December 28, 2020

CINEMA | Gal Gadot Throws Back to 'Wonder Woman 1984'

"This world is not ready for all that you will do."
Gal Gadot Kristen Wiig Patty Jenkins | DC Wonder Woman 1984
Warner Bros. Pictures / DC Films
Director Patty Jenkins and star Gal Gadot both return for their long-delayed but still highly anticipated and jam-packed DC Comics superhero sequel set some sixty-five years after the first film in WWI. Wonder Woman 1984 feels more than just an unabashed throwback to the long bygone spirit of the original 1970-80s Superman films as a bright and colourful adventure romance designed to comment on our current cultural political climate through glossy '80s culture contrasted with acts of kindness.

Set mostly in the Washington, D.C. area, a golden MacGuffin of a gemstone everyone wants grants its beholder any magical wish with obvious later consequences. This sort of explains how Chris Pine's long-departed war hero Steve Trevor is resurrected to rekindle his undeniable chemistry with Gadot's half-Amazonian warrior Diana. Fresh meat in Kristen Wiig and Pedro Pascal co-star as eighties-fied versions of our (mostly underdeveloped) villains, Cheetah and Maxwell Lord, bring tons of energy and verve to the heroic theatrics.

It's more than a little surprising how light on action and decidedly more comedic WW84 intentionally is. Wiig plays up the bumbling nerd archetype while Pascal does his best impression of a celebrity huckster of a wannabe oil tycoon. Gadot continues to never not be charming with her casual grace and hint of worldly foreignness to our culture still lightly peppered throughout in part to her Israeli background. This time around Pine plays the one who's out of place and time for a fun reversal of their previous dynamic.

Gal Gadot Chris Pine Patty Jenkins | DC Wonder Woman 1984

WW84's script co-written by Jenkins, Geoff Johns, and David Callaham bounces all over the place in stark contrast to the fairly contained mythical war movie genre riff of its predecessor. There's more than a little fun poked at predatory men targeting our powerful female leads. It's a mix of '80s style comedies and workplace drama wrapped in its superhero adventure sheen (think Indiana Jones), but things devolve into another unnecessary and incoherent CGI battle fest in the final act.

A better romantic comedy than comic book action film, Wonder Woman 1984 remains hopeful as a confounding feminist inversion of the superhero formula in full-on '80s mode. However, its overstuffed excess makes it hard to fully enjoy beyond the neon-coloured gloss of its change of scenery. It remains a fun way of being out of time while still living in the past despite its illogical haze of muddled plotting.

Wonder Woman 1984 is available to stream on various digital platforms and through video on demand in Canada.

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