“Wonder Woman” made $100 million in its opening weekend stateside. This latest entry in the DC Extended Universe was helmed by Patty Jenkins who directed Charlize Theron to an Oscar in “Monster.” She now holds the record for the highest opening weekend of a film directed by a woman, supplanting the benchmark set two years ago by Sam Taylor-Johnson with “50 Shades of Grey.”
Unlike that film, this one earned rave reviews. Propelled by Jenkins’ credentials as a serious filmmaker “Wonder Woman” earned a jaw-dropping score of 96 at Rotten Tomatoes. That easily outpaces the acclaim for the Marvel movies “Iron Man” (94) and “The Avengers” (92).
Many critics heaped praised on the performance of Gal Gadot as the title character. She first played the part of the crime-fighting Amazon princess in last summer’s critically reviled “Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice.” While reviewers slammed that film by Zach Snyder, which pitted the Caped Crusader (Ben Affleck) against the Man of Steel (Henry Cavill), Gadot had been singled out as the one bright spot.
In this stand-alone entry, the backstory of the ageless Princess Diana is detailed. A century ago, she was training to be an Amazonian warrior on the island of Themyscira when World War I flying ace Steve Trevor (Chris Pine) crash landed. She helps him with his mission, which requires her to assume the alter-ego of Diana Prince and pursue a German general bent on using deadly gas.