Directed by : Patty Jenkins
Written by : Patty Jenkins, Geoff Johns, David Callahan
Starring : Gal Gadot, Chris Pine, Kristen Wiig, & Pedro Pascal.
After much delay, the long awaited sequel to the crowd-pleasing DC superhero flick is finally here – albeit on the smaller screen this time for most people.
Nevertheless, Wonder Woman (2017) was truly one of a kind – not necessarily because it was the first major female-led superhero film, but because it found a way to embrace the strength of its main character through her femininity. Instead of taking the common shortcut of making their female superhero more masculine – Patty Jenkins was able to channel Diana Prince’s power through grace, and wisdom, with a charismatic performance from Gal Gadot.
Wonder Woman 1984, while seemingly setting out to be a darker and more mature film than its predecessor – ends up becoming something that’s entirely different; melancholic.
…and I do mean that with in the best way possible. Wonder Woman 1984 is very much an emotional film, with more highs and lows than your usual superhero film. Everything from the character interactions, to the dialogue, and the action sequences derive from a very energetic, and joyful sense of direction. This feels very much like an unabashed love letter to Richard Donner’s Superman (1976).
This tone doesn’t always do the film’s favors though, there are times where the goofiness of the character motivations, and the over-the-top dialogue can come off a bit too kitschy.
The performances across the board were stellar, while bringing back Chris Pine’s Steve Trevor seemed like an unorthodox move at first – it’s hard to deny the fact that Pine & Gadot’s chemistry is the beating heart of this film, and every scene that they’re in – are when the film is truly at its best.
As for the villains, Kristen Wiig gave us a charming, and interesting Barbara Minerva. Although unfortunately she wasn’t given much to do for the most part, and fans of the character cheetah might be left wanting just a bit more.
Our main antagonist however, Maxwell Lord – played by the beskar-wearing Pedro Pascal himself, gave us a very layered, and complex villain that we can somewhat empathize with. While Pascal’s performance can get a bit too melodramatic at times, and his blatant attempt to draw inspiration from a certain failed-businessman-with-psychopathic-ambitions can be a bit too on the nose as well. Lord ends up becoming the most compelling of all the characters, with a very satisfying arc too – I might add.
Overall, Wonder Woman 1984 was an unapologetic love letter to the Richard Donner’s Superman – the sheer melancholic nature of the film might turn away some audiences, but for most of them – they will leave the film with a smile on their faces.