WONDER WOMAN 1984 Review: Gal Gadot's Diana Returns For An Emotional, Uplifting Sequel

WONDER WOMAN 1984 Review: Gal Gadot's Diana Returns For An Emotional, Uplifting Sequel

Wonder Woman 1984 arrives in UK theaters this week ahead of its Christmas Day premiere in the US, and now that the embargo has lifted, you can find out what I made of Patty Jenkins' DC Comics sequel...

Review Opinion
By MarkCassidy - Dec 15, 2020 02:12 PM EST
Filed Under: Wonder Woman 1984

Comic book movie fans have been starved of some blockbuster superhero action for quite a while, but Wonder Woman 1984 lassos its way into UK theaters this week ahead of its December 25 premiere in the US, and Patty Jenkins' sequel should definitely please devotees of Diana's first solo outing.

Following that World War I-set adventure, we catch up with the Amazon hero in '80s Washington, where she works as an archaeologist while continuing to operate in secret (somewhat unbelievably) as a powerful, unnamed vigilante. When a series of events bring lost love Steve Trevor (Chris Pine) back into her life, Diana must weigh up what she wants for herself with what's best for the world she's sworn to protect as two formidable new villains, Max Lord (Pedro Pascal) and Cheetah (Kristen Wiig), enter the fray.

Gal Gadot Got Over $10 Million Due to Wonder Woman 1984 Going to HBO Max

Steve Trevor's return has been one of the most talked about aspects of the plot ever since we first learned that Pine was set to reprise the role, and without getting into spoilers, it's almost certainly going to be one of the more divisive parts of the movie. It is a bit lazy - there's no getting around that - but because it also ties into other important story elements, it's easy to see why the manner of the character's resurrection was chosen (it's difficult to discuss this without giving anything away, so apologies for the vagueness!).

You might take issue with how Trevor is brought back, but it's not hard to see why. Pine and Gadot had effortless chemistry in the first movie, and that's on full display here once again. Gadot, in particular, has really come into her own as the iconic DC heroine, and comfortably delivers her strongest take on Wonder Woman yet. The leads are supported by terrific turns from Pascal and Wiig, who take their initially cartoonish antagonists to some surprising places.

The action is also top-notch, and even though the opening shopping mall rescue goes a little overboard with the goofiness, a couple of later moments may even come to rival the No Man's Land walk from the first film. In one final act sequence, John Murphy's stunning "Surface of the Sun" from Danny Boyle's Sunshine is utilized to genuinely hair-raising effect.

Like its predecessor, WW84 lays it on a bit thick at times, and those of you with an aversion to cheese may find yourself rolling your eyes on occasion ("the truth is beautiful" is the new "I believe in love"). The movie clearly has something to say, but one can't help but feel its message would have been better served by a slightly more subtle approach. That said, it's hard to be too cynical about a movie that wears its heart so sincerely on its sleeve. After all, the world could probably use a bit of corniness right about now.

Bigger, brighter, and boasting a more powerful message than the first movie, WW84 is an emotional, uplifting superhero sequel with strong performances and some exciting set pieces. How invested audiences allow themselves to become in the story may hinge on their willingness to buy into some tough to swallow plot points, however.

4-out-of-5-stars-rating (1) - FlickHive

WONDER WOMAN 1984 Star Chris Pine On Sequel's Negative Reception: I Love The Movie, So There

WONDER WOMAN 1984 Star Chris Pine On Sequel's Negative Reception: "I Love The Movie, So There"

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dracula - 12/15/2020, 2:36 PM

