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Wonder Woman

(Warner Bros)

 

After a man stumbles across the hidden island of Amazon women, Princess Diana leaves her safe haven to end a world war and discover who she really is..

 

Rated PG-13, for sequences of violence and action, language, and some suggestive content.

Genre: Super-hero action

Viewer Appeal: Kids of all ages

 

The long awaited Wonder Woman movie has finally arrived, answering all the questions raised about a movie featuring a woman super-hero. Will is do well? Will men see a movie about a female superhero, which was also directed by a woman? How will women respond to a woman super-hero? If you're looking at profit alone, Wonder Woman made over $103 million on opening weekend, which is slightly lower than Marvel's latest Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol 2 ($146 million) and DC's last year Batman v Superman ($166 million), but a good opening weekend nonetheless. It's looking positive for Wonder Woman.

 

What about the plot? Wonder Woman recounts the life of Diana (Gal Gadot), princess of the Amazon women. Daughter of  Hippolyta (Connie Nielsen), Queen of the Amazons, who made Diana from clay and had her brought to life by Zeus. Diana is brought up on the hidden island of Themiscyra, where she is taught to fight by her aunt, Antiope (Robin Wright), general of the Amazonian woman. As Hippolyta tells Diana, the Amazon's purpose is to defend humans from Ares, son of Zeus, who sets the heart of men toward war. Ultimately, one day, an Amazon woman will kill Ares with a special sword, defeating him and setting men free from his bondage.

 

All is peaceful on Themiscyra until an airplane crashes into the ocean off its coast, and Diana dives in to save the pilot, Steve Trevor (Chris Pine). Upon being rescued, he tells the women about a great war, a war to end all wars, which is taking place in the rest of the world. His stories light a fire in Diana, and against her mother's wishes, she wants to leave her home to find Ares, kill him, and end the war.

 

As it turns out, Steve is an American spy working for England in an effort to take down Germany's General Ludendorff (Danny Huston) and chemist Dr. Poison, aka Dr. Maru (Elena Anaya) who are developing a hydrogen based gas in an effort to win the war. Having stolen Dr. Poison's notebook, Steve must get back to London and get the book to his superior. Sir Patrick (David Thewlis). Driven to defeat Ares, Diana takes the lasso of truth, her shield, and the God Killer sword, and leaves the island with Steve.

 

Upon arriving in London, it's apparent Diana isn't the typical English woman of the early 1900's. Outspoken, independent, and shield carrying don't help her fit in. And of course, she's stunningly beautiful. But she doesn't seem to notice or care, as her entire focus is on getting to the front and defeating Ludendorff/Ares. With the blessing of Sir Patrick, Steve and Diana find a small band of brothers who are willing to put their lives on the line and head to the front. The writers of Wonder Woman have created a plot that is nicely paced, easy enough to follow, but with enough twists to make it interesting and intriguing.

While we've seen some action in the earlier part of the movie, this is where the action really kicks into high gear. Hand-to-hand combat, explosions, ricocheting bullets, flying through the air...it's all included and well done. Diana's abilities are as believable her male super-hero counterparts we've seen, and are super fun to watch. There are some places where the CG isn't so out-of-this-world, having a computer generated look, but considering how much of the movie must have been created by computer, it's all pretty amazing.

 

Is it worth seeing? Absolutely! In a super-hero culture that's male dominated, Wonder Woman is a hero a woman can be proud of, and men can cheer for.

 

Let's Talk About It

Use these questions to spark discussion among family members who are interested in this movie:

 

• While her mother tries to keep her from becoming a warrior, Diana is drawn to it from childhood. What is something you are passionate about?

 

• Do you think Diana would have been better prepared to face Ares if her mother had been honest with her about her parentage? Explain.

 

• There are many spiritual themes in Wonder Woman. What is one you connected with?

 

--JW

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