Normally I don’t start film reviews this way but, “Wow!” 100 times over. Why all the excitement, you ask? Because yesterday morning – and one day after arriving home from a Las Vegas adventure, I caught the first screening of Wonder Woman, the highly anticipated superhero film by Academy Award-nominated director Patty Jenkins (Monster) and starring Gal Gadot, Robin Wright, and Chris Pine. I don’t count myself as a superhero film fan but Wonder Woman is the only exception. And Jenkins has created an action masterpiece for the ages. One hell of a patriarchy-smashing hit.
Set during World War I, Diana of Themyscira aka “Wonder Woman” (Gadot), daughter of the Amazonian Queen Hippolyta (played by Connie Nielsen) and niece to the equally badass General Antiope (Wright), leaves her home of Themyscira (also home to the coolest, most badass Amazonia women warriors on the planet) to aid pilot Steve Trevor (Pine) – who crash landed on Themyscira – in the fight against war and injustice. Aside from a few lines of dialogue that showcase an era when life was less than equal for women, the chemistry between Gadot and Pine’s characters stays engaging and hilarious at times, instead of the usual “Hollywood way” where they turn a strong female character’s narrative into the eye-rolling, sexist “I-need-a-man-because-I’m-a-damsel-in-distress” narrative. In an attempt to not give away the rest of the film, I recommend everyone young and old go see this film. It’s a film – even in these divided, negative times in the world – that is much-needed. It’ll inspire you, it’ll make you feel better about the future, but most of all, it’ll make you happy to see a female-directed film go on to (in no time) become a global smash hit – all while Wonder Woman kicks major butt on the screen. That is amazing female empowerment.
In terms of favorite scenes, Antiope and the Amazonian women warriors on Themyscira and the now iconic No Man’s Land sequence are easily my favorites. But that No Man’s Land sequence. What an incredible piece of action filmmaking and storytelling. Out of the trenches comes Wonder Woman, the ever badass superhero who charges in – while the German army fires bullets and other artillery all around her – and leads Pine and his team of soldiers into battle. But, like I’ve mentioned earlier, one has to see the film to see just how incredible that scene is.
In short, just go see it when you can. It is that good.