“Wonder Woman 1984”

The film opens on the island of Themyscira, the secret home of the Amazon warriors. Young Diana (Lilly Aspell) is competing in a series of athletic competitions. Given her age and inexperience, she is doing surprisingly well against her older and more skilled competition, at least at the start. Approximately half way through the competition, Diana loses her horse, and to compensate for the loss, she uses a shortcut, to beat her fellow competitors. Dianna is on the cusp of winning, before her Aunt Antiope played by Golden Globe winner Robin Wright (House of Cards), stops her, much to the dismay of a disconcerted Dianna. Antiope, and Diana’s mother Queen Hippolyta (Connie Nielsen), tell her that if she won by cheating she would have achieved nothing. They both let Diana know that her time will come in the future. (As an aside: Actress Lilly Aspell, who plays young Diana, performed all of her own stunts).

Many years into the future, Diana Prince, portrayed by Gal Gadot (Wonder Woman), works as an anthropologist for the Smithsonian Institute. No one who works there, or with her, knows that she is also secretly Wonder Woman. One day, Diana, while performing an act of kindness, meets Barbara Minerva. The part of Barbara is played by Oscar nominee Kristen Wiig (Bridesmaids). The two become friends, and are brought even close together when Barbara is assigned to work on antiques that were stolen, and that the FBI would like more information on. (As an aside: Gal Godot won the Saturn Award for Best Actress from the Academy of Science Fiction Fantasy and Horror Films, USA, for her role in “Wonder Woman” (2017). The Saturn Awards have been given since 1973.)

Entering the picture is the seemingly successful Maxwell Lord portrayed by Pedro Pascal (The Mandalorian). Everything about him is a front or is fake with the exception of the love he has for his son Alistair (Lucian Perez). Lord, at the beginning, is not a bad man. He is someone who has simply run out of time with his investors who want to see his oil rigs begin to make a profit. Despite the upfront flash, Lord is broke and there is only one thing that might save him.

Among the antiques that Barbara is studying is a stone known as the ‘Dreamstone.’ According to legend, whoever possesses the Stone can look deep into its jewels and have their greatest wish come true. Diana and Barbara both wish for things: Diana for her long lost love Steve Trevor, played by Emmy nominee Chris Pine (Star Trek), to come back to her form the great beyond. Barbara, meanwhile, wishes to be exactly like Diana, not even knowing that she is secretly Wonder Woman. Barbara gets more than she bargains for. Oh, she gets Wonder Woman’s strength, speed, and fighting skills, but the problem is, that over time, she begins to turn into a human Cheetah.

As it turns out, Maxwell Lord has made a sizable donation to the Smithsonian and has personally asked for Barbara to show him around. He knows that she is the one working on the ‘Dreamstone.’ While she is otherwise engaged, he takes the Stone from her office and makes his ultimate wish, to actually become the Dreamstone. The power he now has coursing through his body comes with a steep price. Can his wish granting, which in part escalates the nuclear weapons tensions between Russia and the Untied States be stopped? And if Lord can be stopped, what price did the world have to pay prior to it happening?

“Wonder Woman 1984” was directed by Emmy nominee Patty Jenkins (The Killing). In addition to directing, Jenkins co-wrote the screenplay for the film with Emmy nominee Geoff Johns (Stargirl); and Dave Callaham (Zombieland: Double Tap). The screenplay was based off of a story co-written by Jenkins and Johns, which was further based off of characters originally created by William Moulton Marston. The film was released to theaters and for streaming on HBO Max on December 25, 2020. Parts action, adventure and fantasy, the movie has a runtime of 151 minutes.

