At last, a female super hero! And directed by a female too! Totally all about female empowerment, this film. Has DC got a winning formula under its utility belt in this latest comic book adaptation asks our Film Editor Richard Doherty ?
Starting off on an idyllic, exotic/ancient Greek-esque island, filled with beautiful, athletic and powerful Amazonian warriors, we find ourselves thrust in to a world where these ladies are hidden from the gaze of the normal world because of the powers of Zeus, King of the Gods, to protect them from the wrath of Ares, God of War. Hang on…did I jump in a bit too far? OK, let me step back:
Zeus made man in his own image.
Ares corrupted man with evil.
Gods made Amazons to remind them of love and all that is good.
Amazons end up fighting for Zeus against Ares.
Zeus wins against Ares but wants to protect the Amazons from any future harm…so hides them.
So, we’re on this hidden-from-the-outside-world paradise where these women spend their time perfecting their battle skills, ready for the day that they are called upon to defend themselves against Ares and his powers of evil. Suddenly, a plane breaks through the shield of invisibility that surrounds the island of Themyscira and Diana, our Wonder Woman (played by the beautiful Gal Gadot), dives in to save the pilot, a First World War American working for British Intelligence (played by Chris Pine). Yes, that’s right, in the outside world the First World War is raging unbeknownst to these ladies. Upon this news that people are dying en mass, Diana decides to leave the sanctity of Themyscira to uphold her duty, to fight and defend man against evil under the belief that this is Ares, back to destroy mankind.
Now we get the Wonder Woman those of us of a certain age will remember: an outfit of Gold and Red on top, Blue on the bottom and with wrist guards that deflect bullets, a rope that compels people to tell the truth and some kick-arse, ballsy strength with no fear and a drive to defend mankind. Sorry to spoil anyone’s hopes but there’s no comical invisible plane though (I know, I was disappointed too).
Diana and Steve (that’s Chris Pine’s character, by the way) begin their quest to defeat the Germans and rid the world of Ares’ threat once more. The Germans are working on a terrible new form of gas weapon that would win them the war and our duo soon pick up some of Steve’s old comrades and become a quintet to stop them (although, Lucy Davis’ character ‘Etta’ offers a great bit of comic light relief along the way). Cue some battles combining guns and superpowers and a rather emotive battle scene in No Man’s Land (really helped by a rousing score by Rupert Gregson-Williams, it must be said) and they soon have the evil General Ludendorff and his evil scientist (another of the female characters in this film) in their sites.
Without giving too much away, an epic battle brings the film to a close and we’re left awaiting a sequel (and I actually want a sequel to this one…which can’t always be said about super hero films of late).
It must be said too that, given current events in the world in which we live, this films underlying message that love conquers all (indeed, Diana even says something along those lines herself) is both well timed and much needed. Yes, it’s based on a comic book but sometimes we have to take a different viewpoint to find a solution. Maybe love can conquer all. Or maybe we just need someone like Wonder Woman in our real world.