Review: Wonder Woman is silly but boasts strong performance from Gal Gadot

Gal Gadot stars as Diana Prince in Wonder Woman Picture: Warner Brothers/Clay Enos

Gal Gadot stars as Diana Prince in Wonder Woman Picture: Warner Brothers/Clay Enos - Credit: PA

Patty Jenkins' muscular introduction to the DC Comics warrior princess is a good mix of lightheartedness and gravitas even if the special effects look a little cut price.

Wonder Woman (12A)

***

Being a superhero – man's job innit? Not at Warner Brothers, where the men have so far made a right pig's ear of trying to emulate the success, and money, of Disney's Marvel; indeed made more of a pig's ear of it than you might have believed superhumanly possible.

The problem with the Bros Warner's approach to creating a DC comic films universe is that the films so far – Man of Steel, Batman Vs Superman, Suicide Squad – have come at us with a sense of entitlement. In contrast to this air of presumption that Batman, Superman and Joker are effortlessly superior, right from the beginning Marvel have made the case for its characters.


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Which is a lesson learnt for Wonder Woman, and a lesson that needed to be learnt because WW is a mix of two of Marvel's more difficult sells – Thor and the first Captain America movie.

As with Thor, she is basically a God. But, while he is of the, comparatively, lesser explored Nordic tradition, she is from the Greek school of Zeus and all that crowd.

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So the opening of the film sees us watching Diane grow up on the secret, mist shrouded, island of eternal, but not bullet proof, Amazons where the all female population walk around in garish outfits, tell each other how marvellous they are and learn how to fight. As someone who can't stand the Asgard bits in Thor movies I was grateful for the intervention of the First World War, in the form of crashed pilot Chris Pine, and a motivation to get her off that island and go save mankind.

What follows probably takes a few too many cues from Captain America: the First Avenger's Second World War storyline, including the formation of a band of brothers to go and work undercover behind enemy lines.

This is made on a much less grandiose scale than Batman Vs Superman which isn't a bad thing but the effects look a little cut price in places.

The action sequences are smaller too and are always made up of quick quick slow airborne martial arts sequences where full speed action will be interrupted by bursts of slow motion.

The plot is silly but has a good mix of lightheartedness and gravitas. The performances are strong and Gal Gadot gives the title character a kind of childlike pout when things aren't to her approval which works well.

The film has a cheerful momentum to it, that means that as it goes along it gradually loosens your objections. It isn't any kind of landmark and perhaps it is judged too kindly just because it isn't monstrously disappointing like the previous DC films.

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