Wonder Woman, released nationwide tomorrow, Cert 12a, ****
AS a woman and a fan of the superhero genre, I have longed for the day when Hollywood would get behind films with a female as the main protagonist.
We have had a golden age of superhero movies and no females have taken the lead. A magazine recently pointed out that of the 160 superhero movies since the dawn of Hollywood, only eight have had female protagonists.
Wonder Woman is the best example of these heroes. Debuting in comic form in 1941, the Amazonian warrior’s legacy has been far-reaching. But it is not since the 1970s, when Linda Carter played the goddess, that a female hero has fully captured the watcher rather than the reader.
Attempts at reboots failed, but I am delighted to say Wonder Woman has finally been brought to life.
Gal Gadot is the very embodiment of Diana of Themyscira — stunningly beautiful, staggeringly strong and sublimely skilled at fighting. We first meet Diana as a child on her island, where men do not exist and the women, the Amazonians, are diehard warriors waiting to protect the world should the god Ares ever return to it.
Diana’s mother Hippolyta (Connie Nielson) does not want her trained as a warrior, but her aunt, General Antiope (Robin Wright), secretly trains her at night until Diana is a young teenager when Hippolyta finds out. There is also a secret withheld from the girl...
Years later, the gorgeous Diana is powerful, graceful and stealthy. A plane crashes onto her island paradise bringing with it Captain Steve Trevor (Chris Pine), the first man Diana has seen and the subject of much curiosity.
He is closely followed by German soldiers baying for his blood. A swift, brutal battle leaves dead on both sides and Steve is questioned by an angry Hippolyta. He tells them of the war on earth, World War I, and details the death and destruction of humankind.
Diana knows she needs to travel to Earth and help protect the humans. She believes this is her calling, the purpose of her people. Her mother does not agree but does not stop her.
Arriving on Earth in 1918, Diana struggles to get to grips with how women are treated as beneath men, of how people are treated by other people and how humans believe in the notion that you cannot save everyone.
As Diana and Steve get closer to the front, they need to bring about the downfall of two leading Nazi scientists and Diana plans on finding the god of war to rid Earth of violence forever.
Do they succeed? Get your ticket and find out. You will not be disappointed.
Gadot is incredible, capturing the essence of Wonder Woman. She is marvellously wide-eyed as she navigates the world of men, naïve but never innocent. Her stunt skills are fantastic, mix this with her ability to portray empathy as well as passion and we have one fine performance. Pine is perfect as Steve. He is always watchable and intrinsically likeable. Steve shares qualities with Captain Kirk but here Pine tones down the swaggering and plays a gentler type of hero.
Ignoring the fact they are both gorgeous, the chemistry between Gadot and Pine is palpable and they are a dream pairing.
The action sequences are thrilling, the original soundtrack flawless and the comedy perfectly timed. The support cast, which includes Ewen Bremner, David Thewlis, and Lucy Davis, are solid but it’s the Amazons who give the strongest performances.
There are some small plot issues but the characterisations are faultless and there could not be a better Wonder Woman than Gal Gadot. Four Stars of Wonderment.
Wonder Woman has arrived, and long may she remain.