Wonder Woman 1984 Movie Review Rating: 3.5/5 Stars (Three and a half stars)
Star Cast: Gal Gadot, Chris Pine, Kristen Wiig, Pedro Pascal, Robin Wright, Connie Nielsen
Director: Patty Jenkins
What’s Good: Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman in full splendour leaving things at a much-needed positive note, how’s that for good?
What’s Bad: We see two films in one, and they both try to belittle each other at places. That thought restricted me from loving the film as much as I loved Gal Gadot in it!
Loo Break: If you need a break from watching Gal Gadot on screen, you do need a break!
Watch or Not?: It’s for everyone and wait till the post-credit sequence because there’s a sweet surprise!
The year is 1984, and we’re in Washington, without major pop-culture references though. A ‘mysterious female saviour’ kicks but* of some goons and we know who she is – Diana Prince! Yeah, all this happened after a build-up you lust for till the title board arrives. The build-up included a flashback from Diana’s childhood in which she plays Takeshi’s Castle on a high budget to prove she’s the chosen one. Cut to Washington, and she’s working with a gemologist Barbara Minerva (Kirsten Wiig) who finds an antique gem referred to a ‘dream stone’.
A charlatan businessman Maxwell Lord (Pedro Pascal) somehow tempts Minerva to give him the gem, and that’s where the destruction starts. How did he know about the gem? Well, that’s a half-baked subplot in the film. Diana has to intervene and take the matters into her own lasso (I had to do that!). Oh, and yeah, if you’re so interestingly reading this, you must already be knowing about Steve coming back. Chill, not telling how and will he die again because I guess you probably know that already.
Wonder Woman 1984 Movie Review: Script Analysis
Patty Jenkins, Geoff Johns and David Callaham come together to pen the script replacing Zack Snyder, Allan Heinber and Jason Fuchs from the original. Is this a good thing? Yes and no! Yes, because Patty gets to display her avant-garde vision backed with a reliable performance by Gal Gadot. No, because a few things but we’ll get to them later in the review. Because I want to talk about Patty milking the ‘humane’ angle with Steve. Little things like Diana teaching him to use an escalator, the flight amid fireworks, Steve getting an orga*m looking at the plane work absolutely in favour of the film.
The entire ‘superhero movie’ routine process of turning a peaceful world into a chaotic place is mostly handled well, with a few acceptable loose ends here and there. Now, jumping into the above question of why it would’ve been a good idea to include the first part’s writers? A lot has to do with the way Richard Pearson has edited the film. The idea of ‘wish-granting stone’ and the things it can do had the scope to just blast the things off, but somehow it seems extremely restricted focusing more on the Diana & Steve’s love angle. I gather the decision to extend the romantic track might be from the unanimously appreciated limited one in the first part. Still, it comes at the cost of creating turbulence to the central conflict of the film.
*Spoiler starts* The ‘I grant you all everything you wish for’ sequence filmed on Pedro Pascal took me back to the good old days of Jim Carrey’s Bruce Almighty. Also, a question to any fan of the film who can answer: Why didn’t Steve wish everything to be normal when Max grants him a wish? He couldn’t because he came to earth as Diana’s wish? Or was there something else? Let’s discuss on Twitter if you can find me. *Spoiler ends*
Wonder Woman 1984 Movie Review: Star Performance
As I’ve already said in the title, ‘I wish’ Gal Gadot to know that she’ll always be our Wonder Woman. That’s what she has brought on the table to her character; she is equally believable as Wonder Woman as well as her alter-ego Diana Prince. No matter how dark DC tries to go, Gal will always light up the screen with her presence. I could be termed as blasphemous for saying this but a thought popped-up my senile mind, and now I can’t undo that. The thought came in while I saw Wonder Woman donning that oh-so-shiny Golden armour. The thought is ‘Bappi Lahiri’. Change my mind and happy watching.
A wonderfully handsome Chris Pine gets a whole lot more screen-space from part 1, and I don’t have any complaints with the way he performs. It’s just that extra screentime eats a notable chunk from what this movie could have achieved. Kristen Wiig gets a proper character-arc going from this dork to an apex predator. Love how her looks are changed throughout the film – from socially awkward to a hot, saucy probable antagonist to an ugly apex predator, i.e. A VFX-heavy cat. Pedro Pascal impresses by leaps and bounds. He is so delicious at being bad.
Wonder Woman 1984 Movie Review: Direction, Music
No matter how amazing things happen at intervals in the film, I couldn’t let go the thought of Patty Jenkins directing two movies (one for herself, and one for the studio). That conflict remains till the end, thankfully gets coveted by a satisfying climax which indeed is the part of the film Jenkins wanted to make for herself and the fans. She retains the flavour of the original stuffing it with things – some extraordinary, some meh.
Hans Zimmer, just as Patty, retains significant pieces from the original but the fact remains that it left me craving for more. I wouldn’t have complained if the score was by anyone else than Zimmer. Fans, don’t get me wrong, because the background music is good. It’s just, the stakes were higher and so were the expectations.
Wonder Woman 1984 Movie Review: The Last Word
All said and done, I somewhere read about Patty Jenkins praising the climax of the film, referring it to a magical fusion of superheroes’ power and humanity, and I’m totally with her on it. Gal Gadot’s speech in the climax says a lot more than we can understand at the moment. More than understanding the message, it’s the timing it’s being delivered at. We need positivity, and that’s what the climax offers.
Three and a half stars!
Wonder Woman 1984 Trailer
Wonder Woman 1984 releases on 24th December, 2020.
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