Gadot saves the day for DC
A whopping 76 years – that’s how old the Wonder Woman character is, and it’s only now the powerful heroine finds her way onto the big screen for her first solo adventure.
But Gal Gadot stole scenes with her small role as the Amazonian princess in the mediocre Batman vs Superman and the world is more than ready for its first female-led comic book movie.
Expectation levels going in were also tempered by the patchy start DC’s Cinematic Universe has endured up until now.
However, Patty Jenkins’ breezy, crowdpleasing blockbuster doesn’t buckle under the pressure of steering the studio into less rocky waters – in fact, Wonder Woman rises to the challenge of saving the day.
For the most part, the story pans out during World War I when pilot Steve Trevor (Chris Pine) crash lands on the island of Themyscira, where Gadot’s princess and her mother Queen Hippolyta (Connie Nielsen) rule the roost.
Cue Superman and Thor-like fish-out-ofwater scenarios as Pine and Gadot struggle to adjust to their surroundings – the latter when she leaves her home for London to try and bring an early end to the war.
It’s levity like this in Batman vs Superman helmer Zack Snyder, Allan Heinberg and Jason Fuchs’ story that lends the film a welcome lightness of touch posted missing in DC’s previous output – and it feels natural, unlike Suicide Squad’s reshoot-heavy additions.
The material is helped no end, though, by a fantastic Gadot. Coping superbly with the character’s leap from cameo star to leading lady, the Israeli embodies an ideal combination of strength, warmth, bravery and loyalty that is sure to inspire many across the globe.
Her chemistry with Pine is off-the-charts and the pair’s maturely-handled burgeoning relationship is a welcome sprinkling of oldschool romance rarely seen in comic flicks.
Given the setting and origin status, comparisons have been made with the first Captain America movie, and there are a few similar beats.
The villainy provided by Danny Huston and Elena Anaya is slightly unworthy of the titular heroine, and another character’s supposedly hidden evil intentions are as clear as day.
But Jenkins – directing her first big screen outing since 2003’s Monster – shows a sure hand when it comes to blending human beats with soaring set pieces.
The action highlight sees Gadot march out from the trenches to lay the smackdown on her enemies while wielding her famous lasso – and a tank!
The CGI-heavy final battle is a bit of a letdown in comparison, but at least provides Gadot with a combative adversary.
A rollicking thrill ride invigorated by a potent, well-rounded heroine, Wonder Woman is one of the finest comic book origin stories to hit cinemas.
There may be some life left in this DC Cinematic Universe after all.
Fighting the good fight Gal Gadot springs into action