Old fashioned as its underlying message might be, Wonder Woman 1984 still thrills thanks to superior character depictions and spectacular action.
Wonder Woman 1984 Synopsis
It’s 1984 and Wonder Woman, as Diana Prince, is living a peaceful but lonely life in Washington D.C. Her solitary life is turned upside-down, though, when her deceased WWII boyfriend Steve Trevor is mysteriously returned to life. After the reunited lovers investigate, they discover that Steve’s resurrection might be due to a malicious prank left by a forgotten god.
Wonder Woman 1984 has a mid-credits scene, one that made me squealed and clapped. For that scene alone, I would rate this movie five stars, un-objective as that’d be.
But nope, I didn’t do so and that’s because so many other reasons made me love this much-awaited sequel in-and-out. For a start, Gal Gadot has fully embraced her super-heroine persona, capturing not just the powers of DC’s strongest female character but also the anguish that comes from being an immortal Amazonian.
Her performance is also matched, in some cases surpassed, by the villains played by Kristen Wiig and Pedro Pascal. Hereby, I’d just say that Pascal’s Maxwell Lord is the classic mix of megalomania and charisma. A very standard Golden/Silver Age evildoer but still incredibly effective. (Interviews revealed he based it on Gene Hackman’s Luthor from the 70s)
Action scenes, on the other hand, were sometimes unreliable. While physical combat was expectedly exhilarating, I thought the aerial scenes lack a certain visual fluidity; some even border on unnatural.
This awkwardness is thankfully well-compensated by the story. It’s one that has been told endless times and with no surprises to pull. Interestingly, though, the developments are still absorbing to watch, especially after Maxwell Lord cut loose with his abilities.
I’d credit the above to how the tale intelligently strokes the fantasy in all of us. We all have something we crave for, don’t we? Even if we know deep down it will never come true, or should never come true.
Sounds preachy but in the hands of Patty Jenkins, this straight-forward morality tale becomes an indulgence that’s thrills then ends on a perfect bittersweet note. Coming back to the mid-credits scene, oh wow, Jenkins is also one director who knows how to do fan service for older Wonder Woman fans! The cameo additionally sounds the perfect note for further sequels, which I now very much look forward to.
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