Wonder Woman

14 years since Patty Jenkins directorial debut Monster nabbed Charlize Theron an Academy award, her second big screen effort serves up a win for the DC Extended Universe.

In what’s sure to be a break out performance for Israeli model-turned-actress Gal Gadot, Wonder Woman is an origin story that recalls the playfulness of Richard Donner’s 1978 Superman.

The action begins with Princess Diana living peacefully on the hidden island of Themyscira, until an American spy Steve Trevor (Chris Pine) draws her into World War One.

Apart from setting the scene to deliver a tale of female empowerment, the transition into the world of men also embraces darker themes, questioning whether mankind truly deserves heroes.

As with any number of superhero films in recent years, the villains are woefully underwritten. The excellent Danny Huston, unfortunately, fails to be given any dialogue worthy of an actor of his caliber, and his partner in war-crimes scientist Dr. Maru (Mesrine’s Elena Anaya) would have benefitted from some backstory.

That said, this is Gadot’s film, and her Diana embodies many memorable characteristics; soft and naïve, warm and charming, smart and confident. It will be interesting to see how her character develops in further films.

Three Stars