Movie News & Reviews

Early reviews of ‘Wonder Woman’ are mostly wonderful

'Wonder Woman' (Official trailer)

An Amazonian princess leaves her island home to explore the world and, in doing so, becomes one of the world's greatest heroes. The film stars Gal Gadot, Chris Pine and Robin Wright.
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An Amazonian princess leaves her island home to explore the world and, in doing so, becomes one of the world's greatest heroes. The film stars Gal Gadot, Chris Pine and Robin Wright.

It’s a cliche, but it sounds like “Wonder Woman” is not only the hero we need right now, but the hero we deserve.

The film screens for local critics and writers on Tuesday and opens here Thursday, but people in other parts of the globe who have seen the film have liked what they have seen.

The film currently enjoys a 97 percent “Fresh” rating among critics on Rotten Tomatoes, which is the highest of any DC or Marvel superhero film. To find a superhero film performing as well, you’d have to go to Pixar’s “The Incredibles,” which also has a 97 percent “Fresh” rating.

It’s not all positive, however. Over on Metacritic, the film has a 79 rating out of 100.

This is mostly good news for long-time fans of the character. Several months ago, an anonymous someone claiming to be an insider called the film a “disjointed disaster,” leading to fears that maybe Warner Bros. and DC had delivered another “Batman v Superman” or “Suicide Squad”: a film that would make lots of money but, at the end of the day, just wasn’t very good.

Just a few days before opening, “Wonder Woman” is tracking to make more than $65 million in its first weekend, though some estimate its take could be much higher. Regardless, it’s one of the most anticipated movies of the summer.

“Wonder Woman” stars Gal Gadot and is directed by Patty Jenkins, who grew up in Lawrence.

Here’s what some critics are saying. Look for The Star’s review on Wednesday:

▪ The Hollywood Reporter: “With eager fans unlikely to bemoan the film’s length or its lapses in narrative energy, ‘Wonder Woman’ will conquer their hearts as it makes its way around the globe.”

▪ Newsday: “ ‘Wonder Woman,’ the first big-budget blockbuster devoted to a female superhero — and the first directed by a woman, Patty Jenkins — isn’t just a triumph for women, it’s a triumph, period. This is grand entertainment with rousing action, sparkling humor, a romantic streak and a titanium-strength debut from Gal Gadot in the title role.

▪ Entertainment Weekly: “ ‘Wonder Woman’ is smart, slick, and satisfying in all of the ways superhero films ought to be. How deliciously ironic that in a genre where the boys seem to have all the fun, a female hero and a female director are the ones to show the fellas how it’s done.”

▪ Forbes: “To those who have been waiting for this picture their entire lives, who have yearned to see ‘Wonder Woman’ on the silver screen in her own movie, hacking, slashing and lassoing for justice and compassion, you can take a breath and relax. Even though the finished product has some serious issues, and the final product doesn’t quite measure up to the dynamite 2009 animated movie, Gal Gadot makes a spectacular superheroine.”

▪ The Wrap: “In the recent flood of superhero movies, several have managed to be quite good — but ‘Wonder Woman’ ranks as one of the few great ones.”

▪ The Guardian: “Those hoping a shot of estrogen would generate a new kind of comic-book movie — and revive DC’s faltering movie universe — might need to lower their expectations. Like many people out there, I had no shortage of excitement and goodwill towards this female-led superhero project, but in the event it’s plagued by the same problems that dragged down previous visits to the DC movie world: over-earnestness, bludgeoning special effects, and a messy, often wildly implausible plot. What promised to be a glass-ceiling-smashing blockbuster actually looks more like a future camp classic.”

▪ Chicago Tribune: “Patty Jenkins, the director of ‘Wonder Woman,’ had to wait 14 years between big-screen projects; her last film was ‘Monster,’ for which Charlize Theron won an Oscar, back in 2003. That says it all when it comes to the odds against women in the film industry. Her movie is no reinvention of a formula; it’s simply a much better than usual iteration. And yes, it’s about time a woman directed one of these movies, just as it’s about time one of these movies was actually ABOUT A WOMAN. For the first time in a long time, I came out of a DC comic book movie feeling ready for a sequel. It feels right, at this actual historical moment, when men made of something less than steel are bumbling around trying to run things.”

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