tek's rating: ½

Wonder Woman (PG-13)
DC Comics; DC Database; IMDb; Rotten Tomatoes; TV Tropes; Warner Bros.; Wikipedia; World's Finest
streaming sites: Amazon; Google Play; iTunes; Movies Anywhere; Vudu; YouTube

Caution: potential spoilers.

The movie begins in the midst of a fierce battle, centuries ago, between the Amazons (warrior women) and an army led by Ares, the Greek god of war. We learn a bit of history in the course of the battle, such as that Ares had once been romantically involved with Hippolyta, the queen of the Amazons, before he betrayed her people and enslaved them. After much bloodshed on both sides of the battle, Hippolyta nearly kills Ares, but she's prevented from doing so by his father, Zeus, the king of the gods. However, Hera, the queen of the gods, allows Hippolyta to take Ares as a prisoner, and binds his wrists with braces that prevent him from drawing power from the warlike thoughts and actions of humans. Also, Hera gives the Amazons an island, Themyscira, where they may live in peace and create a utopia for themselves. At some point after that, Hippolyta creates a baby daughter for herself, sculpted from sand, infused with a drop of her own blood, and brought to life by a jolt of lightning from the heavens.

The movie then flashes forward again... I'm not sure how long after the battle Hippolyta's daughter, Princess Diana, was created, nor how long after that the rest of the movie is set. But anyway... it's now the present day, and Diana is all grown up. She has training battles with Artemis, the greatest warrior of the Amazons, and Diana pretty much always wins. We get to meet a couple other Amazons as well... actually, we first saw them in the opening battle... one is Alexa, who isn't a warrior, but prefers reading. Another is Persephone, who apparently has spent a lot of time guarding Ares's cell over the centuries since he was imprisoned. Then there's this battle in the sky over Themyscira, by jet fighters from America and some unnamed enemy. An American pilot named Steve Trevor gets shot down, and finds himself on an island full of incredibly hot women. Naturally, he likes this at first, until they all start chasing him with arrows and whatnot. Somehow he quickly manages to fall for Diana. That seemed kinda random to me, considering the Amazons were all hot and all good fighters (I mean all good fighters aside from Alexa, who's probably the one I would've been most likely to fall for... you know, being a reader and all).

Anyway, Hippolyta interrogates Steve using the lasso of truth, so that he can't lie. They determine that he's not a threat, so she says he'll have to be returned to his home. Diana would like to take him, as she's interested in seeing if the world of man has changed its warlike ways after all this time (because I guess the aerial battle wasn't a clue). Her mother doesn't want her to go, fearing for her safety. But there's a competition to determine the most capable warrior, and Diana wins, so her mother has a change of heart. She bestows some useful things upon her daughter, including a ridiculously skimpy outfit, some bracelets that can deflect arrows (and bullets, as luck would have it), the lasso of truth, a tiara that makes a good weapon, and... well, most if not all of those things were explained to satisfaction. But then there's this invisible jet. You've probably heard of it. But there's absolutely no explanation for how such a thing came to be in the Amazons' possession. Meanwhile, Ares escapes, so Diana's mission is expanded from merely returning Steve to the outside world, to also finding and recapturing Ares before he can wreak havoc on humanity.

Anyway, Diana gets to see New York City. And she gets to know Steve... who's not the best representative of the male gender. Kind of a womanizer, but he does have his good points. And they work together to find Ares, who visits his uncle Hades, the god of the underworld (where everyone goes when they die), because only a god is capable of removing the bracelets that constrain his power. Diana and Steve are unable to stop Ares from opening the gate to the underworld... and he soon becomes more powerful than he's ever been, because the destructive capabilities of humanity have become thousands of times greater in all these centuries. Ares and his army (a cult which has obviously been very patient waiting for his return) attack Washington, D.C., and Diana and Trevor have to try to stop them. Though eventually a bunch of Amazons show up to help....

Well, I've avoided mentioning a bunch of spoilery things throughout this summation, and now, I don't want to say any more about the plot. Except that it isn't until the end of the movie that anyone calls Diana "Wonder Woman." But it was a pretty cool origin story for the character. And kind of surprising how much stuff was in the movie that was definitely not for kids... Tons of intense violence, a bit of mild swearing, a fair amount of sexually suggestive dialogue, drinking, and so forth. All of which was kinda cool. Well, actually I found it funny, mostly because it was unexpected. Probably it was funnier than most of the actual jokes... but the intentional humor was decent, too. Not great, but... okay. And the battles were all pretty awesome. And the voice cast included various actors of whom I'm a fan. And I liked the characters. Of course, if there was meant to be a message against war, I think it was kind of muddled by the fact that the heroes were really just as violent as the villains. But I did like the message that women can be both strong, independent individuals, and also embrace their more traditional feminine side.

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