Patty Jenkins and Gal Gadot reunite for a worthy sequel to 2017’s Wonder Woman. Leaning on the 80’s nostalgia and cheese, Diana Prince finds herself confronting her biggest threat to date.
Rewind to the 1980s as Wonder Woman’s next big screen adventure finds her facing two all-new foes: Max Lord and The Cheetah.
What is your deepest desire? The one thing that if you had in your life, that would make you the happiest? Would you sacrifice a part of yourself in order to obtain this? This is what’s at the centre of WW84. Love was a large theme during Wonder Woman and this time around it’s truth. Being true not only to yourself, but the other people in your life. The most powerful weapon a person can possess, isn’t something you can wish for or something you have to obtain, it’s something you already have but just never truly realized it until now.
Times sure have changed, we aren’t in the nitty gritty of war anymore, and we have moved on to the craziness of the 80’s. Diana has been living on Earth for a long time now and she feels alone and isolated. The truth is, she hasn’t fully recovered from losing Steve Trevor and now she’s afraid to get close to anyone. Not letting anyone new into her life means she can’t possibly feel the pain of losing someone again. It isn’t until she stumbles upon a mysterious artifact and a new friend Barbara Minerva (Kristin Wiig), that she embraces her one wish, to bring back her one true love. Little does she know that when you get the one thing you want most in this world, it will come with a consequence. Enter Max Lord (Pedro Pascal), a down on his luck TV sales man who sees the promise with the “Dreamstone” and wants it all to himself. In fact, he wants to embody the stone itself, and start fulfilling wishes. He’s a con-man and starts wrecking havoc across the world, because he is hungry for power, but he also desires attention.
WW84 is very different from its previous outing. The tone has shifted just as much as the time. I think some people are going to be thrown off by the amount of campiness and cheese that is thrown into the mix and the over-the-top characters but even with all of that going on, it still has its core values at heart. Hope, truth, love and kindness lead this movie forward and once again, the chemistry between Diana and Steve Trevor propel this forward.
As much as Wiig and Pascal were refreshing with their villain takes, Wiig could also be completely removed from this movie and you wouldn’t even notice. She doesn’t really serve any real purpose in the plot and that was a let down because of how important the character of Cheetah is in the Wonder Woman mythos. She’s kind of just always in the background and I found it incredibly weird that she first wishes to be “just like Diana” and when Max Lord asks her if she wants “more” she becomes a cat. It didn’t really sit well but that was how she needed to become ultimately Cheetah. The action set pieces aren’t nearly as rewarding or fun to watch as Wonder Woman, but the movie does a great job at showcasing all the things Diana can do. Gal Gadot loves this character so much, she embodies everything that makes this hero, super. The 3rd act is when this movie really gets to shine and spread its wings. By far the strongest aspect of the film and really makes up for a weak first 2/3s.
Patty Jenkins wants to embrace what makes Wonder Woman special. Just something doesn’t fit at the end of the day. It could be the watered down action, but that’s not what this movie is about. They dive into what it means to be a true hero, which is letting go of things that hold you back and learning to live with your weaknesses. Using them as strengths and learning that the truth will indeed, set you free. Certain demographics are going to love it and others will not. Theres a fine line drawn in the sand, and we will be getting another dose of Wonder Woman in March with Zack Snyder’s Justice League. So everyone should be happy.
I just wish they used Cheetah more and developed that relationship a little bit more because Wiig actually surprised me with her portrayal and I know she can do so much more. I’m certain she will return in future movies and maybe even pop up in other DC flicks. But what saves this movie is Pine and Gadot working together. It’s emotional to see Steve Trevor return and they have honest to god top-notch chemistry. Which was never in doubt and I’m glad they were able to bring his character back without making things to difficult when explaining it to the audience.
At the end of the day, WW84 is a fun movie, with some entertaining moments, but it’s the performances that carry the film. From top to bottom, everyone brings it, and Maxwell Lord is one of the more intriguing DC villains we have seen so far. It’s full of hope and laughter and will make you smile and at the end of the day, sometimes that’s all that matters. There’s no propaganda or any nonsense like that going on, no political message, it’s just a movie that wants everyone to look deep within themselves and realize they are perfect just the way they are.
WW84 = 68/100