Thursday Night Movie Club
Wonder Woman
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Release Date: 2 June 2017

Director: Patty Jenkins
ACTORS:
Gal Gadot
Chris Pine
Connie Nielsen
Robin Wright
Danny Huston
David Thewlis
Sad Taghmaoui
Ewen Bremner
Eugene Brave Rock
Lucy Davis
Elena Anaya
Lilly Aspell
Lisa Loven Kongsli
Ann Wolfe
Ann Ogbomo
Emily Carey
CHARACTERS:
Diana
Steve Trevor
Hippolyta
Antiope
Ludendorff
Sir Patrick
Sameer
Charlie
The Chief
Etta
Dr. Maru
Diana (Age 8)
Menalippe
Artemis
Philippus
Diana (Age 12)
Wonder Woman movie poster Wonder Woman movie poster Wonder Woman movie poster
The island of Themyscira in Wonder WomanWonder Woman is a surprisingly good film. Based on the DC comics, the story tells the story of Diana, an Amazonian Princess. The film is tender, sympathetic, heartwarming, heart wrenching, and plenty of action to go around.

On on the island of Themyscira, the Amazons are living in peace. This island paradise is entirely populated by women. All of them are warriors except for young Diana. Queen of the Amazons is Hippolyta (Connie Nielsen). She is also Diana's mother who forbids the child from learning combat.

Hippolyta sculpted Diana from clay. Zeus, the last of the Gods, gave life to Diana. Diana is different from the other Amazon women. She is destined for great deeds. Her mother wants to protect Diana from the dangers of the world.

Antiope (Robin Wright) begins to train Diana in secret. Antiope knows full well that Diana cannot go through her life without being prepared. Diana would not be able to defend herself.

Gal Gadot as Princess Diana in Wonder WomanThe island is home to many secrets. Chief among them is a sword named "The God Killer". With this sword. one of the Amazons would be able to destroy Ares. The last surviving God. Hippolyta believes Ares is dead. Antiope believes Ares still lives. Hippolyta believes as long as Diana is untrained, Ares won't find her. Antiope knows this is foolish.

Life in Themyscira changes in a split second. A World War I German aircraft flies through the invisibility barrier keeping the island safe from the outside world. Piloting the plane is Steve Trevor (Chris Pine). A ship of German soldiers pursues him. War has come to Themyscira!

The island of Themyscira in Wonder WomanTrevor tells the Amazons he must leave the island. He has vital information that can end "The War to End All Wars". A now grown Diana (Gal Gadot) is convinced Ares is behind this war. She takes the sword, a golden lasso, and a warrior costume and leaves the island with Trevor. Diana is anxious to fight. She sees this as her duty as an Amazon to fight and destroy Ares.

Diana faces a dilemma. Ares may be dead. This war may have nothing to do with him. The war may be what Men do. Diana knows Ares is behind Men's distrust. Even after everything he has seen. Trevor thinks Diana is a but nutty. Trevor is too concerned with getting back to London.

Wonder Woman soars into the stratosphere once the two reach London. Diana is dressed in her battle gear covered by a long cloak. She doesn't exactly fit in. Jokes abound as Diana is anxious to get to the front. Trevor has to get his information to the authorities. The battle of the sexes begins.

Gal Gadot as Princess Diana in Wonder WomanDiana sneaks into an all male meeting of the highest authorities in London. Fortunately for her, she can translate the diary Trevor carries. The information is a chemical weapon that the British gas masks will have no effect to stop. Since the armistice is a day away, the authorities, headed by Sir Patrick (David Thewlis), decide to do nothing. Steve protests but is ordered to stand down. Diana cannot believe these men will do nothing. She verbally makes her case to the total astonishment of the men.

During these scenes in London, Gal Gadot shines as Wonder Woman / Diana Prince. Gadot is a fantastic actor. Her facial expressions are in constant motion expressing Diana's matter-of-fact attitude at her dress and then to outright rage and frustration dealing with men.