Good to have a good movie. Get rid of Hack Snyder and just focus on telling individual stories. Best DCEU films are Wonder Woman and Shazam, both are stand alone
tmp3 - 12/15/2020, 2:43 PM
@dracula - The Suicide Squad and The Batman look great too
dracula - 12/15/2020, 2:46 PM
@tmp3 - yeah im sure they will be great, but mainly talking about the stuff already out and stuff in the dceu. Suicide squad doesnt have a full trailer yet and the batman is not part of that universe. If we are talking everything post Dark knignt trilogy then yeah, Joker is another great one
MrDandy - 12/15/2020, 3:04 PM
@tmp3 - Suicide Squad is a soft reboot. The Batman isn’t part of the DCEU
Origame - 12/15/2020, 3:52 PM
@MrDandy - It's at least rumored that the flash is being used as a means of retconning battinson as the batman of the dceu. While nothing is confirmed, its pretty substantial, since Ben Affleck will be involved as his Batman, which makes no sense if not to act as an exit for his character.
aresww3 - 12/15/2020, 3:54 PM
@dracula - everything i saw looked cheesy in many ways, but i still just believed in patty and gal from the jump. feel vindicated.
dracula - 12/15/2020, 3:59 PM
@aresww3 - really whats wrong with cheesy, a lot of comics are cheesy, Shazam, Raimi's Spiderman and plenty of other greats are extremely cheesy
MosquitoFarmer - 12/15/2020, 5:24 PM
@dracula - I’ve never met anyone other then my older brother who has ever mentioned Yatta! Oh so glorious.
dracula - 12/15/2020, 5:26 PM
@MosquitoFarmer - heroes season 1 was so good. If only the writers strike hadn't stoped season 2's production, seriously hurt the show and it never recovered
MrDandy - 12/15/2020, 6:31 PM
@Origame - it was announced by the director of the Batman that it would be separate from the DCEU so those were rumors
MosquitoFarmer - 12/15/2020, 7:47 PM
@dracula - My bad. I've never watched Heroes; it just didn't appeal to me despite the cool concept. I was actually talking about the song/goofy music video, Yatta! It's so stupid, probably best you don't even look it up lol. (But it's darn funny too if you're the right person.)
aresww3 - 12/16/2020, 12:25 AM
@dracula - I don't think there's anything wrong with cheesy when it fits the character. I also think cheesy when done right can make for more emotional dark parts of movies. It contrasts really well. Like when Lois dies in Superman 1, it kills me every time.
As you said Shazam, Spiderman and even Wonder Woman 1 was cheesy, but all are great movies. Especially because they are so uncynical about the cheesiness.

That being said, I was worried Patty may have dialed it up too high for some modern audiences. Nonetheless despite some awkward action scenes I saw I just had this feeling Patty knows what she's doing.

The way she talks about story is the same way Matt Reeves or Nolan or Donner talks about it. You know when the director just gets what the superheroes mythology is about and what makes their Superheroes mythology and symbolism special.

I still think you could have a more serious version of Wonder Woman. But I'm okay with what Patty is doing. I see this as Wonder Woman's Donner, Burton era. Hopefully when later director take her on we'll see the more serious, mythic treatment. Patty has left plenty of stories for future directors to adapt as well.
Doomsday8888 - 12/15/2020, 2:38 PM
Let's gooooooo x2!!!

James93 - 12/15/2020, 2:41 PM
People love to hate Snyder but this is just as much a W for him as it is for Patty, Gal and Co. Good for them and DC, another solid entry in the books
MrDandy - 12/15/2020, 3:04 PM
These reviews are getting me pretty excited! Really enjoyed the first one.
LukeCage2155 - 12/15/2020, 3:13 PM
LukeCage2155 - 12/15/2020, 3:14 PM
bkmeijer2 - 12/15/2020, 3:17 PM
Nice review Ror. Guess the movie is gonna be pretty much what I expext, so I'm sure I'm gonna enjoy it
patgreyc - 12/15/2020, 3:21 PM
I’ll give it a watch on HBOMax and if it wins me over, I’ll give them my money at the local theater.
GhostDog - 12/15/2020, 3:22 PM
Her somehow still operating in secret is ridiculous lol. Looking forward to the new No Man’s Land scene.
SuperCat - 12/15/2020, 3:42 PM

dracula - 12/15/2020, 3:45 PM
@SuperCat -
SuperCat - 12/15/2020, 3:47 PM
@dracula - LOL. I forgot that one!
dracula - 12/15/2020, 3:54 PM
@SuperCat - tried finding the one of him when he dyes his hair green, couldn't find one.
SuperCat - 12/15/2020, 3:58 PM
@dracula - don’t think I’ve ever seen that one when searching google!
dracula - 12/15/2020, 4:00 PM
@SuperCat - yeah its mostly the dance down the steps scene. Surprised I found one of this one
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