Wonder Woman

June 12, 2017 - Armed with some interesting armor and a belief that love trumps hate, an Amazon princess leaves the safety of her secret women-only island to mix it up with the men during World War I. Gal Gadot stars as Diana Prince/Wonder Woman. Chris Pine is the spy who loved her. And, Robin Wright and Connie Nielsen made sure she knew how to fight.

Early on, we see Diana as a child, yearning to be trained as a great warrior. Her mother, Hippolyta (Nielsen) is none too happy when she catches her sister, General Antiope (Wright), giving Diana some secret lessons. But, Hippolyta knows that Diana must learn to fight in order to fulfill her destiny, so training commences in earnest. Diana is also schooled in the legend of the epic battle between Zeus and Ares (David Thewlis), the god of War, though Hippolyta chooses to leave out some important information.

The island's tranquility is spoiled when a plane piloted by Steve Trevor (Pine) crashes into the ocean. Diana jumps in to save him, but in doing so, she brings World War I to the island's shore. Antiope and Diana defeat the German troops, but the victory is costly. After talking with Trevor, she decides to leave the island and join him in the war to end all wars.

The two eventually arrive in London, where Diana can't help but show off her intelligence in this man's world. She then sets off with Steve and his band of misfits in an effort to stop the Germans from launching a massive poison gas attack. It all leads to an epic battle between Diana and her destiny.

Overall review: *** I liked this film very much, but can't quite see my way to giving it four stars. The action is great. I was also impressed - and a little surprised - to see the ugliness of war on full display. There's humor to balance out the drama, and happiness tinged with sadness. Diana and her fellow Amazons are great role models for girls. But, even with all that going for it, and a length of almost 2:30, I still felt like the film was missing something. Mostly, I think, in the backstory. I wanted more Amazon lore. In particular, I wanted to know why Diana could never go back to the island if she left. As far as I recall, that was never explained. I also thought the noble death of Antiope was given short shrift. But, those are small complaints for what is, overall, a very entertaining movie.