Release Date: Out Now (International) // December 25th US
Finally, a film that made me venture out, brave the outdoors and enter the soothing ambiance of the cinema – mask on, of course. It’s been a while. I believe the last film I saw in the cinema was Sonic the Hedgehog and Christopher Nolan’s Tenet was never going to tempt me out either. Since the start of the pandemic the way we have watched and received content from the major studios is changing – Warner Media have announced their 2021 slate will be both in theatres and available on their HBOMax (North America) service. Disney are experimenting with their… smaller franchises. Mulan on Premier Access was a bust – but that might be more because of the film itself than the service offered. They will try again with Raya and the Last Dragon next year, although Pixar’s Soul will be free from Christmas Day to all subscribers.
Wonder Woman 1984 moves away from where is predecessor finished. It’s not the same naïve to the world Diana that we first met, it’s been 45 years since she lost Steve Trevor and it’s clear that although living in the modern age she isolates and shies away from forming bonds with those around her. We are introduced to how Wonder Woman has changed in the years that have passed – where she would run into fights in the first film, in 1984 she wants to keep everyone safe and believe that, to use a well known phrase, love can conquer all. Gal Gadot puts out another strong outing of the iconic character, she is able to deliver the action and also the superb emotional elements.
This film really amps up the emotion to the max, with the direction from Patty Jenkins and Hans Zimmer’s fabulous score. There are beautifully touching moments between Diana and Steve, where he is not only full of awe at how far Diana and the world has come; but also the understanding that he has had his moment but Diana’s is still ongoing. They managed to find a way to bring back Chris Pine’s Steve Trevor in such a way that it felt natural and well integrated into the story and not thrown at you just because he was so good in the first film. Gadot’s and Pine’s chemistry and ability to play off each other is still present in this film and makes their characters scenes much more interesting and meaningful.
Pedro Pascal might just be the real star of the film though. Maxwell Lord is a villain that has a surprising level of nuance and thought in all that he does. The rules behind his power will take a viewer a minute to understand, possibly a second viewing but what is done with it is extremely clever and an excellent way to create vulnerabilities and strengths. The acting is simply sublime. The way Pascal is able to capture the frenetic emotion and drive behind Maxwell Lord as a character is astounding and he almost steals the show from Gal Gadot – and that is with zero action scenes. Due to this, Kristen Wiig’s Barbara Ann Minerva /Cheetah suffers. Sometimes movies just cannot handle having two villains and sadly this is one of them. They perhaps were the film set closer to present day have just introduced Barbara and Diana’s friendship, however the period setting limits the ability for this character to return.
Overall, although the tone of this film pivots from the first the story is well constructed and executed. It is emotional, nuanced and clever. You as the viewer have to connect the dots to some things that are happening and just why, it doesn’t give everything to you on a silver platter. Hans Zimmer’s score adds to every scene, no moment is left feeling empty – rather you wonder how you feel so much emotion throughout. All the actors bring their best to the film and it shows throughout. I look forward to another outing of Wonder Woman in the future.