Chris Pine and Gal Gadot are Steve and Diana, trying to end a war by going to the source in Wonder Woman. (DC Entertainment photo)

Reel Reviews: She’s one wonderful woman

In the realm of her people, Diana is forbidden the one thing she has always wanted: to be a warrior

In the realm of her people, Diana — the Princess of Themyscira — is forbidden the one thing she has always wanted: to be a warrior. Until one day, during the First World War, an American pilot (Chris Pine) crash lands on her secret and hidden island home. When Diana learns of the war, she decides she will leave her world of Amazons and Goddesses to help mankind fight the evil surely spurred on by Ares, the God of war.

In the real world, Diana Prince (Gal Gadot) will discover Ares is not always to blame. Sometimes mankind is just bad.

We say, “Where’s the invisible airplane?”

TAYLOR: I’m sure there will be plenty of opportunities for us to see the invisible plane and other hallmarks of Wonder Woman lore in upcoming sequels, in addition to appearances in other DC Comic fare, such as Justice League. This is an origin movie that covers who Diana is, where she came from, and what she can do when she learns to use her full powers. I, for one, am smitten.

HOWE: But were you just as smitten with the original Wonder Woman, Lynda Carter, from the ’70s, or is it that this Diana is crazy beautiful? Anyway, back to the film. Compared to Marvel, DC films are a little darker, a little more cutting, and a little more realistic if there can be such a thing in a comic book crossover. The acting, like we saw in Batman vs Superman, is a little more refined — a better quality of actor maybe?

TAYLOR: It’s not just that Gadot is ridiculously beautiful, but Diana is so sweet and loving that it’s hard not have at least a little crush on her. Then, later in the film, when Diana has had enough of mankind’s shenanigans and decides to kick some butts, the audience can share in the excitement. Last week, I spoke of not caring enough about too many characters in a movie, here is a movie where we can care about one character just enough to appreciate the danger and the sacrifice. Gadot is not just another pretty face, her Diana telegraphed her thoughts and feelings. It’s the eyes — always the eyes.

HOWE: Wonder Woman is a great action movie, but it doesn’t just rely on special effects — the back story is there, the building of the characters is just enough to keep you interested, and there is enough comic relief to keep it on an even keel to remind you that it is an action-fantasy. It looks like DC is back in the game with this hit.

TAYLOR: A lot of people die in this film, some in terrible ways, but almost nothing is shown to the audience. The film is PG-13, but kids a bit younger could handle it, I think. It’s a comic book story — some people are going to have to melt. It’s also a war story and we’re going into no-man’s land. The film has a serious tone, but is also a lot of fun. It knows when to crack a joke and when to give you the feels. It’s a smart, well made picture. It’s also a summer movie. Take your kids — you’ll like it too.

Taylor gives Wonder Woman 5 light whips out of 5.

Howe gives it 4 time pieces out of 5.

— Brian Taylor and Peter Howe are film reviewers based in Vernon. Their column, Reel Reviews, appears every Friday.