Trivia buffs take note: The first appearance of Wonder Woman was in the December 1941 issue of All Star Comics # 8. The role of Cheetah was first offered to Oscar winner Emma Stone (La La Land), but she passed on the role. After Stone declined to take the part, Jenkins offered the role to Wiig, who had always been her first choice to play the part. Furthermore, this is the first live action appearance of Cheetah. Prior to that, she had only appeared in animated television shows and films. Jenkins and Johns wrote the character of Max Lord with two fictional characters in mind: Gordon Gekko, who was portrayed by two time Oscar winner Michael Douglas in the 1987 film “Wall Street” was one of the two; the second one that inspired the Max Lord character was the villain, Lex Luthor, played by two time Oscar winner Gene Hackman in the 1978 film “Superman.” This is the second time that Pedro Pascal has been involved in a Wonder Woman project. The first time, however, unlike the current film, it wasn’t a success. In 2011, a pilot episode was produced for NBC television, in the hopes of starting a new Wonder Woman television series. The show, if it had come to fruition, would have starred Adrianne Palicki (The Orville) as Wonder Woman / Diana Prince. Pascal would’ve played the part of a main character named Ed Indelicato. The show was never broadcast. 

This was a fun, popcorn film. I was glad, thanks to HBO Max, that I was able to enjoy it at home. In another few months, if the vaccines are making a dent in the reported cases and life begins to get back to normal, I would love to go see a movie in the theater again. Leaving aside Gadot, who I knew was coming back. I thought Wiig and Pascal did excellent work with their respective roles. The film, given its length was well paced. Furthermore, the film’s music, both that which was composed and the songs from the soundtrack, was spot on when it came to helping to move the film forward. The film was slated to be a summer blockbuster, but, due to Covid, was released on Christmas Day. Given the kind of year 2020 was, I would’ve welcomed it not matter when it was released.

About robbinsrealm

I was born in Smithtown, New York, and grew up, worked, and lived in various areas of Long Island before moving to Boca Raton, Florida where I now make my home. In addition to being an aspiring writer, I am also an English teacher. I have a Bachelor of Arts in English and a Master’s Degree in Education, both from Adelphi University in Garden City, New York. In my spare time you will find me engrossed in books, watching movies, socializing with friends, or just staying active.
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7 Responses to “Wonder Woman 1984”

  1. filmmiasma says:

    Great stuff! We loved this movie!

  2. terrepruitt says:

    I didn’t think it was as bad as everyone I know did. All of my friends on FB slammed it. So many people thought it was one of the worst Superhero movies ever — or at least in the top two. I guess I am just so absolutely tired of all things Superhero I didn’t even notice how bad it was. To me it was the same as all the other Superhero movies, but . . . oh my the stuff I heard about how much people hated it. I did not like the actor that played the villain., but it could be that I didn’t like him because . . . you know, even though he may not have been “bad” in the beginning he was swarmy. I am not familiar with him and wondered why he was even in the movie. I think my husband didn’t like it enough that I will not have to suffer through it again like I do all of the other Superhero movies. I realize that I probably only watch about 30% to 40% of each Superhero because as soon as they start fighting, I stop paying attention. Interesting to hear at least two people (you and filmmiasma) liked it.

    • robbinsrealm says:

      I don’t understand the hate that is being directed toward the film. I enjoyed it, but to each his own. There are films, for example like “Birdman,” which I found to be ostentatious drivel, but was praised by critics worldwide and embraced by theater going audiences, so, it all gets broken down to opinion.

      • terrepruitt says:

        From what people have said they don’t like the story. They feel that it is a bad story. The people who I have seen express their loathing, love the actress but thought the story was corny. I think all stories (which seems to be all Super Hero moves) where the world is about to end are tired and old . . . but – Super Hero movies what do you expect. So, I’m kinda with you, I don’t understand the hate, but – BOY, is it out there. I had one friend that didn’t even get half way through the movie and she stopped watching it. (Shrug). I am just excited that I have actually seen a movie you reviewed. YAY!

  3. Love some of the trivia you bring into a lot of your reviews, I tend to follow things quite closely being the geek I am but I don’t recall knowing that Emma Stone was originally up for the role of Cheetah! Probably worked out for the better though as Kristen Wiig was great, as was Pedro Pascal, Gal Gadot and Chris Pine.

    Nowhere near as good as the first Wonder Woman film in my opinion but I had fun with it via video on demand.

    • robbinsrealm says:

      Thank you very much. I like learning things beyond the norm about films and television shows.

      I agree with you. I like Emma Stone; she a good actress, but I think Wiig was the right fit for the part.

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