The first woman to helm a superhero film with a female protagonist, American director Patty Jenkins made her debut behind the camera with 2003's "Monster", which won her the Independent Spirit Award for Best First Feature.
Rated PG-13 for mature themes and violence. But when Warner Bros. and DC Entertainment set out to create its own Cinematic Universe to rival Marvel's interconnected series of films, the story of Diana, the Amazonian princess who becomes Wonder Woman, was penciled in alongside an ambitious slate that will include standalone pictures on Aquaman, The Flash, Green Lantern, Batman, Cyborg and more.
Ultimately Wonder Woman has a lot of pressure on its shoulders; it has to stand firm as a film for women, after all, it's the first female superhero lead film since Iron Man started the renaissance of superhero films all those years ago. She's been around for a long time entering the world of DC Comics back in 1941, yet has appeared only once in a live action film on the big screen according to my research.
While these quasi-controversies may not be directly drawing in fans, any press could be good press for a movie with such high critical marks and buzz going into its release. She's a cheerleader for strong female leads everywhere, and a colossal breath of fresh air after the noxious misogyny of Suicide Squad. The fact that this is a superhero movie about a woman and directed by a woman is bound to intrigue casual moviegoers, and the overwhelmingly positive response to the film will sway any people on the fence. If you're ever in trouble, forget Superman - get in touch with Wonder Woman. As mentioned before, Diana and Steve's relationship is at the centre of the story, but there's great mileage to be found in Diana's relationships with her mother Hippolyta, played by Connie Nielsen & her main combat mentor and aunt Antiope played with vigour by the ageless Robin Wright.
Wonder Woman arrives tomorrow in the dark rooms of America and for us, next Wednesday.
Before sending her off into war, Wonder Woman takes advantage of the fish-out-of-water comedy of Diana leaving her tranquil island paradise for the soot-choked gray of industrialized London, where women don't enjoy the freedoms to which she's accustomed. Diana was depicted as a nebbishly girl whose prickly mother anxious she was going to become an old maid.
Walking into the theater to see Wonder Woman this week, I expected to feel many things: disappointment, despair, rage, and maybe if I was lucky, happiness.
Gadot is more than capable of holding her own in a stand-alone movie, as well as back-to-back with Batman and Superman.
"It's ugly", she says flatly. Well, at one point amid the chaos of war, Diana and comrades were pinned down. Wonder Woman suggests that a new role exists somewhere between the Bond girl and the damaged, bloodthirsty living weapon.
Wonder Woman, the comic-book epic poised to dominate the box office this weekend, also shatters one of the remaining glass ceilings for women - directing big-budget, Hollywood superhero movies.
In support, Chris Pine works hard to get some meaningful screen time trying to make his character important and thrilling. Wonder Woman is played as a complex character who voices her opinion every step of the way and acts on her instincts rather than advice or orders.
There will likely be a huge audience looking for the Easter eggs in Wonder Woman.
The film continues from the opening 22 minutes for another two hours of adventure and a carnival ride of mind numbing action.
Stars (of four): 2.5.