Director: Patty Jenkins
Writers: Patty Jenkins, Geoff Johns, Dave Callaham
Production: Atlas Entertainment, DC Comics, DC Entertainment, The Stone Quarry, Warner Bros.
Distributor: Warner Bros.
Platforms: Theatrical Release (Reviewed)
Release Date: Out Now
Upon emerging from Wonder Woman 1984 (WW84), I can barely contain myself; as a DC fan who immensely enjoyed the 2017 precursor Wonder Woman, I eagerly anticipated WW84, which was pushed back by COVID-19 to December 2020. The elongated wait exacerbated the excitement, with my continued hope that it would build on the high level set by the first film. Wow, does it deliver.
WW84 is, shock, set in 1984, decades after the end of Wonder Woman. Diana Prince (Gal Gadot) is respected in her museum work and by all she meets, whilst secretly helping those in need as Wonder Woman – yet, she is quite alone since losing her love interest Steve Trevor (Chris Pine). The arrival of clumsy and self-doubting Barbara Minerva (Kristen Wiig) provides much-needed friendship for each, all-too-quickly disrupted by a mysterious stone that the museum acquires. It appears to grant wishes, a power failing businessman Maxwell Lord (Pedro Pascal) is seeking out – in the proceeding events, it threatens to unravel relationships and cause worldwide chaos.
This plot is easy to follow and effective; the premise of the wish is one I imagine all can relate to, and allows director Patty Jenkins to spend time weaving in personal stories and dynamic development to give WW84 depth shown on screen by exceptional performances. As was revealed in trailers, Steve Trevor returns, supplying an endearing role reversal as, this time, Diana is the one showing him an unfamiliar world. Any concerns that his return would not feel earned were completely erased; in contrast, one of the main themes is that there are no shortcuts to truly being the best version of yourself. This is vividly portrayed by the opening flashback to Themyscira, spectacularly shot against lush environments.
Another way that scene sets tone is through music; because, wow, the work Hans Zimmer has done for WW84 is incredible. It feels as though he is returning to past work to apply a new spin; Zimmer worked with Junkie XL to create the iconic Wonder Woman theme for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, and the new takes on that here are joyous, fueled by the ’80s setting and more… One scene had me in tears.
Talking of the setting, the new era is dived into, with strikingly colourful urban fashion just one part of the impressive, globe-trotting adventure that WW84 depicts. Whether it be the dusty Cairo or the pristine corridors of The White House, there is a fantastic variety of locale.
Wonder Woman 1984 is a stunning showcase for cinema that follows up the first film with style and substance. The ’80s setting is basis for a magnificent sense of energy that runs through plot and cinematography, beautifully emphasising a character-focused story full of drama, action, and heart. It contains important messages and thematic resonance packaged within a wonderfully entertaining thrill ride that I am going to be back to experience again and again. Either in the cinema or digitally at home in this COVID-19-impacted time, make sure you see this film!