While Wonder Woman 1984 never quite lives up to its groundbreaking predecessor, it is still thrilling entertainment in its own right.
Before I get started with the rest of my review: there is a mid-credits scene. Press screeners did not include any scene after the credits. This is the most important thing to know going into the film.
I want to get this out of the way right now: I am judging the film on its own merits. More often than not, there is this tendency to compare a sequel to the predecessor. It’s unfair if you ask me. Yes, Wonder Woman is a groundbreaking and inspiring movie. No, you won’t find a scene as powerful as what we see in No Man’s Land. Some scenes do come close but that’s perfectly fine in this situation. Diana Prince (Gal Gadot) is already established as a character. Her heroics are awesome and while a No Man’s Land scene is nice, it’s not necessary here for character development. Therein lies the problem with sequels and it’s something we really ought to unlearn.
The film starts out with a prologue when a younger Diana (Lilly Aspell) was training with Antiope (Robin Wright). This opening also sets the tone for the film and why it’s so important to tell the truth. When Diana goes against the rules during the Amazon Games, Antiope teaches her why it’s so important to not cheat. “No heroes were ever born from lies,” she tells Diana.
The big question after watching the trailer is how in the hell did Steve Trevor (Chris Pine) come back? I’m not going to get into specifics here but let me tell you that it manages to serve the story. If it were some fakakta nonsense, I would certainly be upset but this is not what happens here. Bringing Steve back also leads us to see just how much Diana has grown in the previous sixty years or so. And again, this is before the Justice League ever comes into play. There’s no Batman or Superman so Wonder Woman is very much on her own.
We have two main villains in Barbara Minerva/Cheetah (Kristen Wiig) and Max Lord (Pedro Pascal). Visually speaking, I don’t have any problems with the Cheetah’s design. I feel that it translates in live-action but the look might be scary for young children. Let’s just say that I am still carrying trauma from seeing Cats last year. Thankfully, the visuals are nowhere near that atrocious level. Just like may people in the 1980s, Max Lord wants it all no matter the costs. He’s after a mysterious artifact and let’s just say to be careful what you wish for. I think this is the overall message of the film. It’s not so much a case of with great power comes great responsibility but a case of being honest. The big message in this film is to tell the truth and don’t lie. Treat others with kindness!
The film’s emotional storyline is just as important as all the action scenes. Without this, we wouldn’t be able to see how much Diana has grown. At the same time, we also get to see some of the things we enjoy that we didn’t get to see the first film. For starters, the invisible jet and the Golden Armor. I will not say anymore except that it can get sentimental.
It is not an unfair statement to say that Hans Zimmer is one of the greatest film composers of all time. Zimmer does his work and gives us a score reminiscent of the 1980s. All in all, the film does a stupendous job in recreating the 1980s on screen!
Where Wonder Woman is about getting to know the character, Wonder Woman 1984 is able to up the stakes and set Diana against the mentality of the 1980s.
DIRECTOR: Patty Jenkins
SCREENWRITERS: Patty Jenkins & Geoff Johns & Dave Callaham
CAST: Gal Gadot, Chris Pine, Kristen Wiig, Pedro Pascal, Robin Wright and Connie Nielsen