After the World War I setting of 2017’s Wonder Woman movie, its sequel jumps forward nearly 75 years, hence the title, Wonder Woman 1984.
But first, the movie flashes back to a young Diana Prince participating in an athletic event on Themyscira against older Amazons, with her mother Queen Hippolyta (Connie Nielsen) cheering her on. After she cheats to win, her aunt Antiope (Robin Wright) removes her from the competition, explaining anything worthwhile must be obtained honestly.
Then we arrive in the current era of 1984, with Diana (Gal Gadot) working at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., while secretly performing heroic deeds as Wonder Woman.
She decides to make friends with new employee Barbara Ann Minerva (Kristen Wiig), a shy, mousy geologist and crypto-zoologist, when they are asked to identify an artifact, which contains a Latin inscription claiming to grant the holder one wish.
Diana unknowingly wishes for her deceased lover Steve Trevor (Chris Pine) to be alive. Barbara wishes to become like Diana without realizing it gives her the same superpowers.
Later that evening, failing businessman Max Lord (Pedro Pascal) tricks Barbara and manages to steal the artifact…only he wishes for the power to grant all wishes in exchange for a trade of his choosing from the wisher.
Diana figures out how to stop this, but finds that Barbara doesn’t want to give back Diana’s powers.
Though it seems as though Diana now has two villains to fight, there’s actually a hidden third…human greed, and with her powers draining, she has to look to the past to win this battle.
Wonder Woman 1984 is a fun movie, but I didn’t find it at good as the original. Perhaps the mid-80s setting lent too much camp to the plot, or maybe it was the use of Trevor as the comic relief, but the movie felt like it was trying too hard to shoe-horn in all the different plot points and characters.
It felt more cartoonish than the original, as well, from the script to the special effects. I also felt uncomfortable with the bedroom scene between Diana and Steve, since it wasn’t Steve’s body he was using.
But I did enjoy most of the movie. I loved seeing how Diana grew up on Themyscira, and it was nice to see Trevor again, despite the circumstances. I didn’t find Barbara/Cheetah as formidable as the first movie’s Ares, but there’s potential now that she has her own powers. And that surprise cameo at the end was definitely for the Wonder Woman fans.
I’m giving Wonder Woman 1984 a 3.5 out of 5. It was good but had the potential to be so much better.
WONDER WOMAN 1984 (2020)
Directors: Patty Jenkins
Cast: Gal Gadot, Chris Pine, Kristen Wiig, Pedro Pascal, Robin Wright, Connie Nielsen
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