Movie Review: Wonder Woman: 1984

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STARRING: GAL GADOT, CHRIS PINE, PEDRO PASCAL, KRISTEN WIIG, ROBIN WRIGHT, AND CONNIE NIELSON

DIRECTOR: PATTY JENKINS

DATE: DECEMBER 25, 2020

Female led blockbuster films for a long period of time did not have the best track record from critics nor the box office. Particularly for comic book films starring a female lead such as Supergirl, Catwoman, and Electra. However, in 2017 that was changed due to the premiere of the first Wonder Woman movie which was praised by both critics and audiences. Being the first successful female led comic book film in the DC Extended Universe, there were high expectations for its anticipated sequel. After so many delays, the super heroine attempts to make lightning strike twice in Wonder Woman: 1984.

Wonder Woman: 1984 begins on the island of Themyscira a century ago. The opening scene shows young adolescent Diana Prince (Lilly Aspell) running to the stadium where all of the Amazon women are competing in the annual Amazon Olympic Games. As the competition begins, Diana has a great start above everyone else, then all of a sudden, she loses focus and falls into last place. However, Diana improvises a plan that leaps her back into first place, but her aunt Antiope (Robin Wright) stops her from going any further because she found out that her niece was cheating. Diana being so close to winning her first game and having it taken away saddened her deeply, but her mother, Queen Hippolyta (Connie Nielsen) comforted her by teaching her a lesson that cheating is never the answer to get what you want, no matter how bad you may want it.

Decades later in 1984 in Washington, DC, adult Diana Prince now known to the public as the super heroine Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) is seen fighting off burglars in a shopping mall. Defeating all of the burglars with ease, she goes back to her civilian attire and recalls her loving memory of her lost love Steve Trevor (Chris Pine). The next day, new geologist Dr. Barbara Minerva (Kristen Wiig) arrives at her new job working at the same museum as her co-worker Diana. The two immediately develop a bond and discover a new artifact called the Dream Stone, which legend says can grant any wish held by the wielder. As the two conclude their conversation about the Stone, they each make a wish of their biggest desire.

The next day, opportunistic television personality and oil tycoon Maxwell Lord (Pedro Pascal) is seen showing up at the museum in talks to invest in Barbara and Diana’s department. When Maxwell was introduced to Barbara, he immediately took an interest in the Dream Stone in her possession and invited them both to a party that he was throwing that night. As Barbara entered the party, she instantly felt more attractive and confident like Diana due to her wish that she made from the Stone and Diana suddenly sees Steve Trevor alive and well (SPOILER: Steve died in the first movie) due to her wish from the Stone. While everyone else is distracted, Maxwell steals the Stone and wishes to become it. Now Wonder Woman and Steve have to try to stop Maxwell from granting more wishes or the world will face the consequences.

Wonder Woman: 1984 is a decent sequel, but doesn’t live up to the potential of its predecessor. While compared to the original, it certainly lacks in action by going from a serious to a cheesier shift in tone. The entire cast does well with the given material, but the script leaves too many plot holes that can’t be easily forgotten. It does however have great world building and sets up new characters for future installments. Gadot as Wonder Woman is the best part of the film and as of right now she is the most consistent and prominent DC hero in the franchise.

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