How’s this for the celebrity we need in these times? She’s funny and glamorous. She’s a very big deal at home, but home was a little pond, and so she left to do some good in the world. “She wants to function freely in the world, to help out when needed, and to be respected for her abilities.” Her sacred duty is to bring peace to the world, and she encounters a lot of resistance. “She’s ready to fight, but she’s even more focused on vanquishing evil for the sake of peace.”
Oh, and, by the way, she deflects bullets and mortar shells, tosses an armored truck, demolishes a church steeple and kicks ass all over Belgium in World War I.
“Wonder Woman” opens this weekend across the country, and reviewers are definitely relieved that she is changing the game when it comes to superhero movies.
Diana Prince, AKA Princess Diana of Themyscira and daughter of Amazon Queen Hippolyta, is supremely capable yet utterly innocent, a true fish out of water. She’s “erudite but unworldly, witty but never ironic, supremely self-confident and utterly mystified by the modern world. Its capacity for cruelty is a perpetual shock to her,” says A.O. Scott of The New York Times. He applauds the movie’s creators for delivering a plausible modern character “out of comic book and movie sources that may have seemed problematic to modern sensibilities.”
Other reviewers say that “Wonder Woman” is reversing the darker traits that have come to personify her male colleagues in recent superhero movies. “Unlike Superman, Batman, or any of her male DC fellows, Wonder Woman isn’t broodingly conflicted about her role or responsibility in the universe; she’s hyper-focused on helping humanity and defeating the warmongering Ares,” says Sandie Angulo Chen for Common Sense Media.
“Unlike most of her male counterparts, its heroine is not trying to exorcise inner demons or work out messiah issues,” notes Scott. He adds that this movie “resists the reflexive power-worship that drags so many superhero movies…into the mire of pseudo-Nietzschean adolescent posturing.”
Sounds like our kind of role model.
The celeb emerging IRL this weekend will be Gal Gadot, a relatively obscure Israeli actress and model who plays Wonder Woman. Chen says Gadot was born to play the role and proves that women can be fierce and loyal, as well as empathetic.
Introduced as Diana Prince in Batman v. Superman, Gadot “rises to the challenge of playing Diana as both ridiculously strong and sweetly naïve,” according to the Common Sense Media critic. Gadot “holds her own with exceptional poise and gusto, whether bantering with (co-star Chris) Pine or charging into a nest of German sniper fire,” says Christopher Orr, chief film critic at The Atlantic.
“But make no mistake: this is a star vehicle all the way,” says Scott. “Ms. Gadot…has a regal, effortlessly charismatic screen presence. She and Mr. Pine… give Wonder Woman a jolt of classic Hollywood fizz. Their banter, long before that kiss, is lively and sexy, and their oil and water temperaments emulsify nicely.”