When Zeus created mankind, Ares became jealous of them. Ares corrupted men to make them jealous and violent. To combat this, Zeus created the Amazons. This group of women were meant to calm men and bring peace back to the world. A battle erupted between the gods, which resulted in most of them being slain by Ares, and Ares himself badly wounded by Zeus.
Hippolyta (Connie Nielsen), queen of the Amazons, and Antiope (Robin Wright), the greatest Amazon warrior, train the Amazon army so they will be prepared if and when Ares returns. Diana (Lilly Aspell), Hippolyta’s daughter and the only child on the island, is spirited and wants nothing more than to be trained as a warrior.
Years later, a pilot named Steve Trevor (Chris Pines) lands on the island of Themyscira from the outside world, he tells Hippolyta and the Amazons of the horrors occurring in his world in what is known as the war to end all wars. Diana (Gal Gadot), believing that Ares must be behind this war, takes Steve back to his home to help him end the war.
With support from Sir Patrick (David Thewlis), a British politician, and Steve’s secretary Etta (Lucy Davis), Steve and Diana embark on a secret mission. They are joined by Steve’s friends Charlie (Ewen Bremner), Sameer (Saïd Taghmaoui), and The Chief (Eugene Brave Rock). While Diana is intent on finding and killing Ares to stop the war, Steve and the rest of the crew are hoping to stop Dr. Maru (Elena Anaya) and General Ludendorff (Danny Huston) before they can finish their deadliest weapon, which would kill thousands and ensure Germany’s victory in the war.
The DC Extended Universe has not had much luck finding its footing competing in the superhero movie world. Given the poor ratings of Man of Steel, Suicide Squad, and Batman v. Superman, I had my reservations going in to Wonder Woman. Gal Gadot and director Patty Jenkins far exceeded my expectations and crushed any notion that a female superhero movie can’t succeed.
Gal Gadot, whose Diana Prince/Wonder Woman was the lone high point of Batman v. Superman, shows that her character is worthy of her own film. Gal Gadot is a bad ass, plain and simple. As Diana, she cannot be bothered by the intricacies and procedures of the human world. She isn’t going to let any man tell her what she can and cannot do. It is her sense of duty to protect mankind that drives her. Gadot balances this with the innocence and naiveté of a woman who has never experienced this new world she is discovering and has never even met a man. Chris Pine gives Gadot plenty to work with. His character also is trying to do what is right to end the war. He may not entirely buy into everything Diana is saying or trying to do, but he never belittles her beliefs or who she is.
The story introduces aspects of Wonder Woman’s back story that I either didn’t know or I had long since forgotten. The focus of the film is the purity of Diana despite the chaos of the world she is now in. Patty Jenkins plays this story against a backdrop of nonstop action. It is intense and rarely lets up. It is well executed and really deserves to be seen in 3D (IMAX 3D if you can get it).
I’m hoping the DCEU can take note from just how well-crafted Wonder Woman is and use this momentum moving forward. The film has some gravity to it, but doesn’t bog itself down trying to be so foreboding like the other DC films have done. Even with the constant action, there is no blood or gore, or anything too scary. This means my 8-year-old daughter can watch it and see that women can be superheroes too. I can’t recommend Wonder Woman enough.