Wonder Woman 1984
With the power to grant any single wish to anyone he is in contact with, Max Lord inadvertently is dooming the world. Wonder Woman must try to stop him and the Cheetah who does not want to give up her wish.
Spoiler Level: Moderate to High
The very first comic book I can remember reading was Wonder Woman. I was around 5, so reading might be a strong word. This would have been 1974 and a year before we get Linda Carter’s stellar portrayal. This character has been a strong force in my life for four decades and to see her finally on the big screen (or in this case, the small screen due to Covid) several times played expertly by Gal Gadot has been a fantasy come true for this man!
Sixty plus years after the events of the first Wonder Woman, Diana Prince is working at the Smithsonian as the lead Anthropologist specializing in ancient Mediterranean civilizations where she befriends a new co-worker, Barbara Ann Minerva. Barbara is a meek, nearly invisible woman, who deeply envies Diana, and through a series of events is imbued with Diana’s confidence, sexiness, and strength. In addition, businessmen Max Lord (Pedro Pascal) becomes a vessel of power who can grant anyone a single wish, but each wish comes with a great price. Diana’s wish of having Steve Trevor alive again is granted and she slowly begins to pay. Barbara, unwilling to give up her newfound power wishes for even more, she wants to be an apex predator and becomes a Cheetah.
Max Lord’s need to become great! To be the best! To impress his son! Leads down a road where the entire world is on the brink of annihilation. Can Diana pay the price she needs to pay, stop Max Lord and defeat a woman who is just as strong and as fast as she is. Of course, she can. This movie takes place in 1984 and since Batman vs Superman and Justice League both take place after this we know that she succeeds. The real question is “How?”. That, I won’t say.
This is a great follow up to the first Wonder Woman stand alone feature. Where the first Wonder Woman had a muted tone to reflect the early 20th century, Wonder Woman 1984 updates the pallet to reflect the vibrant life of the 80s. Her costume, including her boots have been slightly altered to reflect the period. The movie has the right amount of humor mainly coming from Steve Trevor’s (Chris Pine) storyline of being a stranger in a strange land, but even more than that, he serves a purpose. He is the child in us all who is seeing things we have come accustom to for the first time. The idea of jet planes and rocket ships to the moon give him a sense of awe and wonder at what man has accomplished and it lends to the story that we live in a great beautiful world. A world with many complex issues and taking short cuts in fixing those issues is cheating and never ends well.
The Wonder Woman movies seem to have a theme. The real villain in each movie is more of an ideal than actual characters. The first movie dealt with War with the personification of war being Ares. Was mankind worthy of the gifts it has been given. In this sequel, it is “Want and Lies” and in this case it is personified by Max Lord. There are no shortcuts in life to getting what you want. Be careful what you wish for, you may get it.
Overall, the movie was excellent. Strong performances from most of the cast. Kristen Wiig as Barbara starts off a bit too meek and uncoordinated, but she is not so over the top that it detracts from the story. Her transformation is also gradual, which I liked, all too often a villain’s transformation is too abrupt. It wasn’t, “ZAP! Now I am a supervillain!”. We get to see Barbara slowly move from nerdy to sexy (not that someone can’t be both) and we empathize with her on why she wouldn’t want to give up her powers.
The special effects and production value are all top notch. I do feel there were some weak points. The plot was a bit overcrowded that some of the exposition happened a bit too quickly which caused the movie not to flow as well as the first one. I would have liked to have seen more of the Cheetah and really focused on her story instead of Max Lord who was a bit too over the top. I did like the clever way that they brought Steve Trevor back from the dead. The action sequences were all thrilling and awesome and the explanation of the “Invisible Jet” was great. The special nod to Linda Carter warmed my heart!
A good strong movie, but the story is not as cohesive as the first Wonder Woman and Max Lord as the main villain was a bit weak.
Wonder Woman 1984: Be Careful of What You Wish For!
Writing - 9/109/10
Storyline - 8/108/10
Acting - 9/109/10
Music - 9/109/10
Production - 10/1010/10
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