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WONDER WOMAN Review — We Have a Winner!

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Wonder Woman Review by Lisa Johnson Mandell

Wonder Woman ReviewAbout three minutes into Wonder Woman, I thought, “My nieces MUST see this! All of them, from ages five to 39. In fact, every female in the world should see this movie, and the males must watch it too. It’s that good, that fun, and that profoundly satisfying, speaking from a female perspective.

There is a lot riding on this film: At $149 million, Wonder Woman is the biggest budget movie ever helmed by a female director, Patty Jenkins (whose only other film credit is 2004’s Monster, for which Charlize Theron won a best actress Oscar). It’s the first DC Comic movie about a female super hero, and it’s predicted set a record as the highest opening female directed film ever — expectations have been raised from a humble $60 million to a staggering $100 million for the weekend.

And at the risk of making my Wonder Woman review too fawning, let me say that the film rises to the challenges in every way. I get chills just thinking about it.

The thrills start on the the Amazon island where Diana (a perfect Gal Gadot) grows up and trains as a warrior princess with her all-female island mates. Their mock battles are poetry on the screen, and Robin Wright is sublime as the warrior aunt who trains her.

But when a handsome American spy (Chris Pine) named Steve Trevor crashes his plane near the island, and German WWI soldiers follow, the Amazons defeat the soldiers in an awe inspiring battle, but suffer great loss. Diana realizes it’s time to leave the island and fight for right.

The story then transfers to London, and from there off to the trenches on the German front. Diana teams up with Trevor and a very interesting crew, in an effort to foil the God of War who she believes is causing all the trouble. Her efforts are part amusing, part inspiring, and completely and utterly captivating.

The performances, the plot, the music, the art direction — everything about this film is movie making at its best. Granted, at 2 hours and 21 minutes, it starts to feel a little long towards the end, and that de rigueur battle scene where super powered foes duke it out with fire and exceedingly heavy objects, I could have done without (although I’m told that it’s a must for every film in this genre.)

No movie is perfect. This one, however, is as close as it gets. It’s one of my new favorite films.

Rated PG-13

2 Hours 21 Minutes

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WONDER WOMAN Review — We Have a Winner!

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Lisa Johnson Mandell

Lisa Johnson Mandell

Lisa Johnson Mandell is an award winning journalist, author and film/TV critic. She can be heard regularly on Cumulus radio stations throughout the US, and on BBC Radio.

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