Rated PG-13

141 Minutes

Released June 2

The long road to completion of this new version of the Wonder Woman story is worth a comic book in itself. This is not your average superhero movie. As a package, it has everything. However, it took over 20 years to make. The blueprint for the movie had languished in development since 1996, through years of indecision, scheduling conflicts and cast changes. Twelve different actresses had been considered for the lead role, under at least eight different directors. The current director, Patty Jenkins, was supposed to direct it in 2005 and had to pull out due to an unexpected pregnancy.

In the end, it was fortuitous that Wonder Woman seemed to “wait” for Patty Jenkins to be ready to direct it. She is the first woman director to helm a superhero film with a female protagonist. She had a great vision for this film and put together a top-of-the-line team. The cinematography by Matthew Jensen is rich – the movements in the action scenes flow with a magnetic energy. The score by Rupert Greyson-Williams is brilliant, just dramatic enough to carry the breathtaking scenes, yet not overpowering. The richly colored costumes by Lindy Hemmings seem to enhance movement rather than restrict it/ her costumes highlight the well-defined bodies of the Amazons. Allan Heinberg’s screenplay is an example of great storytelling. The locations were carefully chosen to mirror the actual environments being portrayed. The streets of Themyscira, the birthplace of “Diana/ Wonder Woman,” were shot in a part of Southern Italy that probably looks the same as it did in ancient Greco/Roman times. World War I battle scenes were filmed in the British countryside.

The way the story moves is much more personal than usual in a superhero film. We see Diana as a child, and growing up surrounded by the brave Amazon fighters. This view allows us to understand her as we understand ourselves. She is real to us before she takes on superpowers. Gal Gadot is a perfect choice for this role. She is an actress and martial artist and had trained in swordsmanship, Kung Fu kickboxing, Capoeira and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu for her previous role in Justice League. She served for two years as a sports trainer in the Israeli Defense Forces. She is the “real deal” and it shows on screen. Chris Pine, one of the finest actors working today, plays “Steve Trevor” with a nuance that brings him to life with a very human touch. The whole cast deliver fantastic interpretations of their characters.

World War I becomes a character in itself, as the beginning of modern warfare. There are scenes in the trenches that are so up close and personal you feel as if you are fighting beside the soldiers. All the battle scenes are well choreographed, not simply chaos. This movie really analyzes, with great subtlety, the philosophy behind war and there are powerful bridges between the stories of the ancient Greco-Roman gods, on which the original comics are based, and events transpiring in our world today. This film is, in the end, a story about love – the only weapon that can stop war. Wonder Woman is well worth the ticket to a state-of-the-art screening.

 

Kathryn Whitney Boole has spent most of her life in the entertainment industry, which is the backdrop for remarkable adventures with extraordinary people. She is a Talent Manager with Studio Talent Group in Santa Monica. kboole@gmail.com. For previously published reviews see https://kwboole.wordpress.com

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