"Wonder Woman," the fourth film in the recent D.C. cinematic universe, tries its best to make up for Zach Snyder’s disappointing "Man of Steel" and "Batman vs. Superman."
With many fans hoping for a good film in the franchise, and with the immense popularity of its title character, can "Wonder Woman" defy the conventions of its forebears and save the D.C. cinematic universe?
We open on Themyscira, an island created by the now-dead god Zeus, so his warriors, the Amazons, can live in secrecy and safely away from his enemy, the evil god of war, Ares.
Young Princess Diana (Lilly Aspell, Emily Carey), daughter of the island’s Queen Hippolyta (Connie Nielsen), has always wanted to be a warrior, but because her mother sculpted her from clay (she is the only child on Themyscira), Diana is seen as needing protection.
Eventually, Hippolyta is open to the idea, telling her sister Antiope (Robin Wright) to make Diana the greatest warrior on the island.
We cut to a few years later, when it is clear Diana (Gal Gadot)’s training has paid off. She faces her first true test when a fighter plane breaks through the invisible wall surrounding Themyscira and crashes into the ocean. Diana swims toward it in order to save its drowning pilot.
After being rescued, the pilot identifies himself as Steve Trevor (Chris Pine), an officer for British intelligence who, after stealing a valuable book from a German chemical weapons specialist, had commandeered one of their planes to hopefully make his escape, but crashed instead.
Soon after, a German vessel in pursuit of Trevor floats through the invisible wall and empties troops onto Themyscira’s shores, where the Amazons, coming the aid of Diana and her strange new friend, stop the Germans, but not without casualties.
Motivated by a tragic death and by her overwhelming urge to help humanity, Diana, with new armor and weapons in hand, decides to go with Trevor and fight in what he calls the "war to end all wars": World War I.
Diana’s pre-Wonder Woman persona is shown to be someone who has big aspirations and isn’t afraid to meet them.
Diana believes all people are inherently good and that the only way they could start such a war is if Ares, the Amazons’ eternal enemy, is controlling them.
Because of her assumption that Ares is behind all the problems of the world, Diana is much more willing and eager to help them – until she learns the truth about what people really are capable of.
This film’s Wonder Woman is the ideal interpretation of the iconic character. She is compassionate, charismatic and headstrong, but intimidating whenever she is in the heat of battle. She is a hero anyone can look up to as an idol.
Diana’s strong will comes to the forefront when she is faced with a society and time period in which women could be considered inferior. Wonder Woman recognizes this immediately and eventually tires of it enough to break the unjust standards set by the era.
Steve Trevor and Diana have some great chemistry, as well. Their charisma, combined with the fact that Diana needs Trevor in order to learn about the outside world, makes for a compelling and enjoyable relationship that you genuinely hope will work out.
The main villain in the film is the German Gen. Erich Ludendorff (Danny Huston), who, with the help of chemical weapons specialist Dr. Isabel Maru (Elena Anaya), makes a gas that can destroy gas masks, making any sort of escape from it’s noxious effects impossible.
The action sequences in "Wonder Woman" are very dynamic and fun. Diana triumphs in combat against the Germans and brings hope to many people ravaged by war. This effectively reinforces her strength as a woman and her incorruptible, pure spirit.
"Wonder Woman" is a film with a hero who is accurately portrayed as an inspiring role model for anyone and does so with an interesting story, great chemistry in its leads and some very powerful action scenes. This film saves the D.C. cinematic universe and hopefully will pave the way for more auspicious D.C. films from now on.
Quinn Zack is a sophomore at Hamburg High School.