WONDER WOMAN 1984 | Film Review

RELEASED: December 16th 2020
DIRECTED BY: Patty Jenkins
WRITTEN BY: Patty Jenkins, Geoff Johns & David Callahan
PRODUCED BY: Patty Jenkins, Gal Gadot, Charles Roven, Deborah Snyder, Zack Snyder & Stephen Johns
MUSIC BY: Hans Zimmer
STARRING: Gal Gadot, Chris Pine, Kristen Wiig & Pedro Pascal

REVIEW: In a year that has been undeniably bleak, Wonder Woman 1984 is something of a bright spot, evoking some of the more classic superhero films of decades gone by.

While it isn’t the greatest superhero story put to cinema, it does have enough heart, excitement and vibrant imagery to act as a welcome distraction to the world outside the cinema (or your house, if you’re watching the movie on streaming).

The film picks up some 60+ years after Wonder Woman’s fight with Ares and the death of Steve Trevor, and finds Diana (Gadot) living a quiet, lonely life as an anthropologist in Washington D.C., making occasional appearances as her superhero alter ego. But when she and her co-worker, Barbara Minerva (Wiig), begin studying a mysterious artefact, they become embroiled in the schemes of cunning entrepreneur Max Lord (Pascal), who promises to make everyone’s desires a reality.

There’s a lot to like about this film, the new additions to the cast in particular.

Kristen Wiig and Pedro Pascal are easily the standouts here, both in terms of their performances, but also the characters they bring to life. In their owns ways, Barbara Minerva (/ Cheetah) and Max Lord are well-fleshed out characters, each of whom have facet of relatability, and actual realistic reasons for becoming antagonists. Through them, Jenkins also gets the chance to explore themes like loneliness, female empowerment, sexual harassment and the American dream to great effect.

Their stories seamlessly blend with that of Diana’s, combining into a mostly well-written, and ultimately very human superhero story that often tries to put character first.

Seeing returning cast members Gal Gadot and Chris Pine share the screen again is also a welcome delight, and the way Steve’s return fits into the plot never seems forced or outlandish. His presence in the eighties, and the eighties setting as a whole, are played up to full affect, providing some great visuals, costumes and quality humour.

The film also deigns to embrace the style of superhero films of that era, as Patty Jenkins and the writers start heaping on some of the more ridiculous parts of Wonder Woman‘s lore this time around, in a way that feels reminiscent of the Christopher Reeve’s Superman movies. Nothing is off limits, and providing a fun viewing experience is the main driving force.

Although at times, it does seem like the film pushes the boundaries of how much ridiculousness it can get away with, and for some, it may come off as a bit too silly.

This isn’t helped by the fact that the CGI wavers in quality, looking rather off at times, and the fight choreography flips between being solid and overly flamboyant, as opposed to well-constructed.

Furthermore, the film starts to lose focus in the third act, as it descends into a somewhat interesting but mostly cluttered finale where all the things the film did so well start to fade away.

And due to the film’s rather lengthy runtime, it’s almost enough to make you forget all the good it did in the first half of the movie, and leave you somewhat indifferent.

Were I just going off my feelings after walking out of the cinema, somewhat disappointed, I’d probably give this three and a half stars, but thinking back to all the wonder that preceeded it, I’ll be generous and give it a…

Thanks for reading! How are you watching Wonder Woman 1984 – in the cinema or on streaming? Let me know in the comments below!

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