Hopes for DC’s plan to deliver a shot of oestrogen to the superhero movie are disappointed in a silly plot that enlists Diana of Themyscira to help win the first world war

Those hoping a shot of oestrogen 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.

Things begin well enough, as our heroine, Diana (nobody ever calls her Wonder Woman), casts her mind back to her childhood on Themyscira, the hidden island of the Amazons. This tribe of athletic, leather-clad female warriors live in a bubble of classical antiquity, oblivious to the opposite sex and the first world war that rages outside. Diana’s mother, Hippolyta (Connie Nielsen), explains the mythology to her with the aid of a sort of ancient Greek iPad: how the Amazons were created by Zeus to resist Ares, the god of war (who is still at large), and how she sculpted Diana from clay – which you can believe when she grows up to be statuesque Israeli actor Gal Gadot. Confusingly, Diana later explains that “men are essential for procreation but when it comes to pleasure, unnecessary”.

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