I’ll start by saying I’m very mixed with Patty Jenkins’ highly anticipated (especially by me) Wonder Woman 1984. There’s a lot to like and not like… so here we go.
It’s 1984, and the ageless Diana Prince (Gal Gadot) is a loner working at the Smithsonian Institute. Though she’s brilliant at her job, she experiences the typical misogyny and creepy come-ons from a male-dominated world. Meanwhile, Prince releases her pent-up frustrations by doing some good as her alter-ego, Wonder Woman, and single-handedly saving a local mall from a gang of gunmen, saving Christmas at the same time.
On the other side of town is the greedy Max Lord (an almost unrecognizable Pedro Pascal). He’s a television personality/oil executive/Ponzi-scheme purveyor, and his scheme of financial failure is about to be made public.
“…has something to do with Barbara’s newfound confidence, Max Lord’s evil plan to become rich, and the mysterious re-appearance of Diana’s dead lover…”
Then there’s the wallflower Barbara Minerva (Kristen Wiig), a gem-expert and new co-worker at the Smithsonian. While Diana has been putting off lunch invitations from her creepy male co-workers, she offers an afternoon lunch to the introverted Barbara. The two hit it off and become fast friends.
The FBI asks Barbara to examine an ancient crystal, and Max Lord has a particular interest in said artifact. He uses his toxic masculine charisma to steal it from Barbara (in an unremarkable manner), and now we have our main story. Tiny spoiler—the crystal has the power to grant wishes. This power/magic has something to do with Barbara’s newfound confidence, Max Lord’s evil plan to become rich, and the mysterious re-appearance of Diana’s dead lover, Steve Trevor (Chris Pine; not a spoiler as we already know he shows up).
Let’s start with what’s good about Wonder Woman 1984. The opening sequence of a young Diana home on Themyscira is the perfect callback to the first film, especially with the return of Robin Wright and Connie Nielson. The action sequences are also good with the mall rescue, a vehicle chase, and the final battle between Wonder Woman and The Cheetah. Kristen Wiig gives a fantastic performance as Barbara Minerva and plays it straight (so to speak)—thankfully never mugging for the camera. Lastly, Gal Gadot is Wonder Woman, period, and she owns it.
"…feels like an episode of the original Wonder Woman television show..."