I fell in love with Lynda Carter’s Wonder Woman as a little girl. Every week, I tuned in to watch her use her golden lasso to capture bad guys. I adored everything about her – her confidence, her intelligence, the way she spun in a circle to become Wonder Woman. To me, she was what every woman should aspire to be: a smart, hard-working, ass-kicker with great hair.
Then the show ended and that was that. It’s been 38 years and even though there have been plenty of male superheroes (with a few women in supporting roles), there has been no other female superhero for girls to emulate and boys to admire. Until now.
Gal Gadot is the Wonder Woman we’ve been waiting all these years to see.
Like Lynda Carter, her Wonder Woman is intelligent, kind, powerful and in control. What’s more, Gal Gadot is an old-fashioned movie star who commands every scene. She’s just as believable sword fighting her aunt Antiope (a ripped and awesome Robin Wright) as she is strategizing with Steve Trevor (Chris Pine). Her fantastic performance isn’t the only reason to see Wonder Woman. The film itself is great entertainment whether you’ve been longing for decades for a feminist heroine or you’re simply looking for a fun afternoon – it’s awesome and you will love it.
DC’s Wonder Woman, which opens nationwide on Friday, begins with one of the best origin stories I’ve seen in a superhero movie yet. Amazons on the island of Themyscira are in continuous training for the day when the war god Ares may return. Young Diana wants Antiope to teach her to fight, but her protective mother, Hippolyta (Connie Nielsen), won’t allow it. But she’s determined to train and proves herself to be a great warrior by the time she rescues Steve Trevor from drowning and her island paradise is attacked by German soldiers.
It’s a revelation to see so many women doing awesome things in a big budget summer movie. Even the villain behind the villain is a woman. Elena Anaya plays the damaged and diabolical, Dr. Poison.
In the movie, Diana decides that she must leave Themyscira to help Steve end the war and destroy Ares, who she believes is behind the carnage. Pine is adorable when he’s trying to explain to Wonder Woman how he’s kind of a big deal as far as men go; she’s not terribly impressed with him nor the streets of 1918 London. But it’s not about him and that in and of itself sets this movie apart. She doesn’t need a man.
That doesn’t mean that men aren’t utilized or that they’re just there to look good like women are in almost every other action movie ever made. Director Patty Jenkins does a wonderful job of making Wonder Woman a movie with a women at its center as if that’s just the way it’s always been. She mixes action with humor and morality with war. Wonder Woman isn’t here to be a sexy crime fighter, she’s here to save the world. In doing so, she’s a great role model for girls.
While I’m planning on taking my tween and teen boys to see Wonder Woman on opening night, it’s PG-13 and may not be appropriate for all kids. There are war scenes with kids in peril, poisonous gas and intense battles. But if your kids have seen Batman vs. Superman or any other superhero movie, they should be fine.
Prepare for battle. Get your #WonderWoman tickets today: http://bit.ly/wonderwomantix
Disclosure: I went to an early screening of Wonder Woman as a guest of Warner Bros.