By Miller Murray
Wonder Woman, a film framed as a flash-back from present day Paris, takes us back to Diana’s (Gal Gadot) origin as the princess of a race of female warriors created by Zeus and designed to protect mankind from the evils of the God of war, Ares.
When Capt. Steve Trevor (Chris Pine) crash lands on the heroine’s hidden island with a breast pocket filled with stolen Nazi secrets and German soldiers in hot pursuit, Diana rises to her perceived destiny as rival to the evils of Ares despite her mother’s protests. Capt. Trevor returns to London with Diana’s help, where her battle armor and unabashed tendencies clash with the ostensibly low hanging fruit that is twentieth century gender roles.
Watching Princess Diana attempt to navigate the streets of London with sword and shield, however, is one of the movie’s more memorable moments. Diana’s hard-headedness soon transforms from a bemusing character trait, however, to her only defining characteristic. As she plunges into the front lines looking for “Ares,” a slew of secondary characters constantly delay Diana’s inevitable confrontation with her childish understanding of good and evil. These characters have barely enough screen time to be established, much less empathized with.
Eventually, Ares’s reveal subverts Diana’s black and white preconceptions of morality, at which point Ares proceeds to summon a giant suit of emphatically evil armor. While the story tends to trip on itself, the fight scenes are spectacular and remain unhindered by the fact that Diana wields a confusing array of weapons and powers.
The final battle showcases a range of stunning visuals, the most beautiful being Diana’s Lasso of Truth. These scenes combine deft choreography with a molten gold visual effect reminiscent of the Sling Ring effect in Dr. Strange. Diana wields, with a tight grip, the massive coil in a flurry, sparking the night air with tendrils of light in contrast to Ares’s matte black armor. In the end (SPOILER) a heart wrenching final score solidifies the fact that Gal Gadot is too hot to cry and Chris Pine is too hot to die. The basest of thrills are nevertheless thrilling.