Wonder Woman

PLOT:

Centuries ago in Ancient Greece, the Amazons, a proud and fierce race of warrior women, led by Queen Hippolyta, battled Ares, the God Of War, and his army. During the battle, Hippolyta beheaded her son, Thrax, whom she conceived with Ares, as she sees the child as a curse forced upon her by his father, and then defeated the God Of War himself. Zeus, king of the gods, prevented them from killing Ares. Instead Hera, queen of the gods, bound his powers with magic gauntlets so that he was no more powerful than a mortal and that only another god could release him. In compensation, the Amazons were granted the mystical island of Themyscira, where they could be eternally youthful and isolated from Man in the course of their duty of holding Ares prisoner for all eternity. Later as a personal boon, Queen Hippolyta was granted by the Gods a daughter of untold beauty, grace and strength: Princess Diana.

Years later, an American fighter pilot, Steve Trevor, is shot down in a dog fight that kills his squadron and would have included him but for the fact that someone deliberately disrupts the magic cloaking field hiding the island at that moment. As a result, Trevor crash-lands on the island and is soon defeated by Diana in hand-to-hand combat and captured by the Amazons. When Hippolyta decides he should be returned home, Diana volunteers for the task only to have her mother assign her to guard duty at Ares’ cell instead. At the scholarly Alexa’s suggestion and her offer to substitute for the princess at the dungeon, Diana defies her mother and wins the right to be the Amazons’ representative to the outside world. Meanwhile, Alexa is promptly murdered by her guard mate, Persephone, whom Ares had focused on charming for a century for this opportunity to escape and exact his revenge with her help.

Now with the additional task of capturing the fugitives, Diana brings Trevor to New York City where the officer volunteers to help the princess find her quarry. After an initial investigation uncovers a pattern of violence created by his presence that could lead them to Ares if given time to develop, the pair decide on a night out at a bar while they wait. After some heavy drinking in which Trevor underestimates Diana’s tolerance for alcohol, he drunkenly makes a pass at her which infuriates the Amazon into thinking that he was trying to seduce her. In the resulting argument outside, they are accosted first by street thugs trying to rob them and then the demigod, Deimos, who is out to kill Diana. While Deimos kills himself upon his defeat to prevent from being interrogated, they find an important clue on his body that leads them to a ancient temple guarded by the worshipers of Ares.

Once there, Diana attempts to subdue Ares, but he summons monsters that snatch and threaten to kill her, prompting Trevor to save her over her insistence of him stopping Ares. Meanwhile, Ares takes advantage of the heroes’ distraction to perform a human sacrifice to open a gate to the underworld where he successfully persuades Hades, the God of the Underworld, to remove the gauntlets. Later in a hospital that Trevor transported her to, Diana regains consciousness and is furious that Trevor forfeited his chance to stop the war god for her sake. Trevor argues against her abuse with his own criticism of the Amazons’ isolation and their generalizations about Men and his admission of his deep affection for her. Regardless, they agree to resume the godhunt.

Unfortunately, Ares has assembled an army of mortals and monsters and has marched on Washington, DC with a rally at the Lincoln Memorial to declare a war on all humanity. The U.S. military is about to attack them in response, but the troops are spotted by Ares’ forces and struck first. Trevor and Diana arrive to battle the villains, and are soon joined by the Amazons led by Hippolyta herself who has decided to intervene in force. Meanwhile, the U.S. President learns of the appearance of Themyscira and his advisers mistakenly conclude this is the cause of the magic invaders and advise it be destroyed. The President, who’s influenced by Ares’ power, agrees and orders a nuclear missile launch against the island, unaware the powerful psychic energy from this act of supreme aggression is exactly what Ares wants to become strong enough to conquer not just Humanity, but the Gods themselves.

Thus empowered, Ares resumes his battle with Diana who finds herself hard pressed, while Trevor takes Diana’s invisible jet to pursue and stop the missile. Unfortunately, the Amazons in Washington have more immediate problems when Ares summons their own deceased numbers to attack them and every enemy they kill adds to their own numbers. This undead army includes Alexa as well and she attacks her sister, Artemis, but while she does so, she repeats some cryptic phrase that her sister, realizing vaguely what she is doing, repeats. In doing so, Artemis casts a magic spell that frees the Amazon dead from Ares’ control and they turn on the war god, although he quickly neutralizes them. Nevertheless, Diana uses the distraction to regain the initiative, but even this is shortlived as Ares now has the power to call down lightning on her and does so. Meanwhile, Trevor shoots down the missile while Hippolyta confronts Persephone and kills her, but not before the traitor suggests the disquieting idea of how the Amazons have stagnated.

