Director: Patty Jenkins. Starring: Gal Gadot, Chris Pine, Robin Wright. Time: 133 minutes. Release date: June 2
A movie version on the Wonder Woman saga is finally flying into theatersthis time with no invisible jet.
This fictional DC Comic heroine has been swinging her magic lasso for more than 75 years in different formats, from Saturday morning cartoons to the funny papers. William Marston, who originally wrote the comic, was inspired by early feminists, and subsequent writer Greg Rucka defined her as being bisexual recently. To many, Wonder Woman stands for female empowerment, a strong character who has stood the test of time and a major player in the Justice League.
This particular cinema project has been in the works for the past two decades, switching directors and casts over the years. A few stray bullets have possibly been deflected with Sandra Bullock, Megan Fox and Beyonce Knowles, all previously attached to play the lead. Instead, we have Israeli actress Gal Gadot, who has the weight of Zeus on her shoulders ready to show everyone she has the right stuff. Her background consists mainly of the Fast & Furious franchise and a few beauty pageants. As the TV theme song says, "All our hopes are pinned on you."
This motion picture was budgeted at $150 million and is already making history as the first female-fronted superhero movie directed by a woman. Patty Jenkins, known for directing the 2003 movie Monster, keeps the focus on the Amazons and, thankfully, doesn't allow the men to take over. In the wrong hands, more than just a plane could have crashed on Paradise Island.
The story is simple. Princess Diana is born and raised on the island of Themyscira. She trains for battle over the years until a military pilot named Steve Trevor, portrayed by Chris Pine, flies into her realm. Now liberated, she leaves with him to sail to London and fight a war.
Her origin has been changed some in this tale, but will not be distracting to longtime readers of comics. The story takes place in World War I instead of World War II, and the Amazons don't lose their powers when men step foot on their homeland.
While not a perfect movie, it is much better than past superpowered female flicks such as Supergirl, Catwoman and Elektra.
The old red, white and blue is still fighting for your rights, but not in satin tightsit's more like a gladiator skirt. The tiara is now an eight-pointed starburst. Costume designer Lindy Lemming has made the costumes feminine but still strong, right down to the high-heeled sandals.
There are lots of examples of girl power to be found throughout the storyline. We have feisty sister Antiope, played by Robin Wright; the majestic Connie Nielsen playing mom Hippolyta; Spanish actress Elena Anaya portraying villain Doctor Poison; and Lucy Davis as the rambunctious secretary Etta Candy.
There is a reason Wonder Woman upstaged the other heroes in Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice. She has a built-in fanbase, especially in the LGBT community. In 2015, she officiated a same-sex wedding in the comic series to highlight that loyalty. With an island composed entirely of women, it made sense that some would marry each other.
People love the camp of the '70s television show, although there are not many jokes in Wonder Woman, as compared to Guardians of the Galaxy. Gadot remains understated with the humor, while Pine has lots of charming comedic antics.
This kick off film takes its time in the over two-hour adventure, and will only get better with repeat viewings. Now that the history is out of the way, let's see a catfight with the Cheetah next time, or how about Wonder Woman for president? "Get us out from under, Wonder Woman!"