Wonder Woman 1984 Review

The rare sequel that equals the original.

The DC Extended Universe has gotten larger and larger since its inception back in 2015. It’s not as big as the MCU, but there are enough films to determine if this experiment worked. With Wonder Woman, it started turning the table from some bad films to good ones. Wonder Woman 1984 is the follow up to that 2017 film, bringing back star Gal Gadot in the title role and director Patty Jenkins.

In the film, Diana dabbles in antiquities from a bygone era. Film critic Roger Ebert coined the term MacGuffin to describe an item or thing that makes the story move forward. Diana gets wrapped up in a scene involving an old crystal that grants wishes. Of course, anyone who looks at the film’s credits or watched the trailer knows Chris Pine is back as Steve Trevor. This is a bit of a contrivance. Without the MacGuffin, this couldn’t happen. 

Two new villains are also a focus of the film. Maxwell Lord (Pedro Pascal) and Barbara Minerva/Cheetah (Kristen Wiig). Lord is a television personality that is looking for a quick and easy way to make a buck by duping people out of their money to support his oil scheme. Minerva is a shy archeologist who befriends Diana for a part of the film before changing her mind about their relationship. These two villains were well thought out by the writers. Their motivations and personalities are perfect for the tone and feel of this film. They fit perfectly in 1984.

Like its predecessor, Wonder Woman 1984 has some great action sequences. One involving criminals at a shopping mall was very well done, but that wasn’t half the scene the caravan scene was. These two films know how to bring out Diana’s abilities and skill set perfectly. The writers get inside this character and understand her. Using more of her tricks helps the viewer get into the film that much more. It was fun seeing all of her tricks used in the various scenes.

A few nitpicks with the film I have are the length and some plot problems. The film is over two-and-a-half hours in length. This could have been shortened a little bit. If a few flying sequences were cut from the film, it would have helped with the dragging issues. During those scenes, the film did drag a little bit. Involving the flying sequences, there were some story problems. They maybe should have cut them out entirely. The length and editing of some plot things go hand in hand. They are just small issues though.

Wonder Woman 1984 does a great job going all-in on the feel and esthetic of the decade with clothes, hairstyles, and random things that are 80’s like jazzercise, and so forth. The score from Hanz Zimmer also is very good. He uses Diana’s theme once again to great success like in the first film but mixing in ’80s-like themes as well. This is one of the best scores of the year. 

Wonder Woman 1984 is a good film. It has good performances from Pascal, Wig, and Gadot. The 80’s aesthetic is very enjoyable especially for those that love that decade and all it entails. Some great action sequences and character development are the strong points of the film. If it was a little shorter, it would have been a great film. Jenkins has done a very good job on her follow-up to Wonder Woman.

4 stars

Dan Skip Allen

The rare sequel as good as the original!

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