'Wonder Woman 1984' Review
Step aside world wars and battlegrounds, it's time for the 80s and parachute pants now. Following up the success of 2017's smash 'Wonder Woman', director (and this time a co-writer, too) Patty Jenkins brings along Wonder Woman 1984 a.k.a. WW84 which, massive spoiler ahead, shows the titular character living her life in '84 as you'd suspect. Diana Prince (Gal Gadot) faces a double threat this time as her work friend Barbara (Kristen Wiig) discovers an antique stone which falls into the hands of greedy businessman Maxwell Lord (Pedro Pascal) who finds it to grant wishes to anyone who comes into contact with it. Diana's wish happens to be the return of her love Steve Trevor (Chris Pine) and the sum of everyone's wishes is leading the world to insupportable destruction. For both good and bad depending on how you look at it, enough things about WW84 work for it to avoid total destruction even when every writer's wish seems to end up on the screen, some of them bombing hard.
Let's start the year with the good stuff though. Much of what made the first two thirds of the previous film work, is still implemented here. Now the film stays rather consistent for the whole runtime thankfully, even if the opening sequence is the peak in terms of vision, action and just pure fun - a great mix of practical and digital, outstanding cue from composer Hans Zimmer and a lovely outing from Lilly Aspell as young Diana kick things off. Actors are mostly solid otherwise too; Gadot could actually use vocal lessons since she is stuck with monotonous monologues throughout the film but she remains at the same level. Pascal saves a bunch of the movie as his performance is a perfect mix of over-the-top 80's villain and unleashed physical act and that's just what was needed. Lindy Hemming's costume design is also once again superb, from lavish party dresses and gold warrior suits down to even those parachute pants.
Amalgamation of three writers' (and perhaps studio execs) wishes clumsily clashing is the reason why the sequel pales in comparison. There is too much noise considering that there is only one person in the title whose journey we should be most invested in. Everything about the part in Egypt does not work whatsoever from the characters to exposition and Wiig doesn't get anything to do as Barbara/Cheetah other than to look like a slightly better version of 'Cats'. Biggest problem is the unnecessary inclusion of Steve Trevor whether that's the nonconsensual use of someone credited as ''Handsome Man'' or his clunky introduction just so Diana has one selfish reason to stop Lord. It's a bit sad that it requires so many technical aspects (sound, VFX, sets, cinematography etc.) to be good in order to make the whole thing turn out just good enough because the writing is unfocused. The title spells out the main character as well as the year for you and still side quests are created.
Smileys: Costume design, Pedro Pascal, tone
Frowneys: Pacing, story
Might want to rename that lasso Ted because it makes you believe more than it makes you tell the truth.