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Wonder Woman 1984: A Worthy Sequel That Isn’t Afraid to Change Things Up

December 24, 2020
Photo courtesy of Warner Brothers

After the critical and financial success of Wonder Woman in 2017, Writer/director Patty Jenkins and star Gal Gadot had their work cut out for them as they had to make a sequel that satisfied impossible expectations, while being visually and stylistically different. After watching Wonder Woman 1984, it’s safe to say that they succeeded in their goal, as they’ve made a film that allows Diana Prince to grow as a superhero, while placing her in the neon-drenched and brightly-lit world of the1980s, which differs greatly from the first movie.

In the decades following her exploits during World War I, Diana has kept up a low-key existence that involves occasionally beating up thieves in shopping malls and working as an anthropologist at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington D.C.. Her quiet life is interrupted when she meets archaeologist Barbara Minever (Kristen Wiig), the newest member of the Smithsonian team, who is tasked with researching a relic that recently arrived. The relic is actually called the Dreamstone, and it grants people one wish – with a hidden cost (there’s always a cost with magic). Barbara wishes to become more like Diana, and Diane wishes that Steve Trevor (Chris Pine) return from the dead (he does, it’s fun). Things get more exciting when shadier-than-shady TV personality Maxwell Lord (Pedro Pascal) shows up and steals the Dreamstone, so he can pay off his debts AND inadvertently threaten the entire world with destruction. 

The neat thing about Wonder Woman 1984 is how it largely avoids being a retread of its predecessor. The tone is more comedic as Steve adjusts to the 1980s and discovers the joy of fanny packs. Also, since every wish has a price, Diana powers wane, which becomes a liability during the various car chases and fist fights. This stands in a neat contrast to the first film where Diana learns how to become Wonder Woman by fully realizing her powers. It’s refreshing to see a sequel that isn’t afraid of changing things up, and not simply repeating the greatest hits that made it so popular. An added bonus is that since it’s directed by Patty Jenkins, the characters are treated respectfully and not exploited like Gadot was in Justice League. The treatment of women is refreshing as the camera doesn’t have a lingering eye that takes the agency away from the characters. 

Photo courtesy of Warner Brothers

There have been complaints about the lack of action (the final CGI fight is not good), but Wonder Woman 1984 is packed with crowd pleasing moments that build upon Wonder Woman’s lore, and give fans something to cheer for. Also, it’s packed with humanity as Gadot brings a welcome warmth and likability to her character who is trying to stop the end of the world by making very personal choices that will deeply affect her. 

Wonder Woman 1984 is a much different film from its predecessor, and I love that. Watch it!

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