In this age of superhero movies, many characters have graced the silver screen such as the King of Atlantis Aquaman or the once unknown Guardians of the Galaxy. Yet among these characters is in fact one of the most iconic heroes of all time: Wonder Woman. Wonder Woman has been a cornerstone for comic books for years, and has played a major role in pop culture with various appearances on televisions as well as video games. The heroine finally made her live action debut in Batman v.Superman: Dawn of Justice which led to her getting her own movie in 2017. Now the warrior princess is back in the new blockbuster Wonder Woman 1984. Directed by Patty Jenkins (director of the first film), Wonder Woman 1984 is as much a prequel as it is a sequel as it centers on the heroine’s time in the 1980s. The movie certainly took its time getting to theaters as it was originally supposed to arrive on November 2019, but was pushed back to June 2020. However, due to a global pandemic, the movie left the summer and was slated to debut in the fall-only for the movie to be pushed back yet again. So, at long last, the movie has arrived in not just in theaters but also on Warner Bros’ streaming service:,HBO Max. With all these delays, one could only hope that this sequel would live up to the hype; and after seeing the movie for myself, it is in this Film Adventurer’s opinion that Wonder Woman 1984 did not go as expected-but that is a good thing.
The story centers on Diana (Gal Gadot) who has spent 66 years acting as a secret protector for mankind. Longing to see her beloved Steve Trevor (Chris Pine) again, Diana gets her wish when a magical stone brings Steve back to life. However, when businessman Maxwell Lord (Pedro Pascal) steals the artifact Diana and Steve set off to stop Lord before the world is destroyed by the impending chaos. The plot had some surprising direction, and this was both a benefactor and a detriment to the movie. When it came to its themes the plot was captivating. The concept of truth vs.desire was not only effective for the characters but it was simply a compelling idea Where the story faulters was in its execution. While the plot was easy enough to follow some of its points got lost in translation. This was evident in the movie’s climax as, though it was exciting, felt rushed in places which made it difficult to grasp the severity of the situation. At its core, the plot was less of a grandiose adventure and more of a personal journey, and I for one appreciated this direction even if it was flawed.
Since debuting in Dawn of Justice, Gal Gadot has shined as Wonder Woman. The compassion seen in this rendition of the character has only been matched by the charm seen in Gadot’s performance; and thankfully this point was prevalent in the new film. With Wonder Woman’s direction in both Batman v.Superman and Justice League, it was hard to see anything new being added to character that would not come off as contradictory. Luckily the movie found a way to add more to the amazon with Diana dealing with a personal truth that would inevitably help her move forward. Along with Diana was the returning Steve Trevor. Trevor’s presence could be off putting, though that may have been the point, but his inclusion was not unwarranted. Steve worked as a fine parallel for Diana and the chemistry between Gadot and Pine was just as effective as it was in the first film. When it came to villains this film featured the engaging duo of Maxwell Lord and Barbra Minerva (Kristen Wiig). When it to came Minerva, the villainess may not have presented anything new to the genre, but her role was still appreciated. Barbara’s ferocious transformation was a fitting contrast to Diana’s humanity and Wiig’s performance was impressive to say the least. Equally as impressive was Pedro Pascal as Maxwell Lord. There was more to this con man then I originally expected as the performance from Pascal brought out layers to this desperate businessman. Along with appearances from Connie Nielson, Robin Wright and a special cameo, the cast to this superhero film exceeded its predecessor with a nuance in its characterizations and performances.
In the matter of technical elements, Wonder Woman 1984 was fairly sound. While the visual effects were not groundbreaking, they still worked for the movie’s presentation. The film’s cinematography was efficient as its vibrant colors gave the movie an 80’s aesthetic. The action was also a highlight for the film. While the movie was not riddled with action scene, it certainly knew how to utilize this element as each sequence was more creative than the next. Last and certainly not least was the music by Hans Zimmer. Along with bringing back Wonder Woman’s iconic theme, the score provided new tracks that complimented the character with their triumphant melody and overall sense of wonder (pun intended). Along with its solid presentation, the score also created a new rendition to one Zimmer’s past pieces, and it was nice touch for not just the score but the movie as a whole.
In many ways Wonder Woman 1984 is a refreshing sequel. Rather than worrying about the road ahead the film tells a standalone story that worked perfectly for the title character. Yet this is not to say that the film was perfect as its vigorous delivery prevented the movie from flourishing in certain aspects. However, the movie made up for its shortcomings thanks to its stellar themes, solid cast and exciting tone. It may not look like it but Wonder Woman 1984 is a film that was needed for not just the iconic heroine or even the DCEU, but the superhero genre as a whole.
Categories: Movie Reviews