Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman in “Wonder Woman 1984”. (Warner Bros. Pictures/DC Comics)
Fountain Valley High School

Review: ‘Wonder Woman 1984’ will whisk you away from the everyday

Writer’s note: This article may include spoilers for “Wonder Woman 1984”.

Director Patty Jenkins and Gal Gadot have reunited to produce “Wonder Woman 1984,” a sequel to Jenkin’s “Wonder Woman”, which made its spectacular debut in 2017. The spunky 1980s rendition premiered on HBO Max on Christmas Day 2020 and has since given way to both positive and negative reviews.

The film opens with a glimpse of Diana Prince’s childhood on the idyllic island of Themyscira, where she competes with her fellow warriors in a series of toilsome challenges. Diana nearly claims victory but is pulled aside by her aunt Antiope, who scolds her for taking shortcuts. Diana then learns an important lesson of truth which will prove handy later in her life.

Flash forward to 1984, an era where commercialism, greed and wealth are at their zenith, Diana now resides in Washington D.C. working as an archaeologist and anthropologist at the Smithsonian. Given her immortality, Diana seems to live quite a lonely and isolated life.

That is until Dr. Barbara Minerva arrives. Barbara, who is new to the workplace, seems almost awestruck by Diana’s presence and immediately asks her out to lunch. Diana, not used to having friends, is hesitant to respond, but she eventually accepts, and the two share drinks at a bar.

The chemistry between the two is apparent. Barbara tends to be more humorous and outgoing while Diana is more reserved and cautious. The two balance each other out and it seems as though they could be good friends. But of course, that is not the case here.

You see, Barbara gets her hands on an ancient citrine stone that grants wishes. Being fascinated by Diana and her persona, Barbara wishes that she could be more like Diana. This, in turn, transforms her into a villainess by the name of “Cheetah.”

On the other hand, Diana silently wishes that she could be reunited with her former lover Steve Trevor, who passed away decades before. The two blindly wish upon the Dreamstone not knowing that the stone actually granted their wish.

Then thing’s get a little more complicated. Enter Maxwell Lord, a perfect representation of the 80s era.

Lord is a phony oil tycoon with an ambition to achieve financial success. He later becomes a full-fledged villain when he manages to get his hands on the Dreamstone to use for his own benefit. He wishes to become the stone itself so that he can take advantage of other peoples’ wishes.

It all goes downhill from there as Lord begins to wreak havoc with his newfound powers and the rest of the film covers the chaos that ensues.

 

Review

I went into “Wonder Woman 1984” with high expectations, especially with the first film being so successful, but frankly, it was a disappointment as a sequel and action movie.

Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t a horrible film. It just wasn’t as action-packed compared to its predecessor and I personally like superhero films to have a lot of action scenes.

The most climactic sequence was probably the opening scene featuring Diana’s younger years. Throughout the whole film, there were a total of two major action sequences.

One thing I did like about “Wonder Woman 1984” is how it took the time to fully highlight the villains’ insecurities and doubts, which is a rarity amongst superhero movies. Instead of solely presenting the protagonist’s background, “Wonder Woman 1984” also develops Lord’s and Cheetah’s character in a way that viewers can emotionally understand the reasoning behind their motives.

All in all, if you asked me to rate “Wonder Woman 1984” on a scale of one to 10, I’d give it a seven out of 10. The film had a variety of flaws ranging from overused tropes to stunted dialogue, but not all films can be perfect.

If you’re looking for a typical escapist film that will whisk you away from your worries for about two hours, “Wonder Woman 1984” may be your best bet.