“Wonder Woman 1984” Review

Story posted December 30, 2020 in Arts & Entertainment by Jimmy Lu.

After many delays this year due to COVID-19, “Wonder Woman 1984” has finally been released on HBO Max and in selected theaters.

The highly anticipated sequel is directed and co-written by Patty Jenkins once again. Gal Gadot returns as the beloved Diana Prince/Wonder Woman, and Chris Pine also returns as Steve Trevor. There are also two new characters played by Pedro Pascal and Kristen Wiig.

“Wonder Woman 1984” continues the story of Diana Prince, living in Washington D.C. after the event of the first movie. She starts to distance herself from the world before she meets Barbara/Cheetah played by Wiig. The two eventually got into a series of events caused by Max Lord, played by Pascal, before they turn into mortal enemies.

One of the biggest achievements of this film is how Jenkins captures the vibrant color and aesthetic of the 80s without using any pop culture references. Just the color tone alone made a huge contrast from the gradient colors of the first film.

The cast also did an amazing job. Gadot’s Diana Prince is as charming as ever, and her chemistry with Pine is one of the highlights of the film again, but the scene-stealer definitely goes to Wiig’s Cheetah. From the shy and nerdy Barbara to the terrifying villain, Wiig gave an outstanding performance that really detailed Barbara’s journey.

Pascal’s Max Lord also shines through each scene, but the stellar cast is not enough to save the movie from sloppy writing and a cliché storyline. The film does have some good scenes that touch on the theme such as humanity and heroism, but overall, it didn’t really add much to Diana’s character arc.

Although Pine’s return as Steve Trevor is a nice surprise for the fans, the writers did a poor job of using his character and making it an important part of the story like the first film where Steve teaches Diana how humanity is not perfect. Pascal and Wiig’s characters both got paid to dust by underwhelming writing.

One of the biggest problems of this movie is that the first two acts did very little to set up the plot, and it resulted in a very messy, lackluster final act. From the high stakes of World War I to villains that grants to people’s wish, the film eventually turned into a cartoon movie that loses what makes Wonder Woman such a success in the first place.

One could even say that the beginning is the best part of the whole film.

In the end, “Wonder Woman 1984” did not quite live up to its predecessor, especially after the iconic “No Man’s Land” scene. Jenkin’s direction and the cast did their best to make this movie somewhat enjoyable, but the over-bloated plot proves that bigger doesn’t always mean better.

A sequel is already in the works, confirmed by Jenkins, and it will be interesting to see where she’ll take the story after the mess at the end of the film.

Rating: 3/5


Jimmy (Chien-Hsing) Lu is a senior majoring in telecommunications. To contact him, email jfl5603@psu.edu.