Finally, Diana defeats Ares by turning his magic against him and weakening him enough for her to behead him. With that, Ares’ army disperses while his magically influenced aggression dissipates as the Government realizes the Amazons saved the nation. Meanwhile as the heroes cheered, Hades agrees with the sentiment with the gain of now having the spirit of Ares as his minion along with his son.

Back on Themyscira, Hippolyta realizes that Diana profoundly misses both the outside world and Steve Trevor. In response, she charges her daughter to become a diplomat for the Amazons in the world of Men. Diana gratefully accepts and she returns to the world of men where she enjoys the company of Trevor and assumed a secret identity as Diana Prince. However, their relationship comes with the understanding of her larger duties such as when she sees The Cheetah robbing a bank and she excuses herself to stop the supervillainess as Wonder Woman.

REVIEW:

Every comic book fan has been waiting….and waiting…and waiting..waiting some more…still waiting…for a Wonder Woman movie. Last I heard they were moving forward with a script, but it is still in limbo. In the meantime, this animated version will have to suffice.

I’m not very well-schooled in Wonder Woman lore, but I know the basics, so the fact that this is an origin story really interested me and made sense since, to my knowledge, Wonder Woman hasn’t had her own feature since her 70s TV show.

The action scenes are a thing of beauty, but be warned, they are a bit more mature than you would expect.

I was a fan of the Justice League cartoon that came on Cartoon Network, but one thing I noticed was that Wonder Woman all but abandoned her equipment, except for her bracelet. This goes for every incarnation since then. Luckily, the invisible jet, which appears to have been upgraded to a SR-71 Blackbird , and the lasso of truth were used thoroughly.

Voice casting in this film was pretty good. I’m not sure I care for Keri Russell as Wonder Woman, though. Nothing against her, it’s just that Lucy Lawless’ vocals seemed so natural in Justice League: The New Frontier.

The use of Diana’s feminist views and Steve’s emasculation works really well, and serves as some of the funniest parts of the film.

Wonder Woman doesn’t have an extensive rogues gallery the way Batman does, which may be a reason why a feature film hasn’t been made yet, so finding the perfect villain had to have been a chore. Choosing Ares was a wise choice, as was teasing us with The Cheetah at the end if the film. Will there be a sequel? I hope so!

Wonder Woman is not Batman or Superman, but chances are when one thinks of DC superheroes she is the next one in line. This is a good film ,especially for girls, because every superhero film up until now, with the exception of  Elektra, have been all male. Of course, males are going to enjoy this, especially a nice little waterfall bathing scene. After you watch, though, you’ll be wishing for a sequel or the live action film to hurry into production.

4 out of 5 stars

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9 Responses to “Wonder Woman”

  1. […] with this film. I expected to see something akin to previous animated interpretations like Wonder Woman, Hulk Vs., or the upcoming Green Lantern. I guess if you’re a die hard Watchmen fan, this […]

  2. […] while back, I was extremely impressed with Wonder Woman. One of the special features on that DVD was a first-look at Green Lantern: First Flight. Since […]

  3. […] more from this, especially following the amazing job DC did with Green Lantern: First Flight and Wonder Woman. I guess you can’t win them all, but the difference between this film and its two […]

  4. […] Just look at Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths, for instance. On the flipside, films such as Wonder Woman and Green Lantern: First Flight show how fun the DC Universe can be and that not everything has to […]

  5. […] my finger on it, but this film just didn’t quite capture me the way previous entries such as Wonder Woman, Green Lantern: First Flight, Batman: Under the Red Hood, Superman: Doomsday and Justice League: […]

  6. […] Strength. This film has many strengths such as the story and performances, but what stuck out the most to me was the chemistry between Keri Russell and the entire cast, but most notably Andy Griffith and Nathan Fillion. There is this nice father figure thing going on between her and Griffith which really warms your heart, especially when you consider how her life is going. With Fillion the love affair almost seems genuine and makes you wonder if there was something really there. Someone liked the two of them together, because a couple of years later they lent their voices to the leads in the direct to DVD film, Wonder Woman. […]

  7. Mystery Man Says:

    Reblogged this on Mr Movie Fiend's Movie Blog.

  8. […] because everything they’ve done involving Green Lantern has worked without either and the Wonder Woman animated film is still one of their best to date (without either). Why can’t Aquaman have his […]

  9. […] I recommend it? Yes, very highly! However, if you want a solid origin of the character, check out Wonder Woman, the animated feature from 2009. I believe it was just […]

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