Certificate – 12
Directed By – Patty Jenkins
Starring – Gal Gadot, Pedro Pascal, Kristen Wiig, Chris Pine, Robin Wright, Connie Nielsen
Running Time – 151 Minutes (2 Hours 31 Minutes
Following the success of 2017’s Wonder Woman, it was a no brainer Patty Jenkins would return to helm the sequel. Upon reflection, Wonder Woman 1984 works better as an Elseworlds story than part of the DCEU/DC Films canon, even more so following the release of Zack Snyder’s Justice League.
Even though I’m fully aware, everyone within Warner Bros and those that love the film sees it the other way round.
This new chapter in the Wonder Woman story sees Diana Prince (Gadot) living quietly among mortals in the vibrant and sleek 1980s – an era of excess driven by the pursuit of having it all. However, Wonder Woman has to step into the spotlight with wisdom, strength and courage in order to save mankind from a world of its own making.
There are things to like and watching the “making of” video it’s clear Jenkins had a singular vision. It’s wonderful she was given the right to do it because even if I didn’t like the film overall, it’s clear as day she LOVES Wonder Woman and made a movie about emotion instead of action.
This is where the film works as Gadot gives her best performance showcasing raw emotional talent. In one scene, you feel her pain, and it completely rips your heart out. Additionally, it’s her relationships with humanity and finding a friend in Wiig’s Barbara Minerva after all these years keeping to herself, especially once Etta Candy passes away.
This would be the fourth time as Diana for Gadot, and the Israeli actress feels comfortable in the role as the beacon of love and hope. It’s clearly Jenkins’ love letter to Richard Donner’s Superman and Lynda Carter’s Wonder Woman, even in more ways than in the original film.
Gadot wasn’t the only performance to shine, with Pascal nearly stealing the as villainous Maxwell Lord. While it’s not the version of the character from the comics, it’s an original new take blending the character with The Duke of Deception.
However, similar to Gadot, Pascal brings an understanding as to why he’s doing these things, and his final moments of the film are also emotional.
Jenkins also brings the 80s to life again, and the opening scene in Themyscira for the Amazon Olympics is the best part of the film. A lot of it’s down to the terrific performance of Lilly Aspell’s Young Diana.
That in itself tells you everything you need to know how I feel about the film.
I was genuinely missing that warrior side to Wonder Woman as the action that is in the film lack the punish of the 2017 movie. That could be down to Damon Caro not handling the stunts, and it’s a shame because Gal, as shown in the “Making Of”, is a brilliant stunt and action performer.
When Diana runs down the street or in the mall, the wirework would have looked much better with him in charge.
The script is also an issue has it simply doesn’t feel as strong, they’re missing Allan Heinberg, who wrote the 2017 movie, and all three of Jenkins, Geoff Johns, and Dave Callaham need to take equal blame, but I think a bigger part should be aimed at Johns.
Elsewhere, the reintroduction for Steve Trevor is handled so poorly. At the same time, Pine continues to have the same fantastic chemistry with Gadot. They should’ve thought of just letting him stay dead or have him be part of Diana’s current life in a different way.
Then you have Wiig as Minerva, who simply doesn’t work in the movie as it’s too campy for the character. There are some bright moments, including when she appears at the gala as she’s gaining confidence within herself and her powers before coming villainous. They have this MeToo moment of Minerva attacks the man who harassed her walking home at night.
It’s a topical and important issue, but it just doesn’t work and falls flat.
This could be why I see it as more of an Elseworlds story to separate themselves from this film and continue with Wonder Woman in the modern-day.
Additionally, the score was utterly forgettable, which is mental to say when they had the icon, Hans Zimmer. For someone who was around and started his career in the eighties, you would’ve thought he would’ve made this kick-ass 80s score.
The only things I liked about the music in the film are the Amazon Olympics theme and the use of A Beautiful Lie from Batman v Superman at the end of the movie because it fitted with the film’s theme.
Does The Blu-Ray Have Bonus Features?
Hell yeah, it does! Warner Bros/Jenkins has done a terrific job of filling it out.
They have fun features like Gal & Kristen: Friends Forever, Gal & Krissy: Having Fun, and who doesn’t like a gag reel?
There’s two scene studies in The Mall and The Open Road (which are ideal for film students to see). We Meet the Amazons, and a delightful little featurette on Lilly Aspell called Small But Mighty and get to see the Black Gold ad.
Finally, we get the Making Of, which are always solid and interesting.
It’s a perfectly decent film that is lifted by Gadot and Pascal’s performances, but it does have its issues with the script and the way the film goes, following the groundwork of the original movie.