We might not have a woman in the Oval Office, but -- at long last -- there’s a female superhero for our time -- and she’s flipping awesome. Gal Gadot’s righteous gal stands (very tall) for truth, justice, goodness, and love. With her shield and ideals, Wonder Woman, aka Diana Prince, is a lot like “Captain America” -- and so she gets a movie similar to his that shows how a little girl sculpted from clay and brought to life by Zeus transforms herself into a world-famous superhero.

Fuel up the Invisible Jet. You’re in for a ride. Wear your seat belt, though, because there are a few bumps along the way. Much of the dialogue is reduced to a collection of platitudes, the run-time (141 minutes) is too long and there’s the Steve Trevor (Chris Pine) problem. More on that later. First the good stuff.

“Wonder Woman” is one of only a handful of female solo superhero films. Its predecessors -- “Elektra,” “Catwoman,” etc., were flops, so a lot is riding on this. Excuse the hyperbole, but director Patty Jenkins (the Oscar-winning “Monster”) takes womankind a step forward in telling Diana’s origin story. Before she saves the world, Diana grows up in a secret idyllic matriarchal society consisting of gorgeous Amazon warriors (Robin Wright, Connie Nielsen), with whom the gorgeous Gadot rightly belongs. Playing Diana with a mix of sass, smarts and seriousness, Gadot speaks the endless inanities about man’s darkness and restoring humanity with admirable conviction.

Jenkins, working from a script by Allan Heinberg (“The O.C.,” “Party of Five”), is the first director of a D.C. Comic enterprise to find the right mix of action and humor, buoying a shaky story with a solid cast and an aesthetic that looks like her film was pulled from an early-1900s time capsule. Gadot herself, clad in muted reds, grays and blues, looks like John Singer Sargent painted her on celluloid. Jenkins really knows her way around action scenes, too, oscillating slo-mo shots with quicker sequences. The result is a symphony of power and strength with dramatic impact.

The movie opens on Themyscira, where a headstrong Diana (a precocious Lilly Aspell) is a little girl-warrior in training, much to the dismay of her protective mother, Queen Hippolyta (Nielsen). Every one of these women is an Amazonian warrior, adept in wielding swords, spears and shields. The queen reluctantly allows her sister, Antiope (Wright), to train Diana. Naturally the girl shows world-conquering prowess. She is, after all, part God.

Her sheltered world is upended with Army officer Steve Trevor literally crashes into her life. He reveals -- thanks to the Lasso of Truth -- news of a terrible war involving 27 countries. The script sends Diana and Steve to London, where he’s in pursuit of an evil German scientist, Dr. Maru (Elena Anaya), and she’s hot on the heels of a nefarious general (Danny Huston) named Ludendorff. She believes he is really Ares, the God of War, who just happens to be her half-brother. Diana doesn’t need much help. She mostly needs pointers on societal norms and, well, men. A rag-tag group including Said Taghmaoui, Ewen Bremner and Eugene Brave Rock, aid Steve and her in their quest to save the world. Also lending a hand in support are David Thewlis (so great on TV’s “Fargo”) as Steve’s commanding officer, and Etta (a scene-stealing Lucy Davis), who takes Diana shopping for proper clothing in a very funny fish-out-of-water scene.

Jenkins doesn’t shy away from Diana’s physical appearance. Her beauty is undeniable, but it’s not exploited. You won’t find any gratuitous rear-end shots, just displays of pure strength and athleticism. The camera loves Gadot, too, in the same way it loves other pretty god-like superheroes, like Chris Hemsworth’s “Thor.” Pine (“Hell or High Water”) is a talented actor, but here he’s problematic, albeit still charming as always. I’m guessing his presence -- and most of the male supporting cast -- is to keep the proceedings charged with just enough testosterone to make the movie more palatable for fanboys. Also, the script toys with an unnecessary romantic push-pull between Diana and Steve -- and my God, those blue eyes, who wouldn’t? Pine, though, is clearly having a blast and does share chemistry with Gadot, which makes the useless romance easier to overlook. But it still bugged me. Wonder Woman doesn’t need a guy to prop her up. She’s got those iconic bullet-stopping bracelets, the power pose and enough strength to lift tanks.

William Moulton Marston created the Wonder Woman comic 76 years ago, but a big-screen treatment has been plagued with stops and starts for years. This new telling isn’t the campy late 1970s TV series that starred Lynda Carter wearing the star-spangled hot pants. It’s a modern superhero story that’ll be DC Comics first critical hit after a string of terrible showings by “Man of Steel,” “Suicide Squad” and “Batman v. Superman.” Women – and men in the audience I screened the movie with, cheered and clapped at various points throughout the movie. Now, that’s no small wonder.

-- Dana Barbuto may be reached at dbarbuto@ledger.com or follow her on Twitter @dbarbuto_Ledger.

“Wonder Woman”
Cast: Gal Gadot, Chris Pine, Danny Huston, Connie Nielsen, Robin Wright.
(PG-13 for violence, action, and suggestive content)
Grade: B+