Taking place almost seventy years after Wonder Woman, Diana is now an anthropologist at the Smithsonian Institute. Diana is living outside of Themyscira and balances her work and superhero life as best as she can. Diana teams up once again with Steve Trevor to stop a Business Man Max Lord and Diana’s colleague from using an ancient artifact that grants a wish called The Dreamstone. The Dreamstone user gets a wish, but it comes at an enormous price to the user.
Full thoughts and Review of Wonder Woman 1984
When Wonder Women came out back in 2017, it needed to be a home run for the following film Justice League to have any chance of being a hit. Wonder Woman was a release in the right direction and gave me slight hope for Justice League. Justice League went on to be a bland, safe film and underperformed at the Box Office. Since then, Warner Bros moved their comic book movies to only do solo stories instead of doing an MCU style of films grouping heroes into other films. Since then, other DC films Aquaman and Shazam went on to succeed at the Box Office. Wonder Women followed up with a sequel Wonder Woman 84. Delayed by Covid and released to HBO Max platform for thirty days and movie theaters.
The story’s tone felt different from Wonder Woman, at least for the first half of the film. The film’s second opening (the first opening scene featured Young Diana in a minimal Themyscira scene) felt very reminiscent of the beginning of Superman 3, where Diana was saving people from almost pratfall like scenarios like Clark Kent/Superman had to handle. The film’s opening was fair, and I can’t understand why they didn’t cut out these odd scenes of Diana saving the day. She saved people later in a better situation that didn’t require those pratfall situations.
The story and characters are where I also felt I got a bit deceived. Going off the trailers, I wouldn’t think that Max Lord would be the main villain of this movie. The build-up to me would be Cheetah as the main villain and Max to be the side story. It almost felt like a “bait and switch,” but Max’s story and the villain arc were a lot better and maybe kept me from disliking this movie.
Gal Gadot and Chris Pine are back playing Wonder Woman and Steve Trevor, respectively. They both worked well together and still do in this film. Even though he returned made sense to the story, it always felt forced to return him the way the story brought him back. You get a sense of a to foreshadow of how and when he’ll leave the movie series again, which didn’t feel as impactful as the first movie. Some of the “fish out of water” elements Steve goes through were hit and miss. The characters and antagonists introduced are two of Wonder Woman’s enemies and DC villains, Max Lord, and Barbara Minerva, aka Cheetah, the third characters in the DC comic that portrayed her. Both actors Pedro Pascal and Kristen Wiig, did a fine job with their character portrayals.
The “Dreamstone,” an artifact that grants the user one wish, did have a bit of weirdness when introduced in the movie but provide an “oh ok”, that is a rather interesting device that works for the film. While some wishes get granted before Max possesses it, when Max Lord uses it and how it affects everyone and him, is smart. Pedro Pascal, the actor that played him, did a great job. His performance is at its best after using the Dreamstone. The Dreamstone had a Monkey’s Paw logic as it can grant a wish, at a personal cost, either small or large scale consequences. When Max Lord got the artifact, the way he used it was right. How Max used the artifact and its toll on him was the only time Wonder Woman’s 1984 story worked for me. The letdown is how the story came to an end. It’s another yes it made sense, but it felt so anti-climatic that to stop the Dreamstone could be solved at the introduction of the Dreamstone.
I get that Barbara’s story wasn’t as strong that could carry an entire two and a half hour movie. The way that Barbara becomes Cheetah is off. I am familiar with some of Cheetah’s origins and how she became Cheetah in the comics were better than in the movie. In this movie, it just seems to happen instead of her progressing into the character throughout the film. This progression is what probably needed to happen to her, which could give me interest. A let down of a build, as I hoped she should be a more substantial threat to Diana. But we did get an incredible fight scene towards the end of the film from Diana and Cheetah.
Summarized thoughts and review of Wonder Woman 1984
This film drags at points. I forgot many of the movie’s moments after seeing it, but I still remember the film’s key points. Be it a rewrite or cut footage needed to happen but didn’t. I did like any of the actions that occurred on screen. The characters and actors worked well with the story that they had. It’s the points of the film that picked up again. While not as good as the original movie, I still enjoyed the movie, with a dislike for most of the story elements and pacing.
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