Sat, 09 Jan 2021
When Wonder Woman was released in mid December, few cinemas were open. The good news is it will be available for home viewing from Wednesday (January 13). Order in the popcorn and enjoy!
Gal Gadot stars in Wonder Woman 1984. A rambunctious rollercoaster of pop references, hyperbolicstereotypes and superhuman silliness, but entertaining to the end, says N2 reviewer CAMERON BLACKSHAW
Wonder Woman 1984 (12A)
Running time 2hr 31min
THE newest entry into the superhero blockbuster mess that is the DCEU is without a doubt an extravagant one. The sequel to 2017’s Wonder Woman, 1984 ramps up the comic book ridiculousness to 11, a perfect fit for the titular time period. It’s a rambunctious rollercoaster of pop references, hyperbolic stereotypes and superhuman silliness. It’s very close to becoming a hollow pastiche of itself, but Wonder Woman 1984 manages to not take itself too seriously and succeeds in being a fun and excessive cinematic spectacle. Luckily the film has little to no connection to the rest of the DCEU, and is a standalone story focusing completely on its superheroine protagonist.
A massive shift in tone from the gritty First World War setting of the original, 1984’s nostalgia trip is overwhelming. It contains every 80s cliché you can think of, with the first introduction to the garish bold colour world feeling more like a comedy than an action movie. WW84 certainly leans more into laughs that its predecessor, and it pulls off the jokes pretty well for the most part.
The story follows Diana (aka the titular Wonder Woman, played by Gal Gadot) as she works as an anthropologist in the Smithsonian while also secretly fighting crime as her alter ego. Diana meets and befriends a new employee, the nerdy and skittish Barbara (Kristen Wiig), who comes to idolise and envy Diana. The museum comes into ownership of a strange ancient rock that the pair study, without knowing its true power of granting wishes as the ‘Dreamstone’. Both of them unwittingly invoke the stone’s powers, which takes as much from people as it gives.
Failing businessman Max Lord (Pedro Pascal) comes to the Smithsonian under the guise of becoming a wealthy donor, but in reality, he seeks the power of the Dreamstone. Once he takes it for himself, his boundless greed causes global chaos, leaving only Wonder Woman to save the day. It’s a bit of a silly premise, but the films leans into caricaturish silliness so much that it just works.
Gadot is still the perfect Wonder Woman, leading the film with her natural charisma. Wiig and Pascal are also pretty good as the film’s villains. Wiig is able to shrug off her comedic sensibilities to portray a good evil counterpart to Diana, and Pascal’s slimy businessman continues to prove he’s one of the most interesting rising talents in blockbuster acting.
The action and fight scenes are clear and fun to watch. The camerawork is smooth and not stupidly disorientating; you do actually know what’s going on most of the time. WW84’s main issue is its length. With a runtime of two-and-a-half hours it’s definitely at least 30 minutes too long, with many unneeded scenes within the first act being surplus to requirements.
Despite this though, WW84 still manages to keep you entertained to its finale. Its over-the-top nature and pretty silly plot may turn off some, but if you just let it wash over you it’s a nice, entertaining ride. Director Patty Jenkins understands some of the ridiculousness of Wonder Woman’s mythos (the invisible jet for goodness sake) and knows how to employ them without it seeming too silly. It’s overindulgent, but who cares; it’s still damn good fun.
Wonder Woman 1984 will be available to rent on demand from certain outlets from January 13.