FILM REVIEW: Wonder Woman 1984
Wonder Woman 1984 is the film we have all been waiting for, and it’s safe to say that it is the film that 2020 needed. I had the pleasure to watch it a few weeks before it’s release, I am forever grateful for that experience and I cannot wait to see it for a second time on the big screen.
Well after I got to see Wonder Woman 1984, I was invited to a virtual press conference where Gal Gadot, Chris Pine, Kristen Wiig, Patty Jenkins, Pedro Pascal and Charles Roven talked all things Wonder Woman. That was a fantastic experience, and I’ll be sharing my highlights from that over the next few days. But before I do that, here is my full non-spoiler review of Wonder Woman 1984.
The story in this film is an important one, which is sadly very relevant now, it always has been and will most likely always be. It has a perfect message of showing the true danger of power and greed and how it can affect people both mentally and also physically. The way that director Patty Jenkins and the actors of the characters involved in that aspect has handled it is just phenomenal. It so powerful and the message hits you at several points during the film, it’s masterfully done.
Another point that is covered in the film is loneliness, something that everyone can relate to and has felt at some point in their lives. Obviously this was filmed before the pandemic hit us, but the fact that we are watching this amidst it just makes it all the more powerful. This is why I’ve referred to this film as what 2020 needed. I love how this is all explored, it’s done through mostly what’s going on in the background of a shot and also with shots of images of people that Diana has loved and lost. It’s very cleverly done and it’s something that really hit home. You don’t expect Diana Prince to feel like this, she’s Wonder Woman for goodness sake. This film leads you to how we know her in Batman V Superman, hiding in the shadows to avoid loss and hurt. But like I said, it’s something that really made her relatable and even more lovable in this film, and it’s great to get to know her journey a little bit more between these films.
Diana faces several problems that she did not expect, showing the sacrifice and price that has to be paid in order to make things right. In Wonder Woman 1984, Diana goes through an incredibly powerful journey and finds herself with everything she’s ever wanted. This whole journey is heartbreaking as she realises and has to come to terms with what needs to be done to save the world. With that said, this film is still full of hope, optimism and laughs – again something that 2020 needs. I won’t go into any more detail with regards to the hope and optimism as that is a big part of the plot, but you will see for yourselves.
The story of the Wonder Woman 1984 was written by Patty Jenkins and Geoff Johns and I have to say the storytelling is great. There are moments in the film that are instantly explained with just a frame or dialogue and it’s really effective. Like I said the film is incredibly hopeful and optimistic and that’s just how we like our Wonder Woman. This is a perfect portrayal of the character which showcases both her flaws and her incredible qualities, it is a great addition to her story arc and I cannot wait to see this character grow even further.
Wonder Woman 1984 boasts a plethora of strong female role models that appeal to every kind of female, from young to old, to good and slightly misunderstood. There is a positive representation regardless of which box you tick, and that is important. I adore that Patty (and I’m sure Gal will have had something to do with those choices too) have done that, the world is always in need of positive female role models and they certainly have delivered.
I’m a 90’s kid and even for me there was so much nostalgia watching this film. Not necessarily because of the decade it is set in (that’s just personally), but because it is so reminiscent of those films that we call classics. I have to say it was probably clear to Patty and those involved that the 80’s would prove popular with audiences, especially after the success of Stranger Things and similar programmes/films. That choice also allowed them to honour Lynda Carter’s Wonder Woman with the iconic fashion choices made in this film.
Gal Gadot/Wonder Woman
Gal Gadot is mesmerising as Wonder Woman. We fell in love with her in the first film, but we really get to see how she has developed in the time between the two films. In the first film she is rather naive in regards to her approach with everything and everyone, because she is experiencing this all for the first time. In Wonder Woman 1984 she has all of that life experience, she has lived in our world and she has become slightly skeptical about things but most importantly people, leading her to a life of loneliness. It’s an incredible shame that it has happened to her but for me it really makes her relatable and more realistic, especially in the current situation. I’m really glad that this aspect of the character development was touched upon in this film, some of the moments where that becomes clear brought a tear to my eye. Gal has portrayed that perfectly throughout the film.
The moments where she realises herself and steps into the limelight as Wonder Woman are just joyful. She is Wonder Woman. It is so inspiring to see her step into her element and fight the bad guys with a cheeky wink and a smile on her face.
I have to say her costume throughout the film is brilliant too, as I said she honours Lynda Carter with her fashion choices which is lovely. Designed by Lindy Hemming, Wonder Woman’s armour is fantastic, I love that the vibrant metallic colouring matches the tone of the film. Despite the issues that are covered in this film, just seeing her in the suit shines a glimmer of hope in the scenes where it’s needed most. As for the Golden Eagle armour, it is magnificent. What a piece of armour! It’s beautiful, sleek and so badass! I particularly love how the legend of the armour is explained several times throughout the film with flashbacks to Themyscira and the ancient times.
Kirsten Wiig as Barbara Minerva/Cheetah
Well, Kristen Wiig was incredible as Cheetah. Knowing that she is from a more comedic background, I wasn’t sure what to expect. But she perfectly brings parts of her own personality into this character, and for me that really pays off. It really adds layers to Barbara Minerva.
