Friday, December 25, 2020

Wonder Woman 1984 - Movie Review

The Movie: Wonder Woman 1984

The Director: Patty Jenkins

The Cast: Gal Gadot, Chris Pine, Kristen Wiig, Pedro Pascal, Robin Wright, Connie Nielsen

The Story: Rewind to the 1980s as Wonder Woman's next big screen adventure finds her facing two all-new foes: Max Lord and The Cheetah.

The Review:
I really liked the first Wonder Woman movie and I consider it to be one of the best within DC's disjointed cinematic universe. Gal Gadot was perfectly cast as Diana the princess of Themyscira and her performance even swayed the staunchest of naysayers when it was all said and done. Her dedication to the ideals of the super powered hero came across in every moment on screen and she, along with director Patty Jenkins, was able to create some truly iconic moments, prime example being her climb out of the trench and straight into the deadly no man's land.

All of that came straight over into this new movie although I have to say it's about the only thing about it that maintained or even came close to the same level of quality. The opening scene of a young Diana competing in an Amazon version of Olympic games style competition is fun and shows off some big special effects sequences but after that the primary story is just kind of silly and doesn't make a lot of sense. I think the concept of a villain being able to grant wishes to take over the world would be a fun for an episode of the Super Friends cartoon I grew up watching as a kid but to make it the primary story of a full length feature isn't really something I would have wished for.

Going into the movie, I was wondering how Steve Trevor, once again played brilliantly by Chris Pine, was going to be brought back and it actually does make sense within the story so that was fine. Pine is always capable of giving really fun and engaging performances as evidenced by his work as Captain Kirk in the Star Trek movies and of course here as Steve Trevor. There is also an absolutely undeniable chemistry between Pine and Gadot that made bringing him back that much more worthwhile.  Also worthwhile was bringing in Kristen Wiig to play Barbara Minerva aka Cheetah and I really enjoyed the personality she brought to the character, especially as she slowly transforms over the course of the film.

After watching this movie, I'm never going to look at The Mandalorian the same ever again. Why you ask? Because Pedro Pascal, Mando himself, plays such an over the top, goofy character that is more laughable than any type of believable. I get that he's playing a psychopath but dang, this is something straight out of a parody like The Naked Gun or Austin Powers movies and for me it's kind of the nail in the coffin on being able to watch the movie with any sense of credibility. It was great to see Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman again and she absolutely killed it but the story was nowhere near what she was bringing to the table. At least I was able to enjoy seeing her and Chris Pine together again. Outside of that, there just not much to enjoy.

The Verdict:
Wonder Woman 1984 comes built in with a ton of expectation as a final rallying cry for theaters in year where a pandemic has shut most of them down. Unfortunately, the movie is nowhere near good enough to carry that torch. Hopefully we will have another chance to see Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman somewhere down the road because this movie just wasn't it.

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