Film: Wonder Woman, as reviewed by Amy Kellestine

I’ll be honest: I did not expect to like Wonder Woman. I’m not typically a big fan of superhero movies. I’ve actually never read a Wonder Woman comic or seen the 1980s Lynda Carter series on TV. I’m not necessarily the target audience for summer blockbusters.

But oh, let me count the ways I loved this movie! Gal Gadot’s portrayal of Diana’s strength and innocence, fearlessness and faith was pure bliss. I also now know what all the fuss is about regarding Chris Pine. Not only is he Mr. McDreamy Hotness, he had a stoic yet accessible presence and he and Gal shared adorable chemistry. The action scenes were physical but not too gory, intense but not overdone. I loved the costumes and the hair for all the characters throughout the movie, most especially the Amazonian woman. I loved the comic relief throughout (largely based on Diana’s naive and blunt nature). I’d try to recount an example here, but I won’t even come close to doing it justice… so please go and enjoy this summer delight yourself!

But wait, I’ve gotten ahead of myself. The plot follows Diana, Princess of the Amazons, as she grows up in the paradise of Themyscira alongside a whole fleet of woman warrior priestesses. Their utopia is interrupted when a World War II British spy Steve Trevor (Chris Pine)’s airplane crashes – literally – into their paradise bubble. Immediately following the crash, a fleet of Germans arrive, intent on capturing the spy. The Amazons, armed only with arrows and lassos, destroy the soldiers who wield guns and bombs.

Chris is then subjected to the Lasso of Truth and Diana learns about the atrocities of the war happening outside her idyllic existence. Raised on Greek folklore as bedtime stories, Diana is convinced that Aries (the God of War) is the reason for the war and that it is her mission to defeat him once and for all. She returns to earth with the handsome pilot to fulfill her destiny.

I feel that for once in an action movie, the right balance was struck between plot, fun, and sex appeal. The warriors were fierce and feminine – a truly magical combination. Eye candy shots were kept to a minimum and the Amazons all had naturally aging skin that reflects a life spent doing combat training in the sun all day, every day.

Chief Amazon warrior Antiope (Robin Wright, whom many fans remember from her role as Buttercup in 1987’s The Princess Bride) was fierce, yet outrageously beautiful and powerful, with no botox filling or collagen smoothing. All the warriors had wicked braids and updos that continued the decorative and beautiful but functional theme. I was literally in awe of how Diana’s hair always seemed to be magically blowing in the wind, yet somehow never in her face. Finally, their wardrobes were full-on functional armor rather than restrictive corsets, another stroke of genius in my books.

The only thing that bothered me even in the slightest was some of the the “acting” by the Amazonians. Unfortunately, their lines got delivered with the quality of the River Thames… a little bit flat.

Beyond all the beauty, brains and brawn, the overarching theme is that love conquers all and that we each have the ability to make a difference. The characters are all strong, yet vulnerable and real, each trying in their own way to live a life that matters. Diana’s final lines sum up this sentiment: “And now I know… that only love can truly save the world. So I stay. I fight, and I give… for the world I know can be. This is my mission now. Forever.”

If this is the future of summer superhero blockbuster movies, then I’m ready with the popcorn. In the meantime, what are you ready to give in order to create the world you know can be?

Amy Kellestine headshotAmy Kellestine is an educator, engineer, Arati life coach and entrepreneur living in Edmonton, Alberta. She spends her free time camping, gardening, and volunteering for causes such as Cystic Fibrosis and nature conservation. She is a devoted mother and is passionate about helping others and writing.

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