#REVIEW: “WONDER WOMAN 1984”
By Mr. Will Wong
Director/Writer Patty Jenkins and Gal Gadot reunite in WONDER WOMAN 1984 after major success with its 2017 predecessor. This latest installment borrows the elements which made that Film such a big success: the virtue, the emotions and of course, the action. Though the previous Film proves a tough act to follow, on the whole fans should find this follow-up gratifying after an extended wait for it.
While working as an Anthropologist at the Smithsonian Institute, Diana (Gadot) continues to secretly fight to save the world as her alter ego, Wonder Woman. Diana becomes friends with Barbara (Kristen Wiig), who is obsessed with Diana. Businessman Maxwell Lord (Pedro Pascal) seeks to use Barbara to gain access to the Dreamstone, which grants wishes to those who touch it. Barbara unwittingly wishes to be more like Diana, but to her surprise she takes on superpowers just like Diana. Diana wishes for her one true love Steve (Chris Pine), whom you might remember had died in the prior installment, to return again. Maxwell’s wish however is to embody the stone, essentially controlling the world, taking as he wishes from those whose wishes get granted. His ascent then happens quickly, leaving behind a trail of destruction and as a result of this, Diana loses her power and soon Barbara becomes Diana’s most dangerous threat. Will Diana be able to regain her strength and stop both Maxwell and Diana from leading the world to catastrophe?
In a dream-like way, Jenkins explores consequence and action. She also looks at the abuse of power and how that manifests itself in the world igniting evil and greed in others and as a result, the degradation of humanity. Perhaps a familiar story we know all too well. Hence, while the Film centers itself in the ’80s (despite lacking the era’s aesthetic), its message couldn’t be timelier. Though the Film aims high in virtue, we aren’t certain it quite lands there in nailing the emotional and cathartic marks it hopes to in order to make us appreciate better what we have versus what we wish for.
Wiig, while an unconventional casting choice for a Superhero Villain, excels in channeling Barbara‘s awkwardness before fully realizing herself as the villainous Cheetah. Gadot like in the last film, is a towering presence, making Diana‘s conscience clearly audible. Pascal is unrecognizable here but revels in Maxwell‘s hunger to be seen and heard.
Warner Bros. Canada release WONDER WOMAN 1984 in theatres and on premium video-on-demand Christmas Day.
*Please ensure you exercise caution in observing COVID-19 protocols if seeing this in-theatre.*