In 1918 Diana came from the legendary island of Amazonians, Themyscaria and now in 1984, Diana Prince has to save the world once more. This time from a different kind of war, the war of consumerism. Wonder Woman 1984 follows the legendary superhero Diana Prince as she faces off against Maxwell Lord (Pedro Pascal) and his magical wish-granting abilities.
Along the way, she will be reunited with her lost love Steve Trevor (Chris Pine) and will make new frenemies as well in the shape of Kristen Wiig’s Barbara Ann Minerva, someone who has fallen under the spell of Lord and his magical mcguffin.
Partying like it’s 1984
Wonder Woman 1984 is everything you want from a superhero sequel. The characters are expanded on, and it builds on everything the first film set up. In 1984 everyone is vying for that “American Dream”, trying to get what they think they deserve. The only person who does not seem to be living her best life is Diana who is marred in the past. Her apartment is filled with keepsakes from her long-dead friends, and it’s clear throughout the course of the film, that Diana has not moved on from the loss of Steve.
On the topic of Steve, when he returns the rapport between Pine and Gadot is instantaneous. They have not missed a beat and their journey together in Wonder Woman 1984 is beautiful. Any issues that Gadot has with delivering lines he helps pick up the slack. His arc with him being the fish out of water this time around is equally as compelling and enjoyable as Diana’s was in the previous adventure.
Another excellent duo is the two villains of the piece. Both Pascal’s Maxwell Lord and Wiig’s Barbara Ann Minerva are compelling villains. In particular Pascal. It’s easy to say he is an artistic lampooning of Trump, but I saw him as so much more than that. He’s a man desperately trying to be someone and he goes to extraordinary lengths to reach it. As you understand his motivations and background you feel for his all too human plight.
The same can also be said about Wiigs, Barbara Ann Minerva. At first, she seems like she’s going to be another Jim Carrey Riddler. She’s an underappreciated nerd, adores Diana but as the narrative pushes her character down the line of an antagonist, she becomes something far more interesting.
Wonder Woman 1984: Saving the world in style
What Wonder Woman 1984 does so well is present Diana as a hero. The action scenes involving her are impressive. In particular, a scene at the beginning of the film set in a mall. She juggles kicking butt with saving lives effortlessly showing her growth over the decades. What is also a godsend is the score, not relying on any nostalgia audiences may have for the 80s that other lesser films might try to exploit, Hans Zimmer gives the usual emotional intensity he gives to the rest of his work. It is easily one of my favourite aspects of the film.
If there were any issues with the film it would be the narrative itself. At the centre of this heartful and at times heartbreaking story of trying to be selfless in selfish time is a monkey paw plot ripped almost straight from the Twilight Zone. If it weren’t for the writing and the characters surrounding this clichéd McGuffin I’m fairly certain I wouldn’t be as positive about Wonder Woman’s 1980s romp.
Wonder Woman 1984 is a beautiful film that deals with surprisingly timely issues. The message of being your own hero is a universal one and compounds on top of the relatability of Diana herself. Even though she is a god, she is as relatable as any human being.
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