There’s no question that DC’s first Wonder Woman movie, out in 2017, was, well, wonderful. Everyone was captivated by Gal Gadot and eager to see what she had for us.
The history, the new premise, the script, the wonder, and the woman had everyone intoxicated with anticipation. As expected, that enthusiasm has carried over to the second movie of the franchise… but 1984? Anyway, similar to ‘Wonder Woman,’ we get a setup, or in this case, a reminder, of who Diana Prince is and where she comes from. The adventure starts with Diana (Lilly Aspell) as a little girl learning to compete in games against older Amazonian women. She gains a life lesson at the same time when she tries to take a short cut to beat the others. You’ll appreciate the cinematography, but if you hoped to get more of Connie Nielsen and Robin Wright in this action flick, don’t. I hate to break it to you, but right after, we suddenly jump to 1984, where Diana is now a wonderful woman in a shopping mall, amongst the legwarmer and parachute pants crowd.
In said mall, while trying to stop a jewelry store heist, Diana, played once again by the beautiful Gal Gadot, saves a child with the use of her magic lasso. She later meets gemologist Barbara Minerva, played by Kristen Wiig, and gets to know her over a meal. They encounter an ancient artifact, a large citrine crystal, which we learn is the ‘Dreamstone.’ If you make a wish while touching it, even without intending it to come true, the stone grants you this wish. If you were curious as to how Steve Trevor (Christ Pine) made his way back into the storyline, this is how. Diana has never wanted anything more than to have Steve back in her life. Luckily for her, here’s a way to make that a reality. Barbara, not realizing dreams really do come true, wishes to be, essentially, Diana.
Oh! Want to know if your deep desires will come true or not? Here’s a hint. After you make a wish and your hair blows in a sudden burst of wind, it’ll come true. That’s the sign.
Enter narcissist Maxwell Lord (Pedro Pascal), aka the Donald. Yes! That has to be who this character is modeled after. He’s determined to be noticed and be praised. Lord’s catchphrase is ‘Life is good, but it can be better.’ Things are no longer going his way. He finds out about the Dreamstone. He must have it! He then discovers who currently possesses the item he desperately covets. He’s desperate! The man is severely overextended, owes money to everyone, and his empire is crumbling under a mountain of debt. He’ll stop at nothing to get it, including neglecting his son. To get his hands on the stone, he gets close to Diana and Barbara by donating to the Smithsonian where they work. Not impressed and somewhat suspicious, Diana wants nothing to do with him, but Barbara lets Max borrow the stone. She’s not the brightest bulb. He then makes a wish to… become the stone? Yes. He is now the Dreamstone somehow. He then asks people questions in a way that manipulates their desires to benefit him. He’s not getting everything, but even so, he wants MORE! Diana must stop him before he gets too powerful.
I hate to break it to you if you have not yet heard, but there are several problems with the movie. Perhaps we can blame some of the issues on the pandemic? No. That timing doesn’t work. Here they are. I made a note to first mention that certain scenes in this film have some of the worst graphics I’ve seen in Superhero movie history. Why, oh, why, would they do this to the franchise?! I feel sorry for Gal Gadot because if they worked harder and took longer on everything involved with this project, it would be a hit. Gadot was absolutely marvelous. Wiig was adequate with what she had to work with, but her Cheetah, the villainess with superpowers of strength, stamina, and dexterity, was practically nonexistent. I thought she’d have much more screen time. Pascal is a good actor, but you’ll hate his character, and not in the right way.
Sadly, not until you’re in the last quarter of the movie do you feel the story is worth watching. The villain is so over the top; you want him to blow up the world, so no one (you especially) has to listen to him anymore. Just get it over with already! You’re going to love the scene where children are playing in the street… in the middle of a desert?!?! I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. —Steve Trevor’s scenes. I’ll leave that for you to discover.
What I’m saying is, you do have to see ‘Wonder Woman 1984.’ I didn’t hate it, but I will argue that this isn’t something to spend a lot of money on. Watch it at home. With what is going on in the world right now, I think the script was all about letting us know that greed and corruption gets you nowhere. Power in the wrong hands can, without much effort, dismantle our very lives. The entire message playing out at the end was impressively well-executed, but getting to that moment was challenging.
Extra note! Stick with it for the middle credit gift you must see.
Wonder Woman 1984
Director: Patty Jenkins
Writers: Patty Jenkins, Geoff Johns, David Callaham
Stars: Gal Gadot, Chris Pine, Kristen Wiig, Pedro Pascal, Robin Wright and Connie Nielsen
Running Time: 2h 31m
Genres: Action, Adventure, Fantasy