The long-awaited sequel to 2017’s Wonder Woman has finally arrived and has caused quite a stir among movie lovers online. Some fans loved it while others really disliked it. Wonder Woman 1984 has us reunited with the wonderful Diana Prince in the 80s while she’s going through a bit of a rough patch. She befriends a new coworker, Barbara Minerva (played by Kristen Wiig) and together they encounter a stone that is said to grant wishes (yes, really). Pedro Pascal plays another key figure in the story, Max Lord, whose quest to seek out the stone has no boundaries.
Wonder Woman 1984 is an ambitious movie. With a runtime of just over two and a half hours, it fits a large number of plotlines and info into what could very well have been an “under-two-hour” movie. The first third of the film is where it’s at its strongest. We see Diana living her day-to-day and having a hard time with it. She feels lonely and cut off from the rest of the world, which is a side to superheroism that isn’t often explored, but is dealt with in a very delicate and revealing manner, adding an extra layer of human to Diana.
When she meets the shy and empathetic Barbara, they hit it off immediately and both somewhat envy the qualities that the other has. While Diana might be intrigued with Barbara’s personability and approachability, Barbara wishes she could be as strong, smart and sexy as Diana. The film actually makes some subtle and some not-so subtle digs at how attractive women are treated under predatory men’s gazes. Diana Prince, played by Gal Gadot, is a very obviously gorgeous woman and the film does a great job of highlighting the discomfort that comes with that added and unwanted attention.
When Steve is finally brought back and reunites with Diana, it is as great and climactic as you’d expect. Their scenes together are some of the best and strongest in the film. Their chemistry is intact, they bring a necessary touch of humor to the movie and Chris Pine is as charming as he was in the first film. While their scenes together are great, they aren’t given to us as often as was necessary.
While the runtime would certainly lead the viewers to expect more of these titular characters, the story itself is spread a little too thin. The story puts a lot of the focus on Pedro Pascal’s character and his journey to power and riches. One would think that with all this focus, we would have a clear idea as to who he is and why he is doing what he’s doing… but we don’t. Throughout the film, we get too many scenes of him spiralling into mania and reeling from the effects of his actions and only get his entire backstory is dumped onto us in the final moments of the film. It was an odd choice to place so much emphasis on a villain instead of the main characters when you don’t even spend the time developing their character arcs properly.
The film suffers in its final act. The resolution to the story felt overly idealistic and truly did not feel like the culmination of something that was building, but more of a way for the makers of the film to end it. Also, the action sequences were surprisingly unsatisfactory. They felt unfinished, almost as if the post-production team didn’t have time to complete it in time for its release… which we all know is definitely not the case (hi, covid).
Overall, this film could have been a lot better had it been a little more honed in. It felt diluted and lost some of its grip by trying to tackle so many storylines in one film and suffered as a result of not focusing on its stronger character dynamics. Still, it does have some fun and sweet moments. The opening scene with young Diana will surely have your heart pumping. Seeing Diana in her element, fighting side by side with Steve will have you feeling nostalgic and excited. Plus, the final scene of the film will surely leave Wonder Woman fans overjoyed and giddy!