Wonder Woman (Patty Jenkins, 2017)

What's it about? Raised by Amazon warriors on a secret island paradise, Diana (Gal Gadot) elects to follow crash-landed WWI pilot Steve (Chris Pine) back to the world of men, convinced that the Amazon's mortal enemy, Ares the God of War, is responsible for the conflict that is happening across Europe.

Is it any good? After a couple of false starts, the DC Extended Universe franchise is finally up and running, thanks to (splutter!!!!) A WOMAN!! In fact, make that two women, one in front of the camera and one behind. Director Jenkins has put together a fun, entertaining film, which understands that good characters and no small amount of charm will always make a better story than muddled, SFX-heavy action. Who'd have thought? She treats the whole thing with a sincerity which means that even potentially laughable stuff like the Lasso of Truth becomes perfectly acceptable and there is no sense of the camera leering over its lead, which can't be said of other super-hero films we could mention. It helps, of course, that she has a real star in former model and military combat instructor Gadot, who is just as sincere about what she's doing and who is as perfect a fit for the role as Christopher Reeve was for Superman (which is homaged here in a couple of sequences, incidentally). Perfectly at ease with both the action and the comic moments, she bestrides the film like an Amazon goddess and is, aptly enough, pretty wonderful throughout. Of course, the film does conform to standard blockbuster fare in being at least 20 minutes too long - as good as Gadot looks in action, perhaps all that slo-mo wasn't entirely necessary - and inevitably climaxes with two apparently indestructible foes whacking each other about in a somewhat tedious CGI smackdown. But it's still a very solid crowd-pleaser and a super-hero origin story which can stand proudly in its pants beside the original Superman.

I don't trust you. What do others think? Predictably enough, there was a backlash from those men who feel threatened by any show of female strength, men who took umbrage with all the praise heaped upon this woman film. The reaction of these fragile beings can be summed up thus:

Elsewhere, more sane reaction from female commentators, like articles here and here, celebrated the success of the film as a strike for women in a deeply misogynistic, male-dominated industry. Interestingly, though, some other women (here and here) were less convinced about this feminist icon, pointing out that Wonder Woman still spent a lot of time in her hot pants, whilst the men covered up. Interesting to read both sides, but my advice to these women is not to worry their pretty little heads about it.(*runs away and hides*)

What does the Fonz think? The Gal done good.

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