It is odd to think this might have been the only big superhero movie this year. There may have been some little indie projects that came out under the radar, but since the advent of the affliction, all the big players are saving their projects for next year. That is, with the exception of this one. Is there any particular reason? Probably that this movie was basically done when this all went down, which makes the most sense to me. I just think it is odd we have gone a whole year without basically any major heroes on the silver screen between March and now.
“Wonder Woman 1984” is a continuation of the first “Wonder Woman” film (obviously), taking place about 70 years after the latter. Since her escapades in World War I, Diana Prince (Gal Gadot) has been leading her double life as a part-time superhero and full-time anthropologist at the Smithsonian Museum in Washington, D.C..
While working there, Diana meets new employee Barbara Minerva (Kristen Wiig), who happens upon a magic stone that was recovered from a raid on a mall jewelry store. Little do they know, this stone has the ability to grant wishes, at a price. However, there is somebody who does know this, the flamboyant oil baron Max Lord (Pedro Pascal), and he wishes to use this stone’s abilities to meet his own ends. This stone is also how Steve Trevor (Chris Pine) comes back into Diana’s life, leading to some fun 80’s fish-out-of-water antics.
It has been a while since I’ve seen a superhero romp like this, so it is probably in this film’s favor that my superhero fatigue has faded significantly since I have not watched another Marvel or DC movie since April. It has never been the case that I thought comic book movies in general are bad, just a bit repetitive at times. This film is no exception. It really hits all the beats of the typical DC fare of the past few years.
In addition to all the DC tropes, I think the supporting cast is about as good as it gets. Pedro Pascal chews scenery like a cheap steak, Kristen Wiig plays the dork almost like she is in a second skin and Chris Pine really plays the “guy from 1918 in 1984” about as well as one can.
Unfortunately, I can’t exactly say the same for Gal Gadot. It’s not that she is bad in the movie, I think she is excellent in the action sequences, but there is the occasional line delivery that just falls flat. It is not a consistent issue, most of the time she is just fine, but the fantastic performances around her tend to make any oddities about her performance stand out much more than usual.
All in all, this film is a very fun romp. The action is exceptional, the macguffin is utilized in an interesting manner in this film, and all the nods to vintage “Wonder Woman” projects make all the references worthwhile. The film stumbles at some points, but not enough to knock it off course, which is all we can ask for sometimes.