Review: ‘Wonder Woman’ makes the leap from comics, TV to big screen

“Wonder Woman” is an origin story of the DC Comics superheroine who is part of the Justice League, an Avengers-like team of superheroes. The solo film of the titular role model was released in 2017. The theatrical release of the much-anticipated “Wonder Woman 1984,” the sequel, has been delayed because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Wonder Woman stands up for those who cannot fight for themselves. Photo by Dale de Vera on

BAXTER — “Wonder Woman” is a feature film adaptation of the comic book superheroine, and the iconic role model’s origin story is retold in the blockbuster movie released in 2017.

Gal Gadot stars as the titular Amazonian in the Patty Jenkins-directed motion picture along with Chris Pine who played Capt. James T. Kirk in the reboot of the Star Trek movie franchise.

Wonder Woman first appeared on the big screen in “Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice,” the 2016 entry in the DC Extended Universe, but it was more of a cameo than a starring role.

“Wonder Woman” delves into the background of the superhero in the movie that is now playing at the Lakes 12 Theatre in Baxter and offers a fresh perspective in the male-dominated genre.

RELATED: Now showing at Lakes 12 Theatre and Sunset Cinema


The film begins with her as an adult reminiscing about her upbringing. Her history is presented in flashback about her time as a young child on an idyllic hidden and female-only island.

The daughter of Queen Hippolyta, Diana is raised and surrounded by warriors created by the Olympian gods to protect mankind against the influence of Ares, the Greek god of war.

The precocious child seeks the battle training of her aunt General Antiope, much to the disapproval of the queen who is concerned about Diana’s safety and aims to keep the peace.

Frank Lee.jpg
Frank Lee

The Amazonians’ lives are upended when Pine, who plays American pilot Capt. Steve Trevor, breaks through the veil surrounding the island and crash lands his plane off the coast.

Diana rescues Trevor but pursuing German forces engage the Amazonians in battle, and Trevor becomes a captive of the Amazonians who are reluctant to get involved in World War I.

The headstrong Diana decides to leave the island of Themyscira, home to the Amazons, with Trevor, who has critical information about the Germans, and seeks to engage Ares in battle.


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The pair make their way to London via boat where Trevor reports to his superior about the Germans’ chief chemist who is attempting to create a deadlier form of mustard gas.

During their time in “jolly ol’ England,” Diana attracts attention — and disapproval — for her outspoken ways, independent character and intelligence, and refuses to be a second-class citizen. The fish-out-of-water scenario provides commentary and humor about the status quo.

Trevor at one point tells her “I can’t let you do this” when she tells him she intends to kill a general she believes to be Ares. Diana replies, “What I do is not up to you.” (“You go, girl!”)


The duo recruits three more misfits with special skills to accompany them to the front where she believes she will be able to destroy Ares with her “God-killer sword” taken from Themyscira.

With her can-do attitude, clear-headed thinking, physicality and perhaps God-bestowed abilities and powers, it is no wonder that Wonder Woman is held up as a role model for young women.


Gadot’s striking beauty and stature are mirrored in real life. The 35-year-old Israeli actress and model was crowned Miss Israel in 2004. Afterward, she served two years in the Israel Defense Forces as a fitness/combat readiness instructor.


The “Wonder Woman” television series ran from 1975 to 1979, and it starred Lynda Carter and Lyle Waggoner. It was remembered for its catchy theme song and was originally set during the Second World War but later updated to the 1970s with Waggoner also playing Trevor Jr.

Pine comes from an acting background. His father is Robert Pine, who co-starred on the television series “CHiPs” as Sgt. Joseph Getraer, and his mother, Gwynne Gilford, is a former actress who appeared in “Masters of the Universe,” a 1987 fantasy action film about He-Man.

The PG-13 movie includes surprising emotional depth for a superhero movie, but it features enough battle scenes to satisfy those who want to see the fictional character duke it out.



Allan Heinberg wrote the film’s story, and his producing credits include the television series “Party Of Five,” “Sex And The City,” “Gilmore Girls,” “The O.C.” and “Grey’s Anatomy.”

The film grossed more than $821 million worldwide and was the tenth highest-grossing film of 2017. It was also the highest-grossing film by a solo female director, according to MarketWatch.

The American Film Institute selected “Wonder Woman” as one of the top 10 films of 2017, and it received the Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation a year later.

The sequel was supposed to be released in theaters on Dec. 13, 2019. It was then moved up to Nov. 1, 2019, before being pushed back to June 5, 2020.


When theaters closed in March due to the coronavirus pandemic, the release date was again delayed to Aug. 14, 2020. In June of this year, it was announced it would be released on Oct. 2, 2020. The latest announced release date for the highly anticipated film is now Christmas Day.

FRANK LEE may be reached at 218-855-5863 or at . Follow him on Twitter at .


I cover the community of Wadena, Minn., and write mostly features stories for the Wadena Pioneer Journal. The newspaper is owned by Forum Communications Co.
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