From Themyscira To The Outside World: Wonder Woman
The island of Themyscira is a secluded world of woman warriors created by Zeus to protect others. For centuries, they trained and fought amongst themselves without an intrusion from the outside world. In Wonder Woman, these warriors find their seclusion broken when a spy named Steve Trevor (Chris Pine) finds his way to the island, pursued by German soldiers during World War I. He has stolen the plans of Dr. Isabel Maru (Elena Anaya), a scientist working with the Germans to end the war with chemical bombs. The Amazons defend their island, but many die in the process, including their general, Antiope (Robin Wright). Diana (Gal Gadot), the daughter of Queen Hippolyta (Connie Nielsen), keeps the Amazon casualties low. Though she'd forbidden Diana from learning combat skills, Hippolyta learned that Antipone taught Diana to hone her abilities. When Steve explains himself, Diana makes the decision to travel with him to London, believing that Steve is fighting the Amazon's longtime nemesis, Ares.
On arrival in London, they meet with Steve's superior, Sir Patrick Morgan (David Thewlis). In order to make Diana less conspicuous, Steve has his secretary, Etta Candy (Lucy Davis) make Diana look like a contemporary woman. He also calls her Diana Prince as he introduces her to his allies. When Sir Patrick continues to work on drafting a peace treaty that he thinks will end the war, Steve and Diana go about the business of trying to stop Dr. Maru and General Erich Ludendorff (Danny Huston), who champions Maru's work and stands opposed to German efforts to end the conflict. Steve recruits a team of three, consisting of Sameer (Said Taghmaoui), a Moroccan spy working with the French, Charlie (Ewen Bremner), a Scottish sharpshooter, and Chief Napi (Eugene Brave Rock), a skilled smuggler and trader who deals wih both sides. They pursue Maru and Ludendorff, who have perfected their bomb. However, they encounter some trouble they didn't expect.
Wonder Woman breathes some much-needed life into the DC Extended Universe, which previously had not impressed with Man Of Steel and Batman V. Superman: Dawn Of Justice. Diana knows of the world, but she ventures from Themyscira for the first time when she agrees to help Steve. Wonder Woman mixes action and drama as Diana not only fights for Steve, she also sees the deaths of both Amazons and civilians in the quest she has accepted. The last time Patty Jenkins directed a film for the big screen, Charlize Theron won an Oscar for playing a troubled serial killer in Monster. Diana, though, is a different sort of troubled woman as she sees a world at war. Jenkins, with the help of a script from Allan Heinberg, gives viewers a superhero with personality. The movie also has a little fun with the transition Diana makes when she leaves home for 1918 London. In one scene, Diana grapples with dealing with a revolving door. Her view of the world seems odd to Steve, but he is never dismissive of the woman who rescued him. I wish the movie had done more with the diversity of Steve's allies, but that did not completely detract from my enjoyment of the film.
Godot and Pine make a fine odd couple of allies. Godot learns the difference between caring from afar and caring up close as Diana. She recognizes that Steve has come to her for a reason, and that she must play a part in stopping the war. Diana uses the powers she has to not only defend herself and her allies, but to learn the truth about this war. She'd always wanted to do battle like the other Amazons, and helping Trevor gives her that chance. Pine may not believe in Ares, but he knows that Diana can make a difference in his secret mission, as he knows of the threat Maru poses. While the mission comes first, Steve and Diana share a mutual and unspoken attraction. Thewlis and Huston provide solid support as leadership on opposing sides. Nielsen and Wright are equally good as opponents of a different sort, each trying to protect Diana in her own way.
Wonder Woman tells the tale of Diana Prince's first encounter in a world outside the one she has known. She may be naive about many things, but she compensates for that with a compassion most people can only dream of having. She may need to get used to the differences between her island home and the home of humanity, but she finds a home in a place where she's needed.
On a scale of zero to four stars, I give Wonder Woman 3.5 stars. Born to be a warrior.