Wonder Woman 1984 Review

Let's review Wonder Woman 1984! Warning: there are some spoilers.

February 1, 2021

On December 25th of 2020, Warner Bros released the long-awaited sequel to Wonder Woman (2017), Wonder Woman 1984 in theatres, and on HBO Max. Before the movie was released to the public, early reviews came in about the movie, and many good reviews were written, as well as some negative ones. A notice for those reading this, there will be some spoilers.

The words that come to mind when you think of the character Wonder Woman may be strength, or truth, justice, or peace. Regardless of whether or not those are the exact words you think of, Wonder Woman 1984 perfectly embodies the idea of what it means to be Wonder Woman. WW84’s predecessor, Wonder Woman (2017) may be one of the greatest superhero movies released in the past ten years. It’s amazing action sequences, it’s memorable soundtrack, and it’s top of the line acting is what makes it great. 

If you yourself read the reviews that have been put out so far about WW84, you might start thinking that it’s a bad movie because it wasn’t the same as the first. It’s definitely not the same as the first, but that’s what sets it apart from the first. It has its own theatrical spirit. From the message of the movie to the villains, it is different. 

When you think about it, the movie’s plotlines couldn’t have ever happened had the Dreamstone never existed. Maxwell Lord wouldn’t have been able to wish to be the stone itself, and Barbara Minerva couldn’t have wished to be like Diana Prince. Speaking of Max Lord and Barabara Minerva, the character development of these two characters is very well done. From the rise and fall of Maxwell and Barbara to the havoc caused by this stone. 

During one of Barbara and Diana’s first encounters with each other, Barbara points out her shoes and how they have Cheetah print. Could this be a hint? Though the moniker of the Cheetah has been held by four women in the comics, Barbara Ann Minerva is the one we see in this movie. 

In all honesty, the casting of Kristen Wiig in a superhero movie was quite surprising, but she captures the essence of who Barbara is, and the essence of who the Cheetah is. When you can bring more than one character to life on screen, that shows a great level of talent. From playing the nervous and awkward lady that works at a museum, to playing the bad (in a good way) and cunning villain, Kristen Wiig shines in her role. 

While obvious, Maxwell Lord seems like a narcissistic person. He’s so focused on progressing the success of his business, that he tends to neglect his son, and gets tired of being around him. He goes from being narcissistic, to being even more narcissistic after he gets his hand on the Dreamstone and wishes to become it. A very clever plot twist. 

You can sense in this movie that Pedro Pascal knows who Max Lord is. What kind of person he is, and he plays him like he should. Max turns into a yes-man, and displays what could happen to people like that. He gets so caught up in pleasing others, that he doesn’t realise that it’s hurting him. So when Wonder Woman steps in to stop him, he feels like he has nothing left. He practically lives off of making people’s wishes come true. 

Wonder Woman 1984 does a great job of showing who villains are. The hero is only as good as their villain, right? The Dreamstone shows that you can have too much of a “good” thing. It gets you to wonder what the world would look like if everyone’s wishes came true. 

We’ve talked about our villains quite a lot already, so let’s show some love to our star woman of the movie, Wonder Woman. 

Diana goes through a lot in this movie, as a hero and as a person. In the very first scene of the movie, young Diana competes in what looks like a Themyscirian version of the Olympics. She begins to lead in the competition, until she falls off her horse. Her natural inclination is to find a shortcut back to her horse and back into the lead. She finds a shortcut, finds the horse, and makes it back to the stadium. It seems like she’s about to win. Diana jumps off the horse, grabs a spear and is about to throw it when Antiope stops her right at the finish line. 

Diana learns she cannot be the winner because she isn’t ready to win. You can hear the plot with the villains echoing Antiope’s words. 

 

What’s one of the most amazing things about Diana’s development in this move is how the words that taught her a lesson became her own. These parallels between the first scene in the movie and the story with the villains may go over some people’s heads if they are watching only for the action. This movie is made from the heart. It’s so unusual to see a hero in their civilian form. Who is the hero? Who is the human? Well, demigoddess in Wonder Woman’s case. 

When this man that isn’t Steve, places a watch into Diana’s hand, it echoes the moment from the first Wonder Woman movie when Steve Trevor does that before dying. This is how she knows. This is how Diana knows Steve Trevor is back. The one she went without for 66 years. Steve and Diana’s relationship is a cornerstone of Diana’s character development. When Steve sees what the airplanes look like in 1984, he stares in awe with a childlike wonder. When he flies a jet, an invisible jet, you see that same awe and excitement again. 

Diana learns that having everything you’ve wanted comes at a price, and she begins to lose her powers. The villains learn the same thing in the movie. Max Lord begins to go crazy, and can’t find his son in the wreckage. Barbara doesn’t seem to know whether or not she likes who she has become. Max may have made everybody in the world happy, but at what cost? Barbara may have had a glow up, but at what cost? Diana Prince, the Wonder Woman, got the love of her life back, but at what cost? 

This movie is a lesson. If we had everything we’ve ever wanted, we would change, and not always for the better. It shows us that we should be grateful for what we have, even if it’s not much. Wonder Woman 1984 shows what a true hero is.

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