Seventy-six years since her inception, one of the most popular comic book characters of all-time has finally hit the big screen. And what an amazing and historic arrival “Wonder Woman” has made upon audiences. With domestic box office sales topping $100 million for its opening weekend, this blockbuster marks the largest initial haul for a movie directed by a woman in filmmaking history.
Fittingly, the film is directed by life-long “Wonder Woman” fan Patty Jenkins (“Monster”), who calmly and painstakingly walks viewers through the heroine’s origins. Jenkins displays tremendous patience, taking her time to thoroughly explain the young Diana’s rise to superheroine status.
Never rushed in her storytelling, the director introduces us to the exuberant and rebellious daughter of the mythical Zeus, as she grows up on the female-only remote island of Themyscira. Any other filmmaker might have elected to quickly gloss-over Diana Prince’s younger years, intent on delving right into an action-packed battlefield exhibition of her special powers. Instead, we learn about Wonder Woman’s family dynasty and her constant curiosity and stubbornness, molding a moral penchant to always do what’s right.
“Wonder Woman” is an energetic and fast-paced ride. Starring a former Miss Israel and soldier in the Israeli Defense Force, Gal Gadot is both believable and sensational as the sexiest film heroine to date. True to her comic book self, Gadot exudes kindness, justice and love. Minimally equipped with a protective shield, sword, lasso and a pair of special bracelets, Gadot shines bright as Wonder Woman without a need for batmobiles or man-of-steel strength.
Aside from the remarkable rise of Wonder Woman, the movie also successfully captures the stellar chemistry between its two main characters. Equally as impressive as Gadot’s work is the enchanting performance by Star Trek captain Chris Pine, who portrays an American pilot that enlists Wonder Woman to defeat World War I evil in 1918.
Since last year’s Oscar-nominated Hell or High Water, I’ve considered Pine as one of Hollywood’s most underrated film actors. With the right future roles and screenplay scripts, Pine has the potential to raise his acting skills to the level of a Tom Hanks or Robert Downey Jr. The same can be said of Gal Gadot, who undoubtedly will continue as Wonder Woman. But the talent-rich Gadot has the opportunity to further define herself to theatergoers in any role.
This past weekend marked the thoughtful and massively enjoyable rollout of Wonder Woman. Move over Batman and Superman, DC Comics is back! All thanks to a strong background story and an even stronger woman!