Wonder Woman 1984 Review: Hopeful, heartbreaking, heartwarming, heroic

Courtesy of Warner Bros.

2020 has been a rough year for Wonder Woman 1984, and after many delays, the live-action sequel will finally debut this month in theaters and on HBO Max. Patty Jenkins returns to direct with Gal Gadot reprising her role as Wonder Woman, and she’ll be facing new threats including Kristen Wiig as Cheetah and Pedro Pascal as Max Lord. And what are our thoughts about the film? Wonder Woman 1984 is absolutely incredible, and we see a superhero who is flawed, vulnerable, fierce, and loving. Gal and Patty have crafted a beautiful film with intrigue and hope.

The first Wonder Woman film took place during World War 1, and it ended with Wonder Woman and her team saving the day. Not everyone made it out alive, with Steve Trevor (Chris Pine) sacrificing his life. Fast forward to the year 1984, and Diana Prince has been continuing the fight against evil while working at a museum. Even with her superhero and normal life duties, she has been living a lonely life. Immortality sucks, and she has watched her old friends disappear one by one due to time.

Two new characters are introduced as the main antagonists for Wonder Woman including Barbara Minerva (Wiig) and Max Lord (Pascal). Barbara is the new museum employee and Max is a successful businessman. These characters are fleshed out and don’t feel like cookie-cutter villains, each with their own desires and goals.

Wonder Woman 1984 Golden Eagle Armor
Courtesy of Warner Bros.

Wiig is wonderful as Barbara as we experience her transformation from the nervous and new worker to a confident member of her team. She builds a friendship with Diana, seeing in her the woman she wants to be. It’s a transformation that works, and it doesn’t feel as cheesy or silly as Jim Carrey playing Batman Forever’s Edward Nigma and Jamie Foxx portraying The Amazing Spider-Man 2’s Max Dillon. Because of that, she feels more of a sympathetic character.

There will be comic book fans who will not take a liking to certain changes in the Max Lord character. I, for one, love the different take on the villain, and Pascal adds more depth to what could have been a one-dimensional bad guy. Plus, it’s fun to see him ham it up as a cocky businessman.

Gal Gadot is back as Diana Prince/Wonder Woman, and she brings with her compassion and strength, similar to what we saw in the first film. In Wonder Woman 1984, it’s amplified even more, and it’s great to see a heroic character really doing everything in her power to save people, even if they don’t want to be saved. She oozes beauty, vigor, sadness and warmth.

One puzzling thing that definitely popped up in people’s minds was how the hell is Steve Trevor back and in the year 1984? Don’t worry, the film reveals how that’s possible, and it was an emotional moment, especially with the chemistry between Gadot and Pine. Their relationship was one of many highlights in the first film, and Jenkins has doubled down on the two in Wonder Woman 1984 to great effect.

The music of Wonder Woman 1984 stands out with ’80s music and an excellent score by Hans Zimmer. There’s also a wonderful scene that features Zimmer’s music from Batman v Superman, and it was a nice touch.

There’s action in this film, but it doesn’t really compare to the action in the first film. Even though we don’t see epic war battles, we do get to see the big global threats.

The most disappointing part of the film is the battle between Wonder Woman and Cheetah, Barbara’s final form. When the character was first seen in the trailer, it didn’t make a believer out of me, and sadly, the film didn’t change my mind.

Since this is a superhero film, there are Easter eggs and exhilarating moments that superhero fans will absolutely adore. There’s a scene that pays homage to Richard Donner’s Superman and another that will have Wonder Woman fans excited. It’s one of those things where you wondered if they could pull it off in a movie, and by George, they presented it beautifully.

Final Reaction

Wonder Woman 1984 is hopeful, heartbreaking, heartwarming and heroic. Pascal and Wiig are wonderful as Max Lord and Barbara Minerva, respectively, and seeing Pine and Gadot together once again is a treat.

Score: 4.5/5 Atoms

Wonder Woman 1984 hits U.S. theaters and HBO Max on December 25, 2020.

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