Wonder Woman Reviews: Does Gal Gadot Save DC Movie Universe?

Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman
Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman

Wonder Woman has her hands full. Not only does she have to save the world. She has to rescue the DC Comics movies.

After the dreary “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” and the erratic “Suicide Squad,” “Wonder Woman” and star Gal Gadot prove they’re more than up to the challenge, according to the world’s critics.

Although dinged for succumbing to cliche blockbuster excess near the end of the film, “Wonder Woman” received near-universal praise — and a huge 93 percent approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with much of the credit given to director Patty Jenkins for rejecting the dark tone of the earlier Marvel missteps.

“What’s striking about her turn in the spotlight in ‘Wonder Woman,’ beyond its milestone status as a female-centric studio superhero feature directed by a woman, is the movie’s sense of elated lightness”Alison Willmore, BuzzFeed News.

The film only stumbled, critics said, when it forgets its own strengths.

“The first half of Jenkins’ picture has a quietly pleasurable power, largely because at that point it seems to be trying to bust the expected template. But when the epic battles start raging — so … many … epic … battles — we’re back to business as usual. Because in the world we live in, a woman-directed superhero movie, with a woman as the key character, had better not be so very different from the dude-centric ones. Baby steps”Stephanie Zacharek, Time magazine.

Critics also singled out Gadot as model for breaking the superhero mold.

“Gadot, whose character was first introduced in ‘Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice,’ exudes superhero charisma, which powers her through a clichéd last chapter. She liberates this genre from decades of hopeless sexism”Sara Stewart, New York Post.

And the film’s secret weapons? Costar Chris Pine and the chemistry with Gadot.

“Chris Pine, as Trevor, brings the same joshing, self-aware humor with which he graced ‘Into the Woods’ as the mansel in distress, playing the cheesecake in an early nude scene with game, glinting slyness. … Together, he and Gadot develop a gratifyingly coy, low-key vibe of mutual attraction and camaraderie. A sequence late in the film, set in a French hotel room near the front, is both understated and authentically seductive”Ann Hornaday, Washington Post