Wonder Woman 1984 is here. It is set in the 80s - so I was sold already as I walked into the theatre without my popcorn. Plus I loved the synth-heavy score the trailer promised. Gal Gadot (charming as usual), Chris Pine, Kristen Wiig, Pedro Pascal - likable people in a superhero movie. I am game.
The synthwave lover in me cried as the film does nothing with it in the sound department. But WW84 is scored by Hans Zimmer. So no time to rant. Back to the review.
Watch the trailer of Wonder Woman 1984 here
I like flashback scenes. Except when it is about parents being shot in an alley. WW84 starts with a 50-year old flashback. Good for the fans. We get to see more Themyscira - the beautiful island state where the Amazonians live.
Diana's mother Hippolyta and mentor Antilope cameos in this part. A pre-teen Diana competes in a triathlon competition with taller, older, stronger women. She almost wins. Then Antilope gives Diana a life lesson. That helped Diana after 50 years to deliver her monologue from the climax.
End of the Themyscira montage. Cut to the 80s, Diana has not aged a day (No she is still not a pre-teen. I meant after the events of WW1). She works at the Smithsonian Museum in Washington D.C. Shadowing as an anthropologist, Diana puts on her costume and saves the day when needed. Things were going fine.
If socially awkward villains were to be ranked, I do not know where Kristen Wiig's Cheetah will stand. She enters into the film as the clumsy Barbara Minerva. Fashion disaster, insecure, lonely: Barbara meets most of the sweet spots that make her turn into the iconic villain of Wonder Woman.
Did I say her nickname is Cheetah? Because not once in this movie is it mentioned. I might be wrong though.
Barbara, a geologist at Smithsonian, is handed over a handful of ancient artifacts by the FBI. She finds a shiny stone from the lot - with Latin written all over it. Diana stops by her desk. Diana's multilingual skill deciphers the Latin. "Whoever holds this stone and wishes for something, will be granted," reads the scripture.
Still wounded after Steve Trevor's death, Diana holds the stone and wishes for his return. She did it for theatricality, the same way people read horoscopes but do not believe it.
Dazed and confused by Diana's charm, Barbara also does the same. Her wish? To be as powerful as Diana. A pretty big bar to topple.
Matter of fact, the stone actually can grant wishes. Diana gets Steve Trevor back because who would not love to see Chris Pine reunite with her? For Barbara, she gets a wardrobe update, stronger biceps and a solid personality.
Max Lord, a businessman played by Pedro Pascal, will remind you of certain motivational speakers of our country. Always big on words but hollow inside. He stops by the Smithsonian, makes a generous donation to the museum as the audience already knows he is an oil tycoon.
Like any other evil rich villain, Max also has a plan. He wants to steal the stone from Barbara. He does. That is when the plot escalates. If everyone gets their wishes fulfilled, what would be the payback? Nothing called a free lunch, right?
Diana teaches Trevor about the new world. He tries new fashion and aircraft. Together, they globetrot and try to stop a world ending threat. If Max Lord is the big baddie, then what is Barbara aka Cheetah doing in this film?
Too bad. Cheetah's potential is wasted in her first DC movie entry. We only get to see her turn into a Cheetah at the end of the film. Were they running short on CGI budget or what?
Max Lord leverages the power of the stone and starts a global chaos. He gets support from Cheetah, but only because Cheetah (I better call her Barbara) has her own agenda.
Since DC movies have repeatedly failed in worldbuilding around their slate of movies, WW84 looked like a one shot affair. It was fun to watch. It had passable action setpieces. If it were made in the 2000s, people would be dancing in their pajamas for all it offers. Maybe director Patty Jenkins did not have the freedom to do her thing with the movie.
WW84 speaks about truth, harmony and love. It did not try to be too woke or to establish itself as a female superhero movie. Because it is just a superhero movie. A good one. No gender tag required.
Personally, I liked WW84. It is not something that got me to jump on the couch. I did not laugh at every joke it threw at me or gasped at high stake sequences. But at least, I liked it more than Captain Marvel. Yes, I have to bring in my unnecessary Marvel vs DC comparison metrics.
There was no hint where Diana will be headed after she saves the world from Max Lord. But the post-credit scene made me shout. I was the only one fanboying in the hall. Nobody seemed happy except me. Catch the film in theatres to find out more.