Julian Reviews: ‘Wonder Woman 1984’ Continues Diana’s Winning Streak For the DCEU [SPOILER-FREE]

Gal Gadot in Wonder Woman 1984

Photo credit: Warner Bros.

Directed by: Patty Jenkins

Written by: Patty Jenkins, Geoff Johns, Dave Callaham

Starring: Gal Gadot, Chris Pine, Pedro Pascal, Kristen Wiig

Synopsis (IMDB): Diana must contend with a work colleague and businessman, whose desire for extreme wealth sends the world down a path of destruction, after an ancient artifact that grants wishes goes missing.

Julian’s review:

Hello internet, I’m back with another movie review of the greatest Christmas gift–Wonder Woman 1984. It’s another brilliant masterpiece from Patty Jenkins who is becoming one of my favorite directors. I really wished that I could have seen it in theaters, but I’m glad I can see this movie in the comforts of my own home on my laptop. I’m going to make this review short and sweet to not spoil this movie for everyone else to experience this movie. Now let’s talk about the best superhero movie of 2020: Wonder Woman 1984.

The synopsis of this movie is a continuation of Diana Prince’s (Gal Gadot) efforts to protect and safeguard humanity 60 years later in 1984. During this turbulent Cold War period, she works at the Smithsonian in Washington D.C. and befriends Barbara Minerva (Kristen Wig). They both stumble upon a McGuffin that shapes the story, and unknowingly the wealthy, shrewd businessman Max Lord (Pedro Pascal) runs upon it with something sinister in mind. And last, but not least, the question about how Steve Trevor comes back is answered. I will not tell you what the McGuffin is because I want you to see the movie to solve that mystery. 

Gal Gadot as Diana running toward a national threat. (Photo credit: Warner Bros.)
Gal Gadot as Diana running toward a national threat. (Photo credit: Warner Bros.)

The plot of the movie is a logical and brilliant expansion of the Wonder Woman franchise. The first Wonder Woman movie was basically a mix of both the Thor and Captain America origin movies, making it a bit slow in the beginning for me, but it ultimately ended up being a great movie. Although I feel that prior movies or old tv shows, like Charlie’s Angels (1976-1981), Halloween (1978), and Alien (1979) have already became vocal movies for strong women for the previous eras, Wonder Woman (2017) became the quintessential movie to have women’s voices heard, helping them feel that they can beat a man’s butt, metaphorically and perhaps, literally. Two years later, Halloween (the 2018 direct sequel) and the MCU’s Captain Marvel (2019) repeated the same successful process. 

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Back to the movie at hand, the sequel feels more upbeat, lively, and urgent than its predecessor. One of the reasons that I liked this movie is because it made me nostalgic for the MCU’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014) by the Russo Brothers, and DC’s The Dark Knight (2008) by Christopher Nolan. Two epic and awesome superhero sequels that I adored and admired alongside James Cameron’s Aliens (1986). Wonder Woman: 1984 was able to ramp up the action and moments that I did not expect in a Wonder Woman movie, and Patty Jenkins delivered a great cinematic epic with themes that are very resonating with the bleak and toxic world that we live in (which will hopefully change soon). There are some scenes that have slow motion, but I did not mind them as much as the first movie. There are also cheesy scenes that could have people scratching their heads a bit, but I was alright with it. 

The cast does a solid job in their roles. Gal Gadot did an amazing job as Diana Prince/Wonder Woman. She did a great job at portraying Diana, who has deeply acclimated into the world of mankind, and also assumes the role of showing Steve Trevor the ropes of how life in the 80s is.

Chris Pine and Gal Gadot as Steve Trevor and Diana in Washington D.C. (Photo credit: Warner Bros.)
Chris Pine and Gal Gadot as Steve Trevor and Diana in Washington D.C. (Photo credit: Warner Bros.)

Speaking of Steve Trevor, Chris Pine also did a good job as Trevor, the resurrected World War I pilot, who is assuming Diana’s fish out of water role from the first movie.  His character’s appearance later feeds into the urgency of the plot. Kristen Wiig was great as archeologist Barbara Minvera/Cheetah, Wonder Woman’s arch-rival.

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Pedro Pascal as Max Lord is awesome, funny, and tragic because he is portraying a billionaire who seems to have scammed a lot of people in the past and has become increasingly unstable over time. He does such a good job as the comic book villain that he terribly reminds of Donald Trump, a real-life supervillain who is most likely going to end up in legal trouble when his presidency is over and done with.

Kristen Wiig and Pedro Pascal as Cheetah and Max Lord. (Photo credit: Warner Bros.)
Kristen Wiig and Pedro Pascal as Cheetah and Max Lord. (Photo credit: Warner Bros.)

All in all, Wonder Woman 1984 is a wonderful and epic piece of filmmaking that resonates with the times that we are living in, even though it’s set in the mid-80s. It’s The Dark Knight meets Captain America: The Winter Soldier all wrapped up in an exciting movie that I wish I could have seen in theaters without COVID. The film’s themes are resonant, especially when Diana says “Nothing good is ever born from lies,” and “Greatness is not what you think.”

Once you finish watching the movie, you will feel like there is hope waiting in the horizon in the year of 2021 where we can be back on the road to normal civilization, being healthy and free of COVID, free to walk and see each other again, and most importantly free to become a more united and loving species. Thank you Patty Jenkins and Gal Gadot for a great movie to cap off 2020. 

Rating: 4/5

*If you want to do your part to help the worldwide effort to stop COVID-19, go to https://www.salvationarmyusa.org/usn/ and donate towards the Salvation Army in their relief efforts. As always, wash your hands, observe social distancing practices, stay indoors, stay healthy, and stay safe.

Julian Jones is a sociology student at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. When he’s not studying or watching films, he’s practicing for his next performance with the UAB Chamber Singers. Let him know what you thought of his review by leaving him a comment below!

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