Gal Gadot Is About To Make Wonder Woman Your New Favourite Superhero
“I used to want to save the world… but I knew so little then.”
With these words, we’re introduced to director Patty Jenkins’ take on the first female superhero to get her own standalone blockbuster: Gal Gadot’s (the ‘t’ is not silent) Wonder Woman, the fiercest Amazonian warrior to ever come out of Themyscira, speaker of dozens of languages (including ancient Greek, obviously), bravery and honour incarnate, and—when it comes to the world of humankind—total naïf.
It’s this combination of unflinching heroism (having never seen a bullet, she instinctively stops them with her metal cuffs), wide-eyed wonder (she thinks London is hideous, but there are babies!), and complete guilelessness (she’ll tell anyone who asks that she was sculpted from clay and brought to life by Zeus) that makes Gadot’s Wonder Woman so appealing.
Raised by women who have little use for men (their considered Amazonian doctrines conclude that the male species is essential for procreation and nothing more), Diana grows up unaware of her true heritage, trained in battle because of a natural inclination, rather than in preparation for her secret destiny. No sooner does she master her training, besting her indomitable aunt (Robin Wright) in battle, than a German monoplane—carrying American spy Steve Trevor (Chris Pine)—falls out of the sky off Themyscira’s hidden coastline.
The watery rescue isn’t the only time Diana comes to Trevor’s aid. Throughout the film, he’s her good-humoured damsel in distress—a refreshing role reversal that ultimately falls a bit short of completely satisfying fans who’d hoped for a thoroughly modern re-write of the story.
The new Wonder Woman has traded her high heels for wedges and mercifully forgoes spinning herself into a star-spangled bathing suit a la Lynda Carter’s Diana Prince (Carter is a fan of this updated superhero). She can take out an entire battalion of German soldiers, lift tanks overhead, and smash through plate glass windows without sustaining a scratch. Yet she still has the patience to try on scores of outfits on her first outing to a London department store and immediately apologizes for coming out on top in practice combat. It’s possible the the movie’s all-male writing team could have benefitted from the inclusion of a female voice.
Even so, Gadot is excellent in the role she’s given. Despite the WW1 backdrop, she (with help from Pine and Lucy Davis) prevents the movie from slipping into the kind of sad, dark, brooding superhero saga typical of DC (sorry, Batman). She manages to inject highly relatable humour and delight into scenes involving everything from the iconic Lasso of Truth to a simple ice cream cone (“You should be very proud,” Diana tells the vendor after her first taste). Ewen Bremner and Saïd Taghmaoui also do their part to lighten the mood as part of the contingent of pub-recruited smugglers hired to get Diana to the Belgian front for her meeting with Ares, the God of War.
Check out InnerSpace‘s Wonder Woman timeline below and get ready to bow down before Wonder Woman June 2.