Gal Gadot as Princess Diana in Wonder WomanGadot's performance gets better once Diana finally gets to the front. She is shocked to learn the war effects the soldiers and civilians alike. she goes Diana sees misery, suffering, and untold death. Gadot expresses sympathy, rage, hatred, incomprehension, and dawning comprehension of the ugliness and cruelty of the wars of men.

Diana can sit idle no longer. Despite Trevor's insistence that they proceed with their mission to destroy the chemical weapon. To the delight of the soldiers, Diana slowly drops her cloak. To the amazement of the men, Diana then climbs a ladder onto the battle field and takes the war to the German army.

Gal Gadot as Princess Diana in Wonder WomanAgain, Gadot shines. Diana is stunned when she first sees the utter destruction to the landscape. Her face slowly changes to fierce determination. Gadot gives a slight smile as bullets bounce of Diana's bracelets. Then fear as Diana cowers behind her shield as machine gun fire pins her down. Gadot's expression changes again as Trevor and his band of misfits come to her aid. Diana's determination is back!

The action sequences and stunt work are fantastic. Unfortunately, the "300-esque" camera shots where real time action suddenly, somewhat jarringly, changes to slow motion to show Diana's battle skills. The effect is interesting for the scenes on Themyscira but become distracting and annoying as the effect is used too often. The audience does not need to see every amazing move Diana makes.

Wonder Woman changes the tone after the battle. The local townspeople are very thankful and grateful thanks to Diana. After the battle, Gadot shows a proud Diana standing atop a church. Once among the throngs of people, Diana is overwhelmed by the outpouring of emotions. Everyone wants to meet her and thank her. Diana is a warrior. She fights for the glory, not the thanks. Gadot shows Diana is clearly affected.

Chris Pine as Steve Trevor in Wonder WomanChris Pine is wonderful as Steve Trevor. Trevor reins in his amazement on Themyscira. Trevor talks very quickly once back in London. He has no time for talk. He has to get the diary to the authorities. He has no time for Diana's noble, but foolish, talk of getting into the battle.

Pine is earnest in his pleas to the authorities. Trevor is a spy. The only way to find out what, if anything, the Germans plan to do with the weapon is to return to Brussels and discover exactly what is happening. Whereas Diana is gung ho for battle, Trevor's approach is subtle. Get in, get intelligence, get out without anyone knowing he was there. The conflict in their opinions is wonderful, often times outright hysterical, as Diana and Trevor fight like an old married couple.

Sad Taghmaoui, Ewen Bremner, Chris Pine and Gal Gadot in Wonder WomanRounding out the cast is a band of misfits that Trevor engages. Sameer (Said Taghmaoui) is an actor who uses his acting talents to argue his way out of any situation. Sameer is also a scrounger. Charlie (Ewen Bremner) is an excellent marksman and spotter. He isn't very good in hand-to-hand combat. The Chief (Eugene Brave Rock) is a Native American who left because of the ethnic persecution. Now, he is only a man with no where else to be.

The script for Wonder Woman is excellent. Plot twists abound. Sir Patrick orders Trevor to stand down. Trevor disobeys and enters the fray. In Germany, Ludendorff (Danny Huston) tries to convince the German High Command that they can win the war in once fell stroke. Ludendorff is ordered to stand down. He disobeys his orders. For some people, the war will never end. These men provide a constant threat. The story about the ravages of war ring true. Surprises in the script continue right through the final battle.

Gal Gadot as Princess Diana in Wonder WomanLike Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy, Director Patty Jenkins elevates a comic book into a film that tackles serious issues about war and how every one, man, woman, child, animals, birds, nature in general, are all affected. The emotions of the characters permeates each scene. Characters are funny and at the same time as when Charlie awakens screaming from a nightmare. Trevor calmly replies he has bad dreams. Diana feels genuinely sorry for her new friend. One of the themes Jenkins pours into this film is that we all have our demons, including Diana. Diana finds her true self. Lessons are learned the hard way!

Wonder Woman is a delightfully entertaining film. Everything works because everyone takes this film seriously from the director, to the crew, to the cast. The humor comes naturally to the characters rather than people being funny just to be funny. The film is rousing, action-packed, and emotionally charged.

DC got this one right!