Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, January 11, 2018


Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) on the battlefield
WONDER WOMAN (2017). Director: Patty Jenkins.

During WW1, Steve Trevor (Chris Pine) of British Intelligence, winds up on the island of Themiscrya, where he is pursued by Germans and encounters Princess Diana (Gal Gadot of Batman V Superman) and a horde of warrior-like Amazons. Against her mother Hyppolyta's (Connie Nielsen) wishes, Diana decides to take off on a boat with Trevor and do what she can to stop Ares (David Thewlis), whom she believes is responsible for the current miserable state of the world. Never mind that it's hard to believe that an officer in British Intelligence would want to just take this strange gal with him on a secret mission, but Diana proves her mettle when she puts on her costume and reveals astonishing super-powers. Aside from Ares, Diana's adversaries include General Ludendoirff (Danny Huston of Hitchcock), and the disfigured Dr. Maru (Elena Anaya), a specialist in poison whose latest gas can seep through gas masks. As played by the talented Gal Gadot, this Wonder Woman (although she's never referred to as such), is an impressive heroine who combines strength and courage with compassion, and as such is a noble and inspiring figure. But the film itself is slow and unconvincing at times, with sporadic bursts of excitement and light show-battles that we've all seen before. The music (Rupert Gregson-Williams) helps and there is outstanding cinematography (especially in the Themiscrya sequences) by Matthew Jensen. Chris Pine is only adequate as Steve Trevor, who was as American as apple pie in the comic books. Robin Wright of House of Cards makes a notable Antiope, but she isn't around for very long. (If you're wondering why Adolf Hitler doesn't get into the action, remember this is World War One, not World War Two.)

Wonder Woman first appeared in comics in the forties. To explain away inconsistencies, it was decided that the Wonder Woman of WW2 (not WW1 as in this movie) was the "Earth-1" version and the Wonder Woman of modern times was from "Earth-2." Apparently the Wonder Woman of this movie is the same person and is simply immortal.

Verdict: Gadot is impressive; the movie less so. **1/2.


angelman66 said...

Have not seen this yet, sounds like it's OK to wait till it comes to HBO....

William said...

You can wait. But I'd be interested to hear what you think of it. It is beautiful to look at for most of its length.