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With the pair­ing of charis­matic star Gal Gadot and savvy direc­tor Patty Jenk­ins, Hol­ly­wood has fi­nally pro­duced a su­per­hero fran­chise to root for and not groan over. Won­der Woman’s thrilling first act de­tails the ori­gin story of Di­ana, the su­per­pow­ered princess of an ad­mirable race of strong, ca­pa­ble Ama­zons cre­ated by the gods to pro­tect hu­mankind against the wrath of Ares, the god of war. When Al­lied spy Steve Trevor (Chris Pine, in fine form) crash-lands on Di­ana’s re­mote is­land, he con­vinces the young war­rior to help him halt the de­vel­op­ment of a deadly mus­tard gas. Di­ana — who con­sid­ers it her des­tiny to stop Ares, whom she be­lieves to be the mas­ter­mind of World War I — leaves the Ama­zo­nian out­post for the or­di­nary world, where plenty of fish-out-of-water fem­i­nist hi­jinks oc­cur. The sweet chem­istry be­tween Trevor and the princess is pal­pa­ble, the movie’s plot sal­lies forth at a good clip, and Gadot proves as for­mi­da­ble a fighter as she is a beauty. Rated PG-13. 141 min­utes. Screens in 2-D only at Re­gal Sta­dium 14. (Molly Boyle)

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