Film Review: Wonder Woman Makes A Wish

Wonder Woman 1984 Review: Indulging and Condemning '80s Excess

Wonder Woman 1984 is a superhero film with Gal Gadot returning to the title role. Patty Jenkins returns to the director’s chair and has co-written the screenplay alongside Geoff Johns and Dave Callaham. Chris Pine returns as the resurrected Steve Trevor, Wonder Woman’s lost love from the First World War and previous movie. Kristen Wiig and Pedro Pascal sign on as the main antagonists. Connie Nielson and Robin Wright are also seen in flashbacks to young Diana Prince’s childhood on the secluded island of Amazon warriors.

By day, Wonder Woman lives as Diana Price, a senior anthropologist at the Smithsonian Institution. At least that was what she was doing in 1984. A foiled robbery leaves a collection of artefacts to be identified by Diana’s department. Among the mysterious items is something known as a “Dreamstone” which actually has the ability to grant wishes, which leads to the return of Chris Pine’s Steve Trevor. Pascal plays Maxwell Lord, a slick business owner with a troubled oil company. Kristen Wiig plays a very insecure woman named Barbara Minerva, who later gains a lot more confident and lethal when she becomes an adversary known as Cheetah. So everyone gets a wish but there is a cost that is not immediately apparent. The whole planet starts to go nuts, and Wonder Woman is the only one there to sort it all out.

This thing is a mess, but Gal Gadot and Chris Pine help make it a watchable mess. I am not sure why this story needed to take place in 1984. There wasn’t much to help remind me of that this was supposed to be taking place in 1984. Of course, I may have been trying too hard to make sense of the plot to really focus on the details of the setting. There were some charming and amusing moments. Gadot is a good actress and incredibly beautiful, so that helped keep my attention. It was good to see Chris Pine again, although I am concerned that he is going to keep showing up in more implausible ways if this series continues. It is, of course, a comic book movie, so the implausible is actually quite routine. Anyway, the two leads and their chemistry is really the best thing about this film.

I was not sure that Wiig was going to be a good fit as someone who might be able to take down Wonder Woman, but she did fine overall. Pedro Pascal was also fine but rather unremarkable.

This film has taken some rather brutal criticism by the pros, but it was not quite as bad as I feared. It’s not that great either unfortunately. Much of the criticism is fair. This is just a film that left me with a mixed reaction. I liked it for the most part, but the previous film in 2017 was considerably better. I do want to see Gal Gadot continue in the part though. That casting decision was a stroke of genius. I just wish the genius flowed over into the plot of this particular movie.

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