Gadot saves the day for DC

Rutherglen Reformer - - Reviews -

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

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