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‘Wonder Woman 1984’ movie review: After a big bust-up, all comes right in the end

This image released by Warner Bros. Entertainment shows Gal Gadot in a scene from "Wonder Woman 1984."   | Photo Credit: AP

The sweetest, funniest and saddest thing about Wonder Woman 1984 is the scenes between Diana/Wonder Woman and her lover, Steve Trevor. From the fashion choices the American pilot from World War I makes and his joy at flying a jet to his unquestioning support for Diana as well as his reasoning with her to let him go, it is all heart-warming and the right side of teary. It is hard to swallow the lump in your throat as you chuckle remembering Steve trotting out in brightly-coloured athleisure and a fanny pack with the Stars and Stripes.

Wonder Woman 1984
  • Director: Patty Jenkins
  • Cast: Gal Gadot, Chris Pine, Kristen Wiig, Pedro Pascal, Robin Wright, Connie Nielsen
  • Story line: Diana battles another confused megalomaniac in the excessive ‘80s
  • Run time: 151 minutes

Apart from that, Patty Jenkins’ Wonder Woman 1984, a sequel to 2017’s surprise hit Wonder Woman, is a regular superhero film, with the action and colourful villain. Set in the neon-lit ‘80s, WW84 sees Diana working at the Smithsonian Institute as the senior anthropologist — having lived through centuries, the Amazonian Diana seems the right person for the job.

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Shady businessman Maxwell Lord is well known on television, selling various get-rich schemes. Just as his angry investors are asking him for their money back, he hits upon the mother of all shifty schemes, which involves a stone that has the power to grant wishes. The stone is at the Smithsonian and Diana wishes for the return of Steve from the dead, while mousy Barbara, Diana’s coworker wishes to be more like Diana.

Maxwell becomes the stone and lets chaos loose upon the world as he grants wishes indiscriminately while Diana and Barbara realise the stone was created by Dolos, the god of mischief, and has laid waste to civilisations. Working on the “Monkey’s Paw” principle, the stone extracts a price while granting wishes. After a big bust-up and a moving speech, all comes right in the end.

Kristen Wiig in a scene from "Wonder Woman 1984."

Kristen Wiig in a scene from "Wonder Woman 1984."   | Photo Credit: AP

 

Along with director Jenkins, Gal Gadot (Diana), Chris Pine (Steve), Robin Wright (Antiope, Diana’s aunt and mentor) and Connie Nielsen (Hippolyta, Diana’s mum) reprise their roles. Pedro Pascal as the larger-than-life Maxwell Lord (who Pascal says he modelled on Michael Douglas’ Gordon Gekko from Wall Street and Gene Hackman’s Lex Luthor from Superman) is a new entrant as is Kristen Wiig as Barbara/ Cheetah.

The look and feel of the ‘80s is recreated to some extent, minus the wretched hair and shoulder pads, while there is not much of the sound of the ‘80s. At just over two and a half hours, WW84 could have done with some trimming. The action sequences, while serviceable, are not spectacular. The first superhero movie after the pandemic shut down cinemas, WW84 could be underwhelming probably because our idea of superheroes itself has changed. What can a superhero do against a virus? That is why Diana’s quieter interactions with Steve find an echo in our hearts as does her demand of ‘why can’t I have this one thing?’


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Printable version | Oct 22, 2021 1:36:21 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/movies/wonder-woman-1984-movie-review/article33409814.ece

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