Review | Wonder Woman 1984
WW84 is the superhero movie we need right now, it’s full of wonder and hope!
Wonder Woman 1984 has had a tough journey to get released. A lot of countries got it in cinemas on December 16 where cinemas were opened. The US got it on December 25th both on HBO Max, free of charge, and in cinemas while the UK will have it on PVOD on January 13th (though on December 16 some cinemas that weren’t in lockdown areas got it). There are still countries where the movie has yet to be released.
Wonder Woman 1984 | Warner Bros.
2020 has been a difficult year for superhero movies, this is the third and final we got this year. The two others being Birds of Prey and The New Mutants. What I love about this year’s superhero movies is that each one has a very different style and its own identity.
This one is quite different from recent superhero movies as it sends us back to the style and tone of Donner Superman movies, which means that it focuses on the story and its characters instead of the action. I couldn’t have thought of a better director to make such a beautiful tribute to these movies. Patty Jenkins delivered an amazing sequel. Even some of Hans Zimmer’s tracks call back to that era of superhero movies and honestly, it fits the character.
And on top of it, the story took place in 1984, so we also have the aesthetics of the eighties. The movie captures the aesthetics of the time. You can see a lot of detail has been put into it – the costumes, the interior of buildings, the cars even the small details like the dances. It felt like you were transported back in the eighties!
Like I said above, the movie focuses on the story and its characters. There is a lot of dialog and emotion but also humor. The action is not the main component of the movie, there’s some but not a lot, it mostly comes during the third act. The story is a great one, at times it feels like an Indiana Jones adventure as our characters try to get back the Dreamstone and figure out what it really is.
It also has a heavy romance feel with the Steve and Diana reunion. Gal Gadot and Chris Pine have natural on-screen chemistry so it works beautifully! Steve’s return makes sense and plays an important part in Diana’s journey. I love that in the first movie, it was Steve’s guiding Diana in his world while in this one, it’s Diana who guides Steve in her world. Because Steve is back, you have some poignant scenes, two definitely brought tears to my eyes! But Steve also brings some humor, that scene where he tries different clothes is quite funny.
Diana is an anthropologist and we see a bit more of that side of her character. We explore who Diana is at that time and not just Wonder Woman. One thing we get to see is her friendship with Barbara Minerva. They’re friends for quite a long time in the movie, they only become enemies at the end of the second act.
Gal Gagot is marvelous as Wonder Woman, she IS Wonder Woman. Gal gives even more depth to the character as Diana/Wonder Woman faces new challenges both emotionally and physically in this movie. We don’t see Diana’s sword and shield in this one, instead, we see Wonder Woman using her lasso a lot more and I love it! We also witness Diana discovering that she can fly, this scene is a true wonder and they used Adagio in D Minor by John Murphy for score, it’s fantastic! As a fan of the comics, it made me smile to see her fly! It’s an essential moment for the character just like Superman’s first flight in Man of Steel! This scene comes after an emotional moment with Steve so it is heavily connected with him in such a beautiful way! Another important object from the comics makes its first appearance in WW84 – the invisible jet! Once again, the movie introduces it in a great way that makes sense.
Speaking of Barbara, Kristen Wiig and also Pedro Pascal who plays Maxwell Lord, the second villain are both scene stealers! They play compelling villains and unlike most superhero movies, these characters don’t die so they could definitely appear again in future stories just like in the comics! What I love about Barbara/Cheetah and Maxwell is that they have fleshed-out stories. They’re not villains just because, they have reasons which makes them even more interesting!
Barbara is clumsy and a person with a big heart but she’s a self-effacing person while Diana has this big personality and is the light in the room. It’s something Barbara wishes she could be so it gives her a reason to use the Dreamstone, and what it costs her is her humanity.
Maxwell wants a better life for his son, everything he does he does for his son but in doing so he forgets about his son and destroys the very thing he is. Barbara becomes Cheetah in the third act and I love how Patty made it work on-screen just like James Wan made the Aquaman suit work in live-action. It really works for me.
Hans Zimmer gives us a wonderful score! Like I said before some of his tracks are a call back to the Superman Donner movies era. He also brings back the Wonder Woman theme while also giving us a new theme for her that is also a theme for the Amazons – the Themyscira theme. It is absolutely beautiful.
Speaking of the Amazons, I was happy to see Connie Nielsen and Robin Wright reprising their roles for a flashback. Both the opening scene and the ending scene were shot in IMAX and you see them in the IMAX format which is a nice way to begin and end the movie. Both scenes are filled with hope and wonder, it is the core of what Wonder Woman represents. Diana wears the golden armor at the end as teased in the trailers and this armor is quite special for Diana because of what it represents. It is so empowering for her.
The final act features the fight between Wonder Woman and Cheetah, it’s a great one! But the very final fight of the movie is not physical, it is an emotional and moral fight – a fight for truth. Truth is one of the core themes of this sequel. I think a finale like this is bold to have in superhero movies these days, that’s why it’s even more impactful.
You can tell through the movie that it is Patty Jenkins’ movie and that it was not a corporation product. She was free to do the movie she wanted and to tell the story she wanted to tell. I’m delighted to have her back for another Wonder Woman sequel!
One last thing, there is a post-end credits scene and it really made me smile. Lynda Carter made an appearance as the Amazon Asteria and it is the best tribute they could have given to Lynda, the original Wonder Woman!
Wonder Woman 1984 is the superhero movie we need right now, it’s full of wonder and hope. Patty Jenkins delivered us an amazing sequel! In terms of tone and style, it felt like the Donner Superman movies, which focused on the story and its characters. Gal Gadot is simply marvelous as Wonder Woman once again, she IS Wonder Woman. Gal and Chris Pine have natural on-screen chemistry, it works. They have some poignant scenes!
Pedro Pascal and Kristen Wiig are scene stealers. Both play compelling villains with fleshed-out stories, it makes the characters more interesting. Hans Zimmer made a wonderful score, I love it! And the end credit scenes really made me smile.
Wonder Woman 1984 is distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures and is playing in selected cinemas now.
Collectables Editor at Future Of The Force.
Star Wars and Marvel specialist, anime expert