If you exited the theater singing The Beatles’ “All you Need is Love,” you’ve absorbed the central message of the new-but-not-so-new Wonder Woman directed by, wonder of wonders, a woman aka Patty Jenkins (2003’s Monster). It turns out that you also need power, a gargantuan budget and the ability to shame the patriarchy into realizing something we’ve been preaching to the choir forever: female-driven films draw crowds, and women – those vessels that gave birth to both daughters and sons – can direct as well as multi-task.
Wonder Woman begins muscularly by narrating the heroine’s origin story. The cute-as-a-bug Amazon girl named Diana is raised by her Queen mother Hippolyta (a regal Connie Nielsen) in a remote idyllic for-woman-only resort island hidden from the mythological Ares, God of War. The big-eyed princess has the belly for battle, and after some modest resistance, Diana’s baby boot camp begins under the tutelage of militant Aunt Antiope (the mighty, mighty Robin Wright).
So far, so Xena Warrior Princess.