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FLICKS: Wonder Woman & Megan Leavey opens

Posted on 08 June 2017 by LeslieM

The box office records broken by Wonder Woman reveal that many people preferred pure escapism last weekend. The film will be remembered as saving the DC Comic movie franchise, which featured decent box office but lousy critical acclaim, unlike arch rival Marvel’s multiple motion picture box office juggernaut. Wonder Woman has its flaws (mostly an overkill of computerized special effects in a showdown with the master villain that is unnecessary), but the story is good, the lead characters are multidimensional with visual scenes that will invoke an emotional response.

With a nod to Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice and Dan Brown’s The DaVinci Code, the new film opens with Diana Prince (Gal Gadot) going to work in the Paris Louvre Museum. When a Wayne Enterprises courier gives her a secret briefcase, Diana sees a picture of her alter ego, Wonder Woman, taken a century ago during World War I.

We flashback to Diana’s youth on Themyscira, the home of Amazon female warriors. Diana is the daughter of Queen Hippolyta (Connie Nielsen), who shelters her offspring from the darkness of the world. When Steve Trevor (Chris Pine) crash lands his plane near her home, the Kaiser Germans pursue the aviator. After Diana rescues Steve, the Germans start a battle with the Amazon Women … not a wise move.

Disobeying her mother’s orders, Diana takes Steve to London so that he can report his findings; the Germans have new chemical weapons they want to unleash on the front lines of battle. Being a fish out of water, Diana tries to adjust to the contemporary culture that features high heels, petticoats and slow dancing.

These character-building moments between Diana and Steve are the best parts of Wonder Woman. Director Patty Jenkins slows down the story momentum for these key romantic scenes, which helps build audience empathy for these two people who respect each other. These scenes provide a breather for the audience, which makes some of the action highlights more bearable.

This is Gal Gadot’s movie from start to finish, besides being a beautiful Wonder Woman, she manages to convey both intelligence and naivete. Portraying Steve Trevor as a spy, Chris Pine is able to portray multiple characters while maintaining classic World War I heroism. Given the recent terrorist attacks in Great Britain, Wonder Woman’s last scene closes with an unexpected poignancy.

It is June and the summer Blockbuster season is in full force with good escapist fare like Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man Tell No Tales and Wonder Woman. Also see a real ‘wonder woman’ in the film Megan Leavey, which opens this weekend starring Kate Mara and Rex the Dog.

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