Wonder Woman was a crowning achievement for WB/DC. One of the top Comicbook films of the decade, perhaps even of all time. Going into the film I was still a little weary of Gal Gadot as the titular character. Even after her being a breakout in Batman V. Superman. Yet she was incredible. The entire film was. The No Mans Land Scene alone is arguably the greatest in superhero history! It was a turning point for the DCEU. Things started looking up.
So you could imagine my excitement for Wonder Woman 84. Once again a bit weary, but for different reasons. I know longer had reservations for Gal as Diana. She is the best thing the DCEU has done. I was little more iffy on the idea of bringing back Steve Trevor. While Chris Pine is fantastic at the role, as he is in every role, the emotion behind the first film tracked with the world they had set up.
I also feared for Kristin Wigg as Cheetah. As Cheetah is THE villain in the Wonder Woman lore. The Joker, Darth Vader, Venom, she is the arch nemesis to Diana. I have not been the biggest fan of her work. She is talented of course, but just not someone I have ever really been drawn too. However, none of this deterred my excitement for the film.
Returning in the sequel is Gal Gadot as our hero Diana Prince, with Chris Pine as her love interest Steve Trevor, back from the dead. Joining the duo is The Mandalorian himself Pedro Pascal as Maxwell Lord, a down on his luck businessman looking to take advantage of an ancient stone. As well as Kristin Wigg as Barbara Minerva aka Cheetah. We also get a flashback to open the film where we get to see Robin Wright and Connie Neilson and Antiope and Hippolyta respectfully. Patty Jenkins is back in the directors seat bringing us all the action.
The film itself is very pretty. The 80’s backdrop of the film really added to the film, despite the fact that it is nothing but a backdrop. The fact that film takes place in the 80s really has no weight on the film at all. But the film looks like an 80s film. The colors are vibrant and beautiful and truly pop off the screen. However other than the ascetics and a short montage, the 80’s play nothing into the plot of the film, which leads me to wonder why it is that they decided to make it a part of the title.
The film itself is a lot of fun, and can be enjoyable. So long as you are not expecting to see the masterpiece the first film was. It would be very difficult to outdo that film, therefore we shouldn’t have had the expectations of it doing so. I found it very entertaining, and fun, in a cheesy superhero film way. Not every superhero film has to be an perfect film. Some can just be for entertainment. That is what the movies are for, entertainment. Wonder Woman 84 sure is entertaining.
However it is not without it’s flaws. First off the film makes for some huge plot holes in the DCEU. That doesn’t make it a bad film, but you do spend time wondering about how the events of these film are never referenced in any other DCEU films, because these are some history making events. We didn’t need the extravagant over the top events, especially with the villains set we had. It could have been a much more intimate situation that our hero would have to overcome, not by strength, but through the heart.
Another issue is Cheetah herself. While Kristin Wigg is a stand out that I will speak on in a moment, I feel the character is kind of thrown to the side, and disrespected. Cheetah is the arch nemesis of Wonder Woman as I said before. And my friend Rob nTropi from Cinelinx.Com put it best, he said:
Cheetah’s role was no bigger than Sandman in Spidey 3, and she’s [Wonder Woman’s] arch nemesis… that’s how y’all do her?
I could not agree more. Though I would argue her build to Cheetah was incredible! I just think we should’ve seen the build in this film, like we did, and not see her as “full Cheetah” until the post credit scene, setting her up for the NEXT film. A lot like Aquaman did with Black Manta.
There are also a lot of cheesy, “comicbooky” moments. Which are not negatives in and of themselves, but the fact that they are a dramatic departure from the first film hurts this one. However, they only hurt the film, they do not destroy it. The film itself is actually a lot of fun once you look past the plot holes, CGI issues, and stop comparing it to its predecessor.
Wonder Woman 84 has a lot of heart in its story, and is a lot of fun as a superhero film. There are moments that if you are a fan of the character, you will see a lot of old school references and Comicbook lore. Plus the cast is incredible. Most notably Kristin Wigg as I have said. While her character growth has been joked to be very reminiscent of Michelle Pfeiffer’s Catwoman, and Uma Thurman’s Poison Ivy, they did an incredible job. To be honest I found her to be the best part of the film, despite being under-utilized.
Gal is fantastic once again as Diana, she really makes you believe in this character and care for her. She is hands down the reason the DCEU cannot reboot and just start again, because she is too incredible as the Character. She makes you really fall in love with ideals that Wonder Woman stands for, and believe in her fight. And while I wish they had given us one film before truly bringing back Steve Trevor, Chris Pine is so fun in this role. Trading places with Gal from the first film, Trevor is now the “fish out of water” showing up in a new time period. While he doesn’t do the position the justice that Gal did in the first film, Pine does a great job having fun here. So much so that he inspired me to buy the Nike Cortez’ that he wears in the movie! One of my biggest fears going into he film, was his return, however I feel they did a great job bringing him and making it make perfect sense, without ruining what had come before and his sacrifice.
Pedro Pascal as Maxwell Lord worked really well too. As I do not know this character from the comics, I only know him from his appearance on Supergirl on the CW, played by Peter Facinelli, so going into the performance I was open to his interpretation. And it was vasely different from his Arrowverse counter-part. However in this setting it seemed to work out for the best. I enjoyed his portrayal of the character, and I loved that it wasn’t a character that Wonder Woman just beat up to win, it had to be an emotional victory.
When the Grind Called and said “tell me about Wonder Woman 84”, I honestly didn’t know how to answer right off the bat. Which is why you are not getting a real “review” and more of just my thoughts on the film, a few weeks after release. Because at first I enjoyed it, while noticing it’s not living up to the original film, but I quickly saw the divisiveness of the fans. The hating on the film, and the absolute love for the film. Personally I don’t believe you only have 2 options when it comes to movies. Love or Hate, and everything in between. I enjoyed Wonder Woman 84. I look forward to the future of the franchise. No it’s not the top of my list in the DCEU films, but I was still able to find joy in it! And if you can find entertainment, in a movie made to entertain you, I think that’s a win in my book. But what do you think? Answer the call in the comments below.