wonder woman 1984
DIRECTOR: patty jenkins (wonder woman)
STARRING: gal gadot, chris pine, kristen wiig and pedro pascal
REVIEWER: purdie picot
Rewind to the 1980s as Wonder Woman's next big screen adventure finds her facing two all-new foes: Max Lord and The Cheetah.
Following on from the successful 2017, Wonder Woman, Patty Jenkins returns to her directors chair and brings Gal Gadot back to the big screen as Diana Prince, in Wonder Woman 1984. Diana Prince, now is settled into life away from Themyscira, in Washington D.C. as an anthropologist at the Smithsonian Museum. She’s settled in, no longer a fish out of water, navigating modern society with ease as both an independent woman and a superhero. A colleague at the Smithsonian, Barbara Ann (Kirsten Wiig) has an interesting item to try to identify that takes Diana’s interest as well. A seemingly insignificant stone, known as the Dreamstone, an item capable of making wishes come true. Enter Maxwell Lord (Pedro Pascal), an aspiring businessman who also has a vested interest in the Dreamstone and it’s powers.
Gal Gadot as Diana Prince/Wonder Woman is simply magic, she brings the highly iconic character to life, the charm, confidence, and physical prowess to form a superhero that many look up to. On the other side, we have Wiig as Barbara, while the audience wishes we are Wonder Woman, we really are Barbara. Looking onto Diana wishing we could be that cool, and kick that much ass.
While Barbara’s wish is obvious enough, Diana reminds us of her old love interest Steve Trevor (Chris Pine), the World War 1 pilot and brings him back, at a cost. The words “monkey’s paw” get thrown around a fair amount in the film, and if you’ve ever seen any kind of media that involves wishes, you know that there is always fine print involved. Some 70 years later, Diana is still pining after the man who showed her that love is powerful and people can be good.
The movie becomes a bit of a reversal from the first, Diana is now the expert educating Steve on how the world works, from modern art, to fashion to a little thing called radar. If you spend some time thinking about it, of all the things that Diana could wish for, it’s to bring an old love back? At the time, she is skeptical about this item and what it is capable of - which she shouldn’t be, considering it’s her area of expertise. But nonetheless, she brings back Steve and the on-screen chemistry is back.
Pascal hams it up to the next level as Maxwell Lord, the delicate big ego with ambitions to match. He seems to be making up for all that time under the Mandalorian mask and fully embracing the fun and the zanny. Speaking of zanny, 1980s - the whole aesthetic is really pulled together, shoulder pads, big hair, bright colours. The look and feel of the film isn’t the only thing inspired by the 1980s, the script and plot itself feels very reminiscent of ‘80s films. The beats, the big villains, the whole idea of the Dreamstone and (no spoilers) but the ending itself also feels like it’s been ripped from the ‘80s.
All of which I love, it’s refreshing and fun, Jenkins went out to make Wonder Woman 1984 and she truly did through and through. How modern day audiences take on this vintage vibe is another thing. Pacing and plot points are sometimes too sacred to modern audiences. But at the end of 2020 audience preferences have surely changed, we are one of the few countries that are going to be able to see this film on the big screen and it’s probably the biggest blockbuster release we have had. WW84 is exactly what we need, bright fun, great action, kick-ass woman, something to go see with friends and family and just escape from the year that is.
WW84 is the spoonful of sugar we need at the end of this crazy year, fantastic blockbuster fun.