In the sequel to the 2017 blockbuster Wonder Woman, Gal Gadot returns as Diana Prince and takes us on an all-new adventure in Wonder Woman 1984. It’s a film that tries to be more than just your standard action flick but ends up falling into all of the same tropes as films that came before it.
The film has this strange campiness to it, and at times it works, but mostly it doesn’t. We’re obviously in the 1980s, but the winks and nods can be too on the nose at times, and the script is ripped straight from that time period. The plot can be a bit clunky and downright irritating at times. It’s also a story we’ve all seen before. The hero discovers a powerful tool, but it falls into the wrong hands; the hero will have to work with their friends to overcome the villain and save the day. We’ve seen this story a thousand times, and this film has zero surprises. You can guess the rest of the film after about 20 minutes, and while the film doesn’t give us anything groundbreaking, it’s still a solid Wonder Woman story.
Gal Gadot and Chris Pine (Steve Trevor) carry this movie. At times it feels less like a superhero action film and more like a romance. The chemistry between our two leads is better than ever. Pine has this wide-eyed sensibility to him since he’s missed so much after the previous film’s events, while Gadot has this commanding presence on the screen, where you can feel Diana’s warmth and caring nature. It’s why she’s so good in this role. You can’t help but love this character. Pedro Pascal is similar in how he plays Maxwell Lord. He’s not inherently evil, he’s just misguided, and it makes him lose apart of his humanity. Kristen Wig does well with what she was given, but Cheetah doesn’t add much to the overall story besides someone who can go toe-to-toe with Wonder Woman.
The film’s pacing is not great. It tends to drag on, and the ending doesn’t make the wait worthwhile. There was about an hour between the first and second action scene, and that’s when things started to feel far too long. Still, director Patty Jenkins’ style and vision shine through and bring this sense of hope to the film. Aided by Hans Zimmer’s fantastic score, it manages to overcome many shortcomings.
Overall, Wonder Woman 1984 is a fine addition to the DC Films library. It’s a bit too slow-paced and light on the action, but its actors, score, and cinematography keep it from mediocrity. It’s still a great film to watch during the holiday.
Wonder Woman 1984 hits theaters on Christmas day and streams exclusively on HBO Max at no additional charge.
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