Professor Marston and the Wonder Women (15)

Three stars

Dir: Angela Robinson

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With: Luke Evans, Rebecca Hall

Runtime: 108 minutes

EVERY superhero has an origins story, but the true life tale behind Wonder Woman, as set out in Angela Robinson’s drama, is stranger than any fiction. Luke Evans plays the titular psychology professor whose comic book creation drew on his relationships with two women: his fellow academic and wife, Elizabeth, and their research assistant, Olive (Rebecca Hall and Bella Heatcote). Following lots of, ahem, extracurricular research, Wonder Woman sprang forth as a feminist goddess heavily into whips, ropes, and other accoutrements. Telling the story in flashback as Marston tries to explain his ideas to a disapproving censor, Robinson’s film combines long stretches of dull, pseudo-academic babbling with the occasional raunchy scene. There is far more fun to be had from the big screen’s reinvented Wonder Woman, making an appearance next week in Justice League.

Only the Brave (12A)

Three stars

Dir: Joseph Kosinski

With: Josh Brolin, Miles Teller

Runtime: 133 minutes

FOR the firefighters and their families at the heart of Joseph Kosinski’s real-life tale, summertime comes with a sense of dread. Hot weather turns forests into tinderboxes, and fires can rip through entire communities if not vanquished. Only the Brave focuses on one group of “hot shots”, the crews on the front line who get up close and personal with nature at its most merciless. Leading this band of brothers is Josh Brolin’s man of few words supervisor, and included in the ranks is Miles Teller’s latest bad boy turning good character (have a word with your agent, mate). Kosinski wants the audience to get to know these men before the action proper begins. Trouble is, there is a lot of them, plus their families, making for a very long and meandering build up to the tale proper.