‘Wonder Woman’ is a marvel to see

Chris Pine and Gal Gadot in ‘Wonder Woman’

“Not even girls want to be girls so long as our feminine archetype lacks force, strength, and power” – William Moulton Marston, creator of Wonder Woman

“If you need to stop an asteroid, you call Superman. If you need to solve a mystery, you call Batman. But if you need to end a war, you call Wonder Woman.” – Gail Simone, longest-running female writer of the Wonder Woman comic books

In the present, “Diana” (Gal Gadot – Keeping Up With the Joneses) receives a package from Wayne Enterprises.  Inside is a very old photograph of Diana and four men, along with a note from Bruce Wayne.  For those who have been living on another planet, Diana/Wonder Woman and Bruce Wayne/Batman were introduced in Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice.

From there we go back in time to when Diana is a little girl (Lilly Aspell) is living on Themyscira, the island home of the Amazons.  Their queen and her mother, “Hippolyta” (Connie Nielsen – The Great Raid) catches her watching the Amazon Army training under the command of Hippolyta’s sister, “Antiope” (Robin Wright – The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo).  Fast forward a few years we see pre-teen Diana (Emily Carey) beginning to train but still being kept in the dark about the whole truth of who and what she is.  She does learn the story of her origin and how Zeus created a “godkiller” to protect the world from Ares, when he finally returns.

An adult Diana sees a World War I German airplane crash into the ocean off the shore of the island and rescues its pilot, “Steve Trevor” (Chris Pine – People Like Us).  Trevor was spying on the German Army, trying to find out just what “General Erich Ludendorff” (Danny Huston – Hitchcock) and a brilliant German chemist are up to.  The chemist, “Isabel Maru” (Elena Anaya – The Infiltrator) has the chilling nickname of “Doctor Poison.”  She is working on chemical weapons and is very close to a breakthrough involving a form of mustard gas that gas masks won’t defend against.

Steve managed to steal her notes and now must get them to London.  But his pursuers attempt to land on Themyscira to capture him and they engage the Amazon Army in battle.  The invaders are all killed, but at a terrible price.  After the Amazons have interrogated Trevor with the Lasso of Truth, Diana takes the God Killer sword, the Lasso of Truth, her shield and the armor that represents the “uniform” of Wonder Woman and takes Steve to London as he requested.

There they encounter “Sir Patrick Morgan” (David Thewlis – Legend) who is part of the government that is attempting to negotiate an armistice with the Kaiser.  They also meet Steve’s secretary “Etta Candy” (Lucy Davis – Shaun of the Dead) who manages to make Diana look like most British women, albeit an exceptionally lovely one.

Steve made a deal to take Diana to the front so she can kill Ares and put a stop to the war.  But he is going to do it his way, assembling a small team to try and locate the new lab of Dr. Poison and destroy it before she can supply General Ludendorff with the means to win the war.  With “Sameer” (Said Taghmaoui) and “Charlie” (Ewen Brenner) in tow, Steve’s team meets up with “Chief” (Eugene Brave Rock) who can guide them to the front.

Ewen Brenner, Said Taghmaoui, Chris Pine, Gal Gadot and Eugene Brave Rock in ‘Wonder Woman’

If you want to know what happens from this point forward, you must either go and see the movie for yourself, or read another review filled with spoilers.  The remaining part of the story is best experienced personally.  What makes it worth the trip to the movie theater and the price of the ticket is the performance of Gal Gadot.  To use an overused cliché, Ms Gadot was born to play this role.  It isn’t the advances in technology, the superior writing of Allan Heinberg or the spectacular directing job by Patty Jenkins that makes this a terrific movie.  Gal Gadot brings an energy and emotional presence to the screen rarely seen in any movie, let alone a tent pole action flick.

Yes, the CGI is a bit overdone, a DC Extended Universe trademark.  It won’t detract from seeing the film unless you’re a particularly picky patron of visual imagery.  I can’t wait to see it again, hopefully on an even bigger screen.

[imdb id = tt0451279]

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