Opening 15 Jun 2017
Mythology, fantasy and reality co-mingle in Allan Heinberg’s clever screenplay told in storybook fashion under Patty Jenkins’ direction. The American comic books superhero, Wonder Woman, first emerged in a DC Comic October 1941. She has since graced the cover of Ms. magazine (1971); a TV series starring Lynda Carter (1975–1979); merchandise, animations, et al. No surprise then the spotlight is on Wonder Woman in DC Extended Universe’s fourth episode.
A young professional (Gadot) takes possession of package: a photograph with a note. That photograph is our link to her history that is linked to a protected past on Themyscira island. A gift of Greek gods and home to Amazon female warriors, a little princess (Emily Carey) defies mom (Nielsen), with help from aunty (Wright), to land on her chosen side of destiny. Reality crashes into the island in human, contemporary male form (Pine). Her aunt’s final instructions strike a deep-seated chord in Diana. Overcome by Steve’s plight, Diana goes to aid mankind. In London, awash with friend and foes alike (David Thewlis, Lucy Davis, James Cosmo, Dominic Kinnaird), Steve warns his superiors about evil fiends’ (Huston, Elena Anaya) scheme. But, the First World War’s armistice is underway. So, with help from a motley yet loyal bunch (Said Taghmaoui, Ewen Bremner, Eugene Brave Rock), the fiercely determined Diana and a focused Steve take off for no man’s land.
The challenge for Warner Bros. with DC has been working out tricky elements – finding an open story line, female director and star, etc. The lengthy gestation’s payoff is an exciting, kick-ass adventure. The cast is terrific. The visual intricacies—production design, art direction, sets, costumes, make-up and hair—are in tandem with the visual tricks—special effects, visual effects, animation. Cinematographer Matthew Jensen’s palette is balanced; Martin Walsh skillfully joins complex segments into coherency, and female stunt performers receive special thanks in the end credits.
Curiously, some guys dislike the beginning Amazonian section: William Moulton Marston, an American psychologist, writer, and creator of this fictional superhero (with artist Harry G. Peter) was inspired by feminists, especially Margaret Sanger the birth control pioneer. The nature of comics is to capture attention to entertain by being funny, shrewd, and topical. This adaptation meets expectations and holds it own. Comics aside, “…mankind is another story altogether.” (Marinell Haegelin)