Wonder Woman – Movie hit of the summer
Wonder Woman was not the first female superhero, but she is certainly the most popular, a factor that contributed to creating big expectations about this super production directed by Patty Jenkins, with the Israeli-born actress Gal Gadot playing the leading role. The movie is based on the comic book character created by William Moulton Marston, who wrote the scripts under the pseudonym of Charles Moulton. The artist was Harry G. Peter, “whose unusual style (reminiscent of that used by Lt. Dick Calkins in the Buck Rogers newspaper strip) gave Wonder Woman a look unlike that of any other comic book superhero,” according to the Don Markstein’s Toonopedia. Wonder Woman appeared for the first time in “All Stars Comics” in December 1941.
The writers of the film, however, decided to make a very substantial change to the original story. While in the comic book Steve Trevor, the pilot who falls into the sea near the island of the Amazons was American, in the movie the writers (Allan Heinberg, Zack Snyder, and Jason Fuchs) made Trevor (Chris Pine) a British subject. The time period is also that of the First War World, the Germans are still the villains, but they are not the Nazis against whom many comic book characters were “recruited” in the early 1940s as the Americans entered the Second World War.
The first part of the story is focused on the childhood and early youth of Diana, the princess of the Amazons whose mother at first didn’t want her to train for combat. The reason for that would be apparent later, as she seems destined to battle Ares, the god of war. This segment of the movie also deals—in a very free manner, although still interesting—with the actions of the ancient Greek gods, and the unique role that Zeus, creator of the Amazons, had given to the female warriors.
Once Wonder Woman enters the “world of men” however, the story tends to become more centred on the extraordinary powers of the superheroine with an excess of action scenes and combats with too much firework. Still, the character manages to instill some elements of emotion and compassion that are not always so visible in the superhero films. The movie is also faithful to the comic book way of characterizing villains both, German General Ludendorff (Danny Huston) and the sinister scientist Dr. Maru (Elena Anaya) are bad, really bad.
Humour is not absent either: Wonder Woman being a feminist icon to many, wouldn’t miss the occasion to poke at male pride. As shown in this exchange while Diana and Trevor sail away from the island and talk about sex: “Men are good regarding reproduction, yes” says Diana, “but when it comes to pleasure, hmm…”
I say that “Wonder Woman” is somehow two movies in one, in the sense that the first part, with all the mythical element, is in many ways more profound and reflective that the part in which war action prevails. However, I would say that it is a good rendition of the female superhero: Gal Gadot delivers a convincing performance during which she would project different emotions and be subjected to various tensions.
“Wonder Woman” will interest young audiences and also those nostalgic of the old comic strip (there was also a not very successful TV series). Some of the action scenes in the last part are too long and could have been reduced, but overall is an enjoyable movie if you just look for entertainment. And of course, there is nothing wrong with that.
Length: 142 min.