An Amazon princess journeys to WWI-era Europe to help mankind in the fight for peace.
IS IT ANY GOOD? (GRADE: A-)
With Wonder Woman Warner Bros. (and the DC Comics Cinematic Universe) finally have a film to rival the humor, heart, heroism, and well-drawn characters of a Marvel Studios film. Gal Gadot commands the screen with strength, nobility, and vulnerability as the title character, doing the comics hero justice after decades in the wings waiting for her own film. In a nice bit of gender reversal, Chris Pine plays the supporting role as love interest, but he breathes three-dimensionality into a part that is equal parts jaded, hopeful, heroic, and witty.
Supporting parts are well-played, the screenplay is smart and heartfelt, the cinematography pops, the pacing is on, the music is memorable, and the messages hit the mark. It descends a bit into the punch-heavy, CGI-driven tropes so often found in these types of films towards the end, but even then it has something worthwhile to say. Best of all, after the oppressive anti-heroism of Batman v. Superman, Wonder Woman delivers something hopeful and inspiring. If this isn’t a fluke, the DC Cinematic Universe is on its way to where it needs to be.
IS IT OKAY FOR YOUR KIDS?
Wonder Woman is rated PG-13. There are a few mild profanities. There are a handful of innuendos: a man is seen naked with his hands over his privates for about 1 second; a woman who’s never seen a man before innocently asks if he’s like other men and he replies that he’s “above average;” a woman mentions that she’s read volumes on reproductive biology as part of her learning (speaking matter-of-fact, not flirting); a man mentions that he’s “both terrified and aroused” after watching a woman fight; a man enters a woman’s room and they kiss, but nothing else happens onscreen. There is plentiful action violence, with persons shot with arrows, stabbed with swords, hit by bullets, and poisoned by gas. War victims are seen with their wounds, including a man with a stump where his leg was (with some blood).
ANY WORTHWHILE MESSAGES?
Despite all of our faults, humanity is worth fighting for because of our capacity to love. Kindness and courage are the antidotes to hatred.
Wonder Woman features a powerful sequence involving the trenches and “no-man’s land” of World War I. For a powerful true story about a Christmas truce in the same setting, check out Joyeux Noel, which you can rent or buy here.