Short reviews for clear and concise verdicts on a broad range of films…
Wonder Woman (Dir. Patty Jenkins/2017)
In 2019, after 20 films, Marvel will release Captain Marvel. This is the first superhero film from the studio to be led by a female character. DC, in contrast, has beaten them to the punch with Wonder Woman. Directed by Patty Jenkins, and starring Gal Gadot in the titular role, this is also the best film in the DC extended universe. On the hidden island of Themyscira, with a Queen (Diane Kruger) for a mother and the finest warrior among the Amazonians as an Aunt (Robin Wright), Diane is set for greater things. These begin when an American spy (Chris Pine) drops into the ocean and she’s told of the war “to end all wars” – World War I. Believing this is the God of War, Ares, she decides to leave the island to stop him. There are shades of Saving Private Ryan and Thor in this thrilling take on Wonder Woman. Diana Princes’ first cinematic outing, she radiates strength and holds effortless sincerity to pave the way for a series that can only get better. The introduction of the Amazonians slick, collective fighting style aches for more. Gadot’s commanding presence here makes her more significant in the upcoming Justice League, despite Batman’s bullish position established in Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice. Unexpectedly, it is deeply moving when she storms through no-man’s land and heart-breaking in its tragic end, despite the inevitable cross-over beats we’ve seen in other comic stories. Truly wonderful, Wonder Woman puts DC back on track.