Wonder Woman 1984 – Movie Reviews by Ry!

Wonder Woman 1984 – Diana in the 80’s: A DC Sitcom

The continuation of a story can lead to many possibilities.  A second chapter can add more layers of excitement or turn into a rehashing of the previous installment.  This is what you call the fickle nature of a sequel … trying to define ‘what comes next’.   In this latest review, I look at a sequel that tries to progress the story forward.  In this next adventure, it is a journey filled with strong lore and predictable genre tropes.  Wonder Woman 1984 provides a unique blend of fun but does not stray from the mediocrity of the genre.

It is 1984, and the world continues to change around Diana Prince (Gal Gadot). When a mysterious object falls into the wrong hands, will Wonder Woman be able to find her truth while fending off her greatest foes?  Patty Jenkins (director) attempts to provide girth through the mixing of genres.  By re-using the first film’s foundation of combining a period piece within the DC lore, it adds depth to the ‘fish out of water’ dynamic through the reversal of positions.  After a flashback sequence, the audience is thrust into the year, 1984.  Diana is living under the guise of a Smithsonian worker, but continues to thwart crimes around Washington D.C.  After reestablishment, it leads into sequences of colorful action and ‘heroic’ one-liners.  The leveling of the era and comic book elements provides a unique blend of realism within the fantastical.  This blending adds a creative self-awareness of character and lore, providing a foundation of that ‘feel good’ aspect of older comic book films.  After some convenient plot devices, Diana encounters Maxwell Lord (Pedro Pascal), Barbara/Cheetah (Kristin Wig) and the story’s MacGuffin (Magic Stone).  After the return of an old character, the story becomes a predictable path of unraveling events.  As motives of the stone is revealed, it foreshadows the impending conflict between Wonder Woman and Maxwell Lord/Barbara.    

As the story weaves around the MacGuffin, the second act becomes a series of comedic mishaps, character moments and overused action tropes.  The mysteries found (about the stone) adds to the credence of truths, leading to some strong emotional moments with predictable outcomes.  As the world’s fate is tied to the rise and fall of certain decisions, the journey begins to falter from its potential.  There is deeper meaning to be had, but there is no sense to move beyond the foundation of just being a comic book sequel.  Once everything comes to head, it leads into a final act of the typical ‘hero vs. villain’ confrontation and a reflection type climax.  Wonder Woman 1984 is filled with dynamic of potential, but never ceases beyond being another comic book sequel.  If you are a fan of the character, lore or comic book films, this is one for you.  You have a choice to watch this on HBOMax, but it can still be fun to see on the big screen for the right price.

Full Score – 3 out of 5 (Theater Discount)

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