This year has been a truly horrific year for cinemas. With the multiple forced closures, extensive movie delays and studio/streaming service deals, it seems that the end of cinema is coming a lot sooner than expected. This summer, Christopher Nolan attempted to plow through with releasing Tenet in theaters, but missed out on potential millions due to our global concerns over public health and safety. Now 4 months on, Warner Bros have made the bold decision to release their latest blockbuster, Wonder Woman 1984, in cinemas this holiday season. It’s been over 9 months since I’ve set foot in a cinema screen, but considering I’ve recently recovered from the virus and I’m about to be locked into tier 3 over Christmas, I thought I would finally grant myself the gift of cinema.
Wonder Woman 1984 takes place 66 years after the events of Patty Jenkins 2017 original. We reunite with Diana, played again by Gal Gadot, who is now a workaholic at the Smithsonian Institute in D.C, whilst also serving superhero Justice on the side. One day at work, Diana meets an insecure young co-worker named Barbara, played by Kristen Wiig, who is tasked by the FBI to look at a mysterious stone that, unbeknownst to them, has the potential to grant wishes, but at a cost.
Shortly after the arrival of this stone, a charming TV personality and struggling oil man named Maxwell Lord, played by Pedro Pascal, seduces his way to the stone and steals it for himself. With this dreamstone in his power hungry hands, Diana must stop Lord from destroying civilization as we know it. However this becomes difficult when she wishes for the love of her life, Steve Trevor, played by Chris Pine, to come back to life.
Tonally and visually lighter than its predecessor and the rest of the DC Extended Universe, Wonder Woman 1984 is a fun blockbuster popcorn movie that, considering the year we have all had, is exactly what we need right now. Although resulting in cartoonish villains and quite a bit of ‘movie logic, this lighter tone and classical direction pays respectful homage to the classic stopping-robbers-and-saving-children superheroes of the past such as; Tobey Maguire’s Spider-Man, Christopher Reeve’s Superman and of course Linda Carter’s Wonder Woman.
But, what makes Wonder Woman 1984 more than just another hollow superhero film is the emotion at the heart of its character development, especially in regards to Diana and Steve. Their dynamic is perfectly subverted from the first film as it is now Diana who introduces the now naïve Steve to the new world they find themselves in. Their relationship is satisfyingly bitter sweet as this time together ultimately allows them closure as they are finally given the chance to say goodbye.
Overall, Wonder Woman 1984 is a classic superhero blockbuster brought to life through the heartfelt direction of Patty Jenkins and the strength of her A–list cast. Although its villains aren’t fully realized and the film occasionally relies on sheer convenience to propel the plot, however the films fun tone, leading character dynamic and the beating heart at its core makes Wonder Woman 1984 a flying success and that’s the truth.
Wonder Woman 1984 is OUT NOW in select cinemas and HBO Max