After 75-plus years of existing as a property, Wonder Woman finally hits the big screen – and looks set to single-handedly reinvigorate the DC Extended Universe.
The fourth installment in the shared universe which began in 2013 with Superman reboot Man of Steel, Wonder Woman is an origin story. It rewinds to World War I and her first meetings with men, which begin when fighter pilot Steve Trevor crash lands off the shore of Themyscira, home to the Amazons, the race of God-created women to which Diana belongs.
And yet despite its early 20th-century setting, the film is neatly anchored in the present-day DCEU by bookend-scenes that see Diana – Wonder Woman’s real name – receiving a delivery from Bruce Wayne of the original copy of the black and white photo. The one we first saw of her with Steve Trevor and co. in Batman v Superman.
And this ragtag bunch of misfits is the key to the film’s success. Like the band of roguish er rogues in Rogue One, we’re rooting for these guys who go in behind enemy lines all guns blazing with hope and a sense of loyalty in their hearts – and Wonder Woman by their side of course.
The introduction of Ares is a bit awkward, and the villainous threat is diluted in its attempts to wrongfoot the audience but it’s a minor gripe amid taut action that entertains. Chris Pine as Steve Trevor provides most of the funny lines, alongside comic relief Etta Candy – played endearingly by Lucy Davis. It’s a shame that Gal Gadot has to miss out on the opportunity to be funny – there’s a sparkle in her eye that says she’d have had great comic timing. But we’re thankful for the funny lines that are there.
Wonder Woman raises the bar and sets the tone for some entertaining DCEU movies to come, including Justice League and Aquaman among others.