I remember giving 2017’s Wonder Woman an incredible review – I loved how thrilling and charming the whole movie was… Much to the disappointment of some man-babies on Twitter who still use an egg as a profile picture.
Well, I can’t wait to infuriate them all over again as I reckon Wonder Woman 1984 may even be better than the original.
From the very opening scene, it was clear that I wasn’t just watching a film set in the 80s – and if it being set in the 80s comes as a shock to you, then you must be a whole new level of thick. In fact, it’s like I was watching an 80s film.
Kudos to director Patty Jenkins who managed to beautifully craft such a nostalgic moment; from the music to the skateboarding dudes, right up to the blatant racism and AIDs pandemic that we probably didn’t see on camera.
Much like with Stranger Things and GLOW, Wonder Woman 1984 has capitalised on the popularity of the 80s aesthetic, and it works. A lot of the film’s humour comes from the zany fashion choices and god-awful, archaic technology. (Seriously. If I had to write this whole review on a Commodore 128, my articles would be even worse than this. And that’s saying something.)
There are a few actors who were born to play a role, and Gal was obviously destined to play Wonder Woman. Not only does she act the part, but she looks the part, and – according to Patty – even is the part off-camera.
“What makes Gal the perfect person is that she actually looks like Wonder Woman, so that’s amazing and bizarre. It’s when you’re not watching Gal that she’s doing more Wonder Woman things than you can believe,” said Patty Jenkins.
“She’s taking care of everybody’s kids, and then she’s cooking and then she’s being thoughtful, and she’s doing 500,000 things at the same time.” (It kind of explains why I didn’t get the role of Wonder Woman, doesn’t it? It’s taken me three days to write this review, and in the meantime, I still haven’t washed once.)
A lot of whiny nut-jobs on the internet moan that Gal cannot act, but these are also the same people that moaned about Marvel casting Brie Larson, a woman, as Captain Marvel, another woman, because Brie was a woman, so…
I’d like to therefore sit these little whiners down in front of Wonder Woman 1984, and show them Gal’s brilliant outing as the titular hero, who delivers one of her best, most emotional performances in not just a Wonder Woman film, but in any of Gal’s films to date.
Gal’s supporting cast are just incredible too. Naturally, we couldn’t have this film without Chris Pine’s Steve Trevor, who passed away in the first film. I was sceptical about seeing him return in this film, as it seemed like a bit of basic fan service, and that the filmmakers were essentially going back on the plot they had so perfectly created in the first film.
And yet, here I am, with egg on my face. Firstly, because I tried making an omelette at the same time as writing this review, and it just made a huge mess, but secondly, because Steve’s return to the film was very clever. It fit so perfectly with the storyline; it didn’t seem crowbarred in at all, and it provided one of the more, previously mentioned, poignant moments of Wonder Woman 1984.
There was, however, one moment which did disappoint me. I can’t explain it without giving away spoilers, so if you are waiting for the full Wonder Woman 1984 effect, may I suggest you quickly scroll past the next paragraph?
SPOILERS IN 3…
Anyone who’s seen 2017’s Wonder Woman will know that Diana’s love interest, Steve, hijacks a bomber plane loaded with poison to such an altitude that he can safely detonate it, blowing himself up along with the plane. Steve heroically sacrificed himself for the greater good, leaving Wonder Woman devastated. It was a touching moment in the franchise, not to be repeated… For three years, at least.
Diana is granted the wish of Steve returning, but at a cost – gradually, Wonder Woman becomes weaker and loses her powers, so Steve – you guessed it – sacrifices himself for the greater good. It just doesn’t have the same effect the second time around, does it?
I mean, sure, I like doughnuts. If I had one right now, I’d love it. I’d eat all of the glazing with much delight. I’d get excited as the jam squirts out. What can I say? I love doughnuts. But I wouldn’t want to keep eating them, would I? By the second or third or – who am I kidding – twelfth doughnut, I’d get bored. That elaborate analogy is supposed to be the same for Steve’s sacrifices. I just got distracted because I’m hungry.
It’s at this point that we must talk about Wonder Woman newcomers, Pedro Pascal and Kristen Wiig. What a bloody delight those two are. Getting the Mandalorian and Target Lady in one film deserves an Oscar. Full stop.
Pedro plays Maxwell Lord, one of the antagonists of the film. He’s over-the-top, flamboyant, eccentric, and everything you usually wouldn’t want from a mature superhero film. And yet I used the word ‘usually’, because Pedro is so bloody fantastic in Wonder Woman 1984.
I find Maxwell Lord’s story a bit uninspired – in true maniacal villain, his one true desire is to become the most important, powerful man on the planet (or, as I like to call him, Tom Hanks). But I’ll forgive the plot because Pedro is such a joy to watch.
When I caught up with Pedro Pascal, he even mentioned that Nicolas Cage inspired his role, saying “I think that, because of the generation that I’m a part of, and knowing that I want to be an actor for most of my life, I saw all of [Nicolas Cage’s] movies during the most influential periods of my life.
“He’s, sort of, my Brando. There’s probably some Nicolas Cage inspiration to many things that I’ve done. With [Wonder Woman 1984], there were moments where I thought thinking of him was a component to anchoring me into the scene.”
DC audiences will have been left speculating Kristen Wiig’s appearance as Cheetah for some time. She didn’t appear in any trailers, and only eagle-eyed fans will have spotted her on promotional materials, but for a woman who is covered in fur, she… Actually looks pretty menacing. She’s nowhere near the scariest superhero villain, but enough so to make the idea of a six-foot, leggy leopard somewhat enjoyable, rather than laughable.
Kristen can do no wrong in my eyes, and some of her nerdy Saturday Night Live characters, such as Gilly and Sue, are some of her best. She played the insecure Barbara so well, without becoming too much of a caricature. But as the film progressed, I feared for her origin more and more. I’ve been bitter even since I saw Jamie Foxx’s Electro be born because he was a nerd and no-one went to his party.
Thank God, however, that Barbara’s origin story was so much better than Jamie Foxx falling into a tube of eels, only to harness their power of electricity.
Everything about the way Wonder Woman 1984 is presented is perfect; it sounds amazing; the score is exciting; as mentioned previously, the aesthetic is so much fun; the special effects are – well, okay, not everything is perfect.
At times, I was taken so aback by Wonder Woman 1984, that I was almost removed from the film altogether. Diana learns to fly, after soaring in a jet, which she makes invisible (nice touch) and as Wonder Woman soars through the sky, it just looks a bit awkward. Like, why spend money editing out ropes and harnesses, when it’s so evident that she’s on them? It just looked a tad weird. Don’t even get me started on the moment she saves two children, embraces them, and as they plummet to the ground, roll out of her arms like the demented plastic dummies that they were.
I’ve seen more realism in the fake fruit friends I made during lockdown.
Wonder Woman 1984 is a fantastic, much-needed escape from reality that we need right now. Gal, and the rest of the cast, are so perfect for this funny, powerful, and – I know I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again – charming action movie. I insist you watch it, because… What else can you do? It’s not as if we can go outside anytime soon.