‘Wonder Woman’ Creates Power with Social Justice

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CHICAGO – There is a truth in the latest superhero epic, “Wonder Woman,” that is undeniable. The suppression of the power of woman in society, and denying the acceptance of all people – who just desire love – is the evil that can destroy the world. Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman saves the day.

Like some of the Marvel Studios films, the strength of this rival DC superhero lies in the storytelling, and the themes that unfold meticulously throughout the situations. It’s also a rousing adventure, based on missions in World War I – the War to End all Wars – and a mysterious photograph. One of the top lead actors working in films, Chris Pine, also adds his dash as Wonder Woman’s male counterpart, who needs to learn his lessons in wartime as well. The action and fight sequences all have purpose, and are filmed by director Patty Jenkins in martial arts stop-and-start style, adding flair to the inevitable confrontations. Finally newcomer Gal Gadot captures the icon perfectly, and guides her through one of the greatest comic book philosophies ever created.

The island of Themyscira is a hidden paradise from the rest of the world. It contains a race of Amazon women – blessed by the Greek gods – who are at peace but are known for their warrior skills. Queen Hippolyta (Connie Nielsen) is raising Princess Diana (Gal Gadot) in the philosophy of her education as power, but Diana also wants to learn the ways of the warriors through her aunt, General Antiope (Robin Wright).

Gal Gadot is the Title Character in ‘Wonder Woman’
Photo credit: Warner Bros.

As Diana’s skills build to perfection, the outside world infiltrates the paradise. A plane lands in the ocean, and it is Diana who saves the pilot, Steve Trevor (Chris Pine). He is an American spy working in World War I, and is close to a uncovering a powerful German weapon. Diana agrees to let Steve get back in the action, but he must take her with him, because she knows that a warrior god named Aries is influencing the war. Wonder Woman is about to be born.

The “origin story,” often the most clunky element of a superhero movie, is actually part of the whole plan for Wonder Woman. The island paradise is essential to Diana’s journey, and the interruption of her life with real world problems is the purpose to her heroism. The build-up is as cool as the mission, which has that comic book gleam to it, contending with evil German officers, mad scientists and the modern world of 1917. Diana has no time for “a woman’s place” and confounds the world she finds herself in, just with that attitude.

Director Patty Jenkins – the first woman to helm a major superhero movie – guides the film, with a screenplay by Allan Heinberg, and there is little of the excess that usually stalls superhero movies. Even if it didn’t have an ultra heroine in it, the tale would still be an pulse pounding race against a World War I “game changer” weapon. The comic book elements enhance rather than overwhelm the action, and future scenario creators should take note. Like the three rules of real estate pricing, the rules for superhero films should be story, story, story.

Role Models: Steve Trevor (Chris Pine) Consults with the Heroine in ‘Wonder Woman’
Photo credit: Warner Bros.

And Wonder Woman wouldn’t fly without Gal Gadot’s performance. Yes, she is beautiful as WW was and is, but besides the outside world acknowledging the fact, it otherwise is unimportant to developing the heroic side of her. The lady seriously kicks butt, yet she also is perplexed on the role of a woman in the early 20th Century, as equality has been the norm in her world. Not only is this funny, but telling. When 52% of white women vote for a known sexist over someone of their own gender, we could all use a little Wonder Woman inspiration. She even inspires Chris Pine’s Steve Trevor, who indulges in her philosophy by the end, and comes to terms with his own heart.

Speaking of WW’s powers, another thing the modern world can use is that Magic Golden Lasso – the one that has its tied-up victims incapable of lying. There are too many persons and situations where the use of such an implement would be handy, but let’s start at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, and see what wonder develops from there.

”Wonder Woman” opens everywhere on June 2nd. Featuring Gal Gadot, Chris Pine, Danny Huston, Ewen Bremner, David Thewlis, Elena Anaya and Robin Wright. Screenplay by Allan Heinberg. Directed by Patty Jenkins. Rated “PG-13”

HollywoodChicago.com senior staff writer Patrick McDonald

Writer, Editorial Coordinator

© 2017 Patrick McDonald, HollywoodChicago.com

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