and Gadot takes to the role with gusto – boasting the slinky physicality required of the character while making great work of the character’s journey from naivete to realisation – in what is perhaps one of the most sustained and compelling superhero character arcs in recent memory.

teodor_reljic
Teodor Reljic is MaltaToday's culture editor and film critic. He joined t...