DC Comics has trailed far, far behind Marvel Comics when it comes to film adaptations since after the Christopher Nolan "Dark Knight" trilogy. "The Green Lantern", "Man of Steel", and "Suicide Squad", "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice" left a lot to be desired.


The only glimmer of life came from the far to short appearance of Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman in "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice". With that, DC and Warner Bros decided to give it a go with the female superhero.


They chose director Patty Jenkins to helm the project which turns out to be the best move they could make. Jenkins' name may not sound familiar, but her last theatrical release was "Monster" in which she directed actress Charlize Theron to a Best Actress Oscar. She in turn cast Chris Pine opposite Gadot as Steve Trevor, Diana/Wonder Woman's love interest/sill human male.

The rest of the casting is perfect with Connie Nielson as Wonder Woman's mom Queen Hippolyta and Robin Wright as her hardened warrior aunt Antiope. It should be noted that these three gals screen presence quietly makes this film a winner.


I would not be a bona fide male baby boomer if I didn't declare that the character Wonder Woman was forever immortalized by the lovely Linda Carter. She and Catherine Bach put the "hot" in short-shorts and made all is teen boys happy! That said, Gal Gadot carries her athletic/statuesque physique beautifully. But Wonder Woman was always more than just a good looking woman running around in hot-pants and metal cuff bracelets, she was a woman of power to be reckoned with.


Jenkins gives us a well tailored origins story of Diana, an Amazonian princess who was the daughter of Queen Hippolyta and Zeus. As a girl she wants to train as a warrior but her mom forbids her, because she knows that she has more powers (those of a demi-goddess). So instead of training with the other gals on the island of Themyscira, she secretly trains with her powerful warrior aunt Antiope and becomes quite good. Natch, mom finds out and gets pissed before allowing her to continue training.

During the training, Diana spots a plane crashing into the lagoon near the island; she dives in a retrieves the pilot Steve Trevor (Chris Pine). Trevor tells her of the war to end all wars - World War I - that is being wage not far from the island. Suddenly the Germans attack the island and Diana, along with Antiope lead the women warriors into battle to defeat the Germans. That's when she finds out she's special.


That's also when she decides to go back with Trevor and help end the war before the German scientists unleash terrible new chemical weapons that will prolong the conflict. It is a nice, well rounded intro as to how Wonder Woman came to the rest of the world, and helps explain her agelessness.


The story rather bogs down when they get back to Europe as Diana and Steve grapple over the idea that Ares (the god of war) has something to do with the conflict. Plus, time must be spent getting her to fit in; this becomes a lighter part with the help of the humorous Lucy Davis who tries to properly accommodate Diana's macho ways.


This all leads to the obligatory "big battle" which was necessarily overblown to make up for the pathetic "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice" climax. Despite the CGI efforts, you will probably find this part amusing but sometimes clumsy.


Gadot more than fills the bill with her natural athletic abilities. Her martial arts training suit the role well and make her one lovely tough cookie!


"Wonder Woman" is the shot in the arm that DC Comics needed if it is to continue trying to develop their League of Superheroes universe. Director Patty Jenkins does an exceptional job of bringing well nuanced characters and a well adapted story to the big screen.   -- GEOFF BURTON