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Wonder Woman (3D/2D)


Stars: Gal Gadot, Chris Pine, Danny Huston, David Thewlis, Robin Wright, Connie Nielsen, Ewen Bremner, Said Taghmaoui, Lucy Davis

Director: Patty Jenkins

Although it's well-made (and well-dressed) with some exciting action sequences, the plot of Wonder Woman is ludicrous even by superhero standards, with Diana Prince (Israeli actress Gadot, perhaps a trifle mature for the role at 31) bringing a premature end to World War One, as well as the god of war, Ares himself.

Diana's presence as the only young girl on her faraway island home, inhabited only by warrior women, is explained by the fact that her mother (Nielsen), the queen of the Amazons, fashioned her out of clay. Now Diana is the isle's most fearsome fighter, endowed with powers that mark her out as a god.

Spotting Pine crashing his plane in the nearby ocean, she rushes to pull him to safety, finding him an Allied spy hotly pursued by a flotilla of Germans. This propels the movie's best set-piece, a battle between German guns and the arrow-wielding Amazons. All too soon, though, Diana is away to the far-off WW1 battlefront.

'When I find and destroy Ares,' husks Gadot throatily in her broken English, 'the Germans will be good men again'. Good luck with that one.

Storming out of the trenches and wiping out German positions (did I say this was ludicrous?), Diana quickly ascertains that her main enemies there are General Ludendorff (Huston), whom she takes to be Ares himself, and his disfigured 'psycho' chemist, Dr Poison (Anaya), who is preparing gas to wipe out entire armies, even as an armistice approaches.

Much pondering between the action pushes the film towards the two and a half hour mark and, when Dr Poison says 'It's going to be terrible!', she isn't that far wrong.

The strong-featured Gadot looks the part when she keeps her mouth shut, but poor Pine must have been wishing the Starship Enterprise would come along and beam him up. Those who stay to the end of the credits for the usual superhero 'extra scene' needn't bother - there isn't one here, a portent perhaps on the likelihood of a sequel, which may rely on the performance of this one.

David Quinlan

USA 2017. UK Distributor: Warner Brothers. Technicolor.
142 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 12A.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 1, Drugs 0, Swearing 0.

Review date: 31 May 2017