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Wonder Woman – Diana of Themyscira, daughter of the Greek God Zeus, is a princess among a tribe of warrior Amazonian woman. She is trained to be their best fighter in order to battle Ares, the God of War. Secluded from the outside world, when a spy crash lands in their midst and tells a tale of a world at war and a new terrible gas weapon that could slaughter thousands. Diana fears the war is Ares’ doing and abandons her tribe in search of him. But with no experience of the world beyond battle and facing prejudice from all angles, will she be able to locate the War God in time when everyone has become so warlike?

Wonder Woman (2017) – Director: Patty Jenkins

wonder woman suitable for children

By Source, Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=51137764

Rating: 12A

Running Length: 141 mins

Starring: Gal Gadot, Chris Pine, Danny Huston

Genre: Action, Fantasy, War

‘WONDER WOMAN’ REVIEW

The much-anticipated DC super heroine ‘Wonder Woman’ smashes onto screens in an exciting, action packed origins story of Diana, daughter of Zeus who strives to defeat the evil Ares’ corruption of man (which appears to have manifested itself in the devastating guise of World War I). With Diana’s complete naiveté of the outside world, her need for battle and destruction of Ares (who may or may not be behind the war) is forced off-track with diplomacy and orders from higher-ups with less than noble intentions. However her determination and courage never falters, inspiring those around her to do more than they otherwise would and soon she and a small, rag-tag team of brave souls find themselves at the centre of not only the conflict but also where a new strain of mustard gas is being rolled out.

Although the effects are largely impressive, it is a shame that so much emphasis is on (often unnecessary) slow-motion and poor CGI when other, similar movies have much more ‘real’ action. Gal Gadot does the job of the titular character well enough but is quite monotone and sometimes somewhat wooden so that it is difficult to truly warm to her and she struggles to convey any chemistry between herself and her co-stars, especially Chris Pine who does a great job of a character that swims the murky waters of good, bad and the grey areas in-between while never losing sight of what’s right. The rest of the team, consisting of Sameer, Charlie and Chief (played by Said Taghmaoui, Ewen Bremner and Eugene Brave Rock, respectively) are great support but don’t get enough dialogue to truly cement the close bond that audience is supposed to believe in.

While the backdrop of World War I is the perfect mix of drama and tragedy for Wonder Woman to want to stop, not enough of it is shown to explain why it stands out against any other conflict. There is one scene which shows the suffering of innocents which leads straight into the infamous trenches, No Man’s Land is mentioned but when Diana decides to step ‘over the top’, the German’s are kind enough to let her walk up the ladder, stand up in a dramatic pose and then gracefully deflect the single bullet headed in her direction. Also, the entire German nation are given only two characters, Ludendorff and Dr Maru (Danny Huston and Elena Anaya), who are so evil that they would be much more at home in charge of a World War II concentration camp than the morally ambiguous World War I.

Overall, ‘Wonder Woman’ is a good movie but it has its flaws. At nearly 2 and a half hours in length, it does drag a little, especially as the lead isn’t the most engaging performer and the final act relies so heavily on CGI but the action throughout off-sets this and Diana’s fish-out-of-water confidence is incredibly entertaining, as are the reactions of everyone around her, especially the criminally underused Etta (played by Lucy Davis). Far better than any of the other DCEU (DC Extended Universe) movies so far, ‘Wonder Woman’ stands out – a strong altruistic lead with an interesting story of her own that hasn’t been done to death seems to be a surprising difficulty for DC but thankfully, with this heroine they have begun to show their clout!

CONTENT – IS ‘WONDER WOMAN’ SUITABLE FOR CHILDREN?

There is a battle towards the beginning  of the movie between the Amazonian’s and some German soldiers, while the Amazonians are fearsome warriors, their weapons are swords, shields and bows and arrows while the Germans fight with guns. Several soldiers are killed with flaming arrows which are shown to hit their targets very briefly before the camera cuts away, an Amazonian fights from the air while being held by a rope but when she is hit by a bullet, she cries out in pain and is then seen hanging limply from the rope. There are many deaths from guns, knives, swords and arrows but these are either shown quickly before the camera cuts away or not at all and no suffering or blood is seen.

The character of Dr Maru (nicknamed Dr Poison) is introduced in a flashback scene where a character witnesses her experimenting with mustard gas. An unfortunate test subject sits in a room with a gas mask on and when the gas is released the man begins to convulse and groan before muffled screams are heard. After a few seconds of this, Dr Poison has the mask yanked away from the man who screams audibly before the camera cuts away.

After being taken in by the Amazonians, Steve Trevor is seen in sitting in a bath, he stands up just as Diana walks into the room and, although he didn’t mean to show her anything, he is naked and doesn’t do anything to cover himself. She is composed but curious as she has never seen a man before and the dialogue becomes a little sexually charged. She asks him ‘are you a typical example of your sex?’ and he tells her that he is ‘above average’.

Some suffering is seen from victims of the war, some are wounded soldiers, one who walks with a crutch because he has lost a leg and another who is clearly in shock who stares without expression. Later, a man screams in pain because he has just lost a leg, the wound is shown but with only a small amount of blood and some burns. Horses that have become stuck in deep mud are whipped to move them along and they whinny in distress. Diana sees all of this and wants to help but her comrades tell her to keep moving as they ‘can’t help everyone’.

The inhabitants of an entire village are murdered when a new strain of the mustard gas is tested on them. A yellow smoke engulfs the area and Diana, who is nearby rushes inside, her biological makeup clearly enables her to breathe in the environment without difficulty and she looks around, devastated by what she sees. Some bodies are seen lying on the ground but nothing gory is shown.

CAN I SEE A CLIP?
VERDICT – IS ‘WONDER WOMAN’ FOR KIDS?

‘Wonder Woman’ is by far the best effort of the DCEU to date and with many more in the pipeline, one can only hope that they continue in this vein. Wonder Woman is a character men and women can get behind and a fearsome warrior with an innocent nature is always a joy to watch. With some violence, suffering and sexuality, we feel this movie should be appropriate for kids aged 8 and over.

  • Violence: 2/5 (lots of exciting action sequences but none of the violence is strong, very little blood or suffering is seen apart from in the scenes mentioned above)
  • Emotional Distress: 2/5 (an established character makes a noble sacrifice in order to save others, another character in particular is devastated by this)
  • Fear Factor: 2/5 (the two antagonists are particularly sinister, one character screams at another in slow motion, their face is ‘lit’ as a side effect of a drug he has taken and this image which lasts a few seconds is a little disturbing)
  • Sexual Content: 1/5 (some innuendo. A male and female character become intimate but only a few seconds of a kiss is shown before the camera cuts away so nothing graphic is seen. Some mild dialogue about the ‘pleasures of the flesh’)
  • Bad Language: 1/5 (infrequent mild blasphemy)
  • Dialogue: 0/5
  • Other Notes: Deals with themes of the corruption of mankind, a warrior’s life, a matriarchal society, World War I, cruelty, diplomacy, accepting one’s destiny, self-confidence, sacrifice, determination and the power of love.

Words by Laura Record

 

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