I’m a sucker for a complex villain and this is exactly what she is. Her reasoning and rationale for her actions and the decisions she makes are incredibly relatable and also understandable. The rise of Cheetah is truly a sight to behold. Essentially Wiig is playing two completely different characters in this film, we see her go from timid and underappreciated to wild, confident and powerful, it is fantastic and sometimes inspiring to see. Patty Jenkins has done a fantastic job of showing the change in the character throughout this film.
Her costume is typically 80’s which I love and I love seeing the different costume choices as her personality and confidence shifts. It’s a great way to showcase those changes. Now, I won’t say much about the Cheetah look, I know there is an image released but she looks ferocious! I think her look is very comic book accurate so fans will be pleased. Honestly she looks great, even the texture of the fur is so realistic!
Pedro Pascal as Maxwell Lord
Well it’s safe to say that I’m not used to seeing Pedro Pascal as a villain, but I have to say it suits him so well. His portrayal as Maxwell Lord is fantastic, and he is rather terrifying when out of control. The way that his facial expressions change in split seconds is absolutely phenomenal and we really see what makes him tick in this film. He journey too has been an incredible one, and we see that through flashbacks to his childhood and also him starting out as a businessman. His dedication to his idea and success is like no other, Pedro is perfectly wicked as Maxwell Lord and I would love to see more of him in the role.
Chris Pine/Steve Trevor
We were very familiar with Chris Pine’s Steve Trevor from the first Wonder Woman film, but I have to say you instantly fall in love with him all over again in this one. His charisma, humour and dedication to and love for Diana is so pure. What I love about their pairing is the fact that Diana has these incredible powers, yet he doesn’t, and still fights beside her at every chance he gets.
I have to say a lot of the laughs in this film come from Steve and his lack of knowledge of the decade he finds himself in. His awe at simple gadgets that we are just so used to is hilarious, and actually shows us how far we’ve come technologically. One of my favourite moments with him is the montage of him trying on 80’s gear, it is hilarious!
Cinematography & Special Effects
The cinematography is incredible, as you’d expect from a DC film by Patty Jenkins and produced by Zack Snyder. His presence is definitely felt within the film. There are some real beautiful scenes in this film that really make you think ‘WOW’. From the beaches of Themyscira, epic flashbacks of ancient times, her first flight in the invisible jet and some other incredible moments too, which I won’t spoil but you will know what they are. Patty Jenkins has laid out the scenes perfectly and has filled so many of them with awe and wonder. I sadly watched the film on my laptop as I couldn’t make the screening, and it was still epic in terms of effects and cinematography, so I can only imagine how awesome it would be on an even bigger screen.
The action sequences are awesome too. The fight choreography is epic and really well thought out actually. I love how Patty showcases the differences between Wonder Woman and Cheetah, during one of their clashes. Whilst Cheetah goes out to hurt people to stop their fire at her, Wonder Woman puts herself at risk by softening their fall or the blow whilst also fighting the formidable Cheetah. I love that.
There are so many moments where you punch the air because the action is on point, it really pumps you up and that’s what I expect from a superhero film. You, yourself will feel empowered when you watch this film. There is so much more praise that I could throw on Wonder Woman 1984 for it’s cinematography and action, but not without giving spoilers, so I’ll leave this section short and sweet!
Well, as we all know the score for Wonder Woman 1984 is by the one and only Hans Zimmer, so we knew we were in for a treat. I have to say the score is phenomenal as expected. It’s so powerful throughout and every hint of music matches perfectly with the tone of the scene. There are several moments where you punch the air when the music creeps in, which for me is what I expected from Zimmer’s theme. It’s new and fresh yet has some hints of familiarity which I absolutely adored! One of my favourite new pieces has to be the piece playing when we first see Cheetah starting to transform in personality. It is a great piece which is weirdly both haunting, yet so empowering.
When I mention the familiarity I am referring to two pieces in particular. First, the well known and loved Wonder Woman theme “Is She With You?” from Batman V Superman, In this film Hans has taken that absolute banger which I listen to almost daily and has updated it with a slightly higher and more hopeful tone, which I think matches the tone of the film perfectly. That bit of nostalgia from that piece throws you straight back into the moment we first saw Wonder Woman and I got quite emotional over that.
The second bit of familiarity is the moment where “Beautiful Lie”, again from Batman V Superman begins to play. As soon as I heard the first few keys of the piano on that, I knew instantly what it was and once again it hit me straight in the feels. I actually squealed a little bit. I love that Zimmer has produced something so fresh and so powerful fo Wonder Woman 1984, yet plays homage to his previous work in this film arc.
Wonder Woman 1984 is an instant classic and a wonderful addition to the DCEU and also the Wonder Woman story arc. It’s fantastically fun and nostalgic, with just the right amount of hope, and a hell of a lot of action, but most importantly it has a great deal of heart. This film truly is what 2020 needed.
A little bit about the post credit scene for Wonder Woman 1984, one has been announced but it was NOT shown at the press screenings for the film. I personally love that they did this, it just gives me an excuse to see it again!
Wonder Woman 1984 is out in UK cinemas tomorrow (16th December) and will be released simultaneously in cinemas across the US and also on HBO Max on Christmas Day. I will most certainly be going to see Wonder Woman 1984 again in cinemas, I absolutely loved it and I am positive you guys will too!