Year Released: 2017
Directed by: Patty Jenkins
Starring: Gal Gadot, Chris Pine
(PG-13, 141 min.)
Genre: Action and Adventure, Drama, Science Fiction and Fantasy
“It is our sacred duty to defend the world. And it is what I am going to do.” Wonder Woman
This cocktail of a film is a heady brew to start your summer off just right. Start with equal parts patriotism and feminism, add a dash of romance, and splash with some blue seas and cloudless skies. Finally, sprinkle in just a dash of London fog and German menace to give it some zesty heft, and there you have it.
A film to lure you back into the theaters once again. And it helps that its star is just as sophisticated, beautiful, and lethal as her Wonder Woman character.
Gal Gadot is a former Miss Israel, as well as a former soldier in the IDF, Israel Defense Force. She’s knows her way around weapons and combat and well as the internecine warfare in beauty pageants, I’d guess. And that international accent via her Israeli roots just adds to the allure. A Ziva David (NCIS) for the big screen.
The Amazon beauty has always been pushing the envelope, it seems, early on itching to fight even though Hippolyta (Connie Nielsen), her Amazon queen mother, wants her to enjoy childhood a bit longer. When she finally does allow Princess Diana to train under her general Antiope, that training must be as intense as Diana’s pedigree, which hails from Zeus himself.
You will train her harder than any Amazon before her, five times harder, ten times harder, until she is better than even you.
Although Wonder Woman is steeped in feminism, from its early history to the controversial all women showing right here in my own Austin, Texas, the film itself plays its feminist hand with a light and deft touch.
Steve Trevor (Chris Pine) is the World War I soldier/spy she rescues when his plane crashes into the sea. She first encounters him after he emerges stark naked from a therapeutic natural whirlpool bath. Pine is perfect here; he is both self conscious and somewhat vain as well.
Diana, who has never seen a man before, asks if he is typical. He tells her that he is “above average,” and then is disappointed when she seems more interested in his watch than in any of his other … appendages.
And she is quite informed on sex, she later tells him, having in fact read twelve volumes on it by a famous Greek. Men, however, do not come off very admirably in the tome, she insists, especially in terms of providing a source of pleasure.
When Diana learns of the ongoing war, “the war to end wars,” Steve tells her, she determines to go into the world of men to end all conflict by killing its source, Ares, the god of war, who has stirred men against each other.
Part of the fun is Wonder Woman trying to fit in London of about 100 years ago. How could she fight in the elaborate gowns the ladies wear? And what to do with her sword and shield while trying to go through revolving doors? And then there is her reaction to Steve’s secretary.
Etta Candy: I'm Steve Trevor's secretary.
Diana Prince: What is a secretary?
Etta Candy: I go where he tells me to go, I do what he tells me to do.
Diana Prince: Where we come from, that's called slavery.
Etta Candy: I like her!
The film and its charismatic stars take us on a whirlwind trip across the sea, into dark caverns and lavish castles of the enemy in an urgent effort to stop the a secret enemy plan that will wipe out thousands. Such action and urgency may keep us from wondering about a few inconsistences with Wonder Woman and her Amazon cohorts.
Why are those instructed to bring men to peace so practiced in the art of war? Perhaps some of that contradiction is explained by William Moultron Marston, the internationally known psychologist who helped create Wonder Woman.
Like his creation, who championed peace and love while simultaneously beating bad guys to a pulp, Marston was a man of seemingly endless contradictions. He invented the lie detector, but kept a mistress whom he falsely claimed was a blood relative. As a self-styled feminist and student of the budding field of psychology at Harvard University, he formed a thesis that women are mentally stronger than men, but argued that they are also happiest being submissive. He personally and professionally encouraged women to stand up to the patriarchy, but may have suppressed his wife’s career as a scholar, while taking credit for her groundbreaking research. – Michael Miller
But let’s not worry about Wonder Woman’s origins. Zeus himself had a few quirks. And forget the political fuss about whether Wonder Woman is too feminist or not feminist enough. Certainly Wonder Woman herself suffers from no such conflicts.
I am Diana of Themyscira, daughter of Hippolyta. I will fight, for those who cannot fight for themselves.
And she does just that, jumping into the heart of battle with the heat of a lion. What a delightful privilege to come along for the ride with her.
Not to miss.
Wonder Woman, or Diana of Themyscira, daughter of Hippolyta, is the Amazon daughter of the Greek God Zeus, head of the Olympic Counsel. More or less. Apparently, he fashioned her out of a lump of clay and gave her to the Amazon queen Hippolyta to rear.
Unlike the usual Greek gods, who often suffered from petty jealousies and other human like foibles, Princess Diana is pure of heart, and filled with tremendous courage.
Not to mention, an incredible physical specimen in all ways, a formidable warrior princess even without her golden lasso or bullet deflecting bracelets.
Here is something as good and pure as Wonder Woman herself, a delicious vegetable platter with Green Goddess dressing as a dip.
Greek Green Goddess Crudité
No party is complete without the ubiquitous veggie platter. When searching for Wonder Woman recipes, the veggie platter is more about presentation than flavor. Try making carrot ribbons by slicing carrots with a vegetable peeler to make them look like lassoes. Get creative with the colors–some red peppers and radishes bring a nice dash of red. For a dash of blue, add in some blue corn chips. Then buy or make a green goddess dressing to add as a dip.