tek's rating: ¾

Wonder Woman (PG-13)
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Caution: spoilers.

This is the fourth film in the DC Extended Universe. It came out in 2017, but I didn't see it until 2022. It's bookended by scenes in the present, when Diana Prince (first seen in Batman v Superman) receives a photograph of herself and four men, taken during World War I. We then flash back to Diana as a young girl growing up on the hidden island of Themyscira, among the Amazons (who are all totally badass). She wants to be trained as a warrior, and the greatest Amazon warrior, Antiope (Robin Wright) wants to train her, but Antiope's sister, Queen Hippolyta (Connie Nielsen), who is Diana's mother, doesn't want Diana to be trained. So, Antiope trains Diana in secret. There's then a brief scene of Hippolyta discovering this some years later (Wikipedia says Diana was 8 in the first scenes and 12 in the later one). She's upset, but Antiope convinces her it was necessary, so Hippolyta tells her to train Diana ten times harder than any other Amazon.

We then flash forward to Diana as a young adult (or at least she looks young, I really have no idea when the earlier scenes were set in terms of world history, because Diana is apparently immortal). One day, a fighter plane crashes in the ocean near Themyscira, and Diana saves the life of the pilot, Steve Trevor (Chris Pine). He's followed by boatloads of German soldiers, who get into a battle against the Amazons. Several Amazons are killed, but they ultimately defeat the soldiers. The Amazons use a lasso of truth to force Steve to admit that he's a spy for the British. He had stolen a notebook belonging to a German chemist named Dr. Maru (aka "Dr. Poison"), who had devised a deadly gas that would eat through gas masks and kill anyone. He wants to deliver the notebook to his British superiors, but the Amazons don't want to let him go. Diana, however, decides to show him the way off the island, and to go with him to help end the war. She believes the leader of the German army, General Ludendorff, is actually Ares, the god of war, and that killing him will break his spell over the humans who are fighting. Of course Steve is skeptical of that idea, but he promises to take Diana to confront Ludendorff, but only after delivering the notebook to his superior, Sir Patrick (David Thewlis).

To get Diana to the front lines of the war, Steve recruits his friends Sameer, Charlie, and Chief (the men from the photograph). Meanwhile, his secretary, Etta Candy, stays behind in London and works with Sir Patrick, I guess. And... what else can I tell you? Dr. Maru creates another kind of gas capsule that gives Ludendorff super strength, temporarily. So that makes his eventual fight with Diana a bit more interesting than it otherwise would have been. As for his being Ares... well, he's not. And I totally predicted who was, even though I feel like it didn't make much sense, given some of his actions. But anyway, that means there's a much bigger battle for Diana to fight, after killing Ludendorff. And of course, Ares reveals some things to Diana that her mother had lied about, but which mostly didn't surprise me, and tries (and fails) to convince her to join him in his efforts. And while Diana deals with him, Steve and his friends have to try to deal with the deadly gas, before it can be flown to London.

Yeah, I think that's all I want to say about the plot. I feel like I've already said too much, but I've left quite a bit out, as well. I'd say it works pretty well as both a superhero movie and a war movie. While I did find most of it predictable, I still enjoyed the drama, and a lot of the humor ("really? specs? and suddenly she's not the most beautiful woman you've ever seen?"), and the action (some of which reminded me of 300, which isn't surprising, given Zack Snyder's involvement in the film). I thought most of the characters were pretty good, especially Diana. I loved how pure her motives were, her fervent desire to help people wherever she could, to try to put a stop to the suffering of innocents. And her willingness to call out anyone, even allies, whose own plans of action would pragmatically ignore a lot of suffering in order to accomplish a larger goal. Of course, those allies didn't have the luxury of believing that killing a single man would end the war, as Diana did. Which leads me to one point about the movie which I found a bit confusing. It seems like in the end, she was right. But that contradicts the fact that she also learned that all humans are capable of both bad and good... so I feel like she shouldn't have been right about defeating Ares putting an end to the war. Anyway... despite some confusing bits, I thought it was, overall, a pretty great movie.

comic book movies
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DC Extended Universe
TV Tropes; Wikia; Wikipedia

Man of Steel * Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice * Suicide Squad * Wonder Woman * Justice League * Aquaman * Shazam! * Birds of Prey *
Wonder Woman 1984 * The Suicide Squad * Black Adam * Shazam! Fury of the Gods * The Flash * Blue Beetle
TV: Crisis on Infinite Earths * Peacemaker