By: Lana K. Wilson-Combs
It’s a good thing that the long awaited “Wonder Woman 1984”
is on HBO Max
in addition to limited theaters. The movie clocks in at slightly over 2½ hours long which makes home viewing a much more comfortable option rather than being masked up at a theater for that amount of time.
Even so, “Wonder Woman 1984,” from director Patty Jenkins (“Wonder Woman”) offers a blast of silliness and depending on your love of the 1980s, it’s a nostalgic trip down memory lane.
Gal Gadot reprises her role as the title character, and she is as fearless as ever. The film opens with a young Diana (Lilly Aspell, “Wonder Woman”) on the island of Themyscira impressing her aunt/mentor, Antiope (Robin Wright, TV’s “Zack Snyder’s Justice League”) with her athletic prowess as she gears up to compete for a triathlon. She’s powerful, but not 100 percent yet.
Young Diana is embarrassed when she attempts to cheat her way to victory but is called out by Antiope who tells her that “No true hero is born from lies.” It’s a line that Diana will remember and one that she’ll utter later in life too. Diana also is emboldened when Antiope tells her that “The world is not ready for all that you will do.”
Fast forward to the 1980s and we get a glimpse of those glory days first inside a shopping mall where Diana/Wonder Woman must swing into action when thugs rob a jewelry store, take a young girl hostage, and dangle her from the mall’s upper railing.
Diana/Wonder Woman swoops in and saves the day. Of course, stunned shoppers want to know who she is and how she did what she did.Diana tries to keep her super-powers on the downlow, but it is difficult to do.
Things get a bit more complicated when the company hires a young historical researcher named Barbara Minerva/Cheetah (a funny Kristen Wiig, TV’s “Bless the Harts”) who is tasked with finding out about a special artifact—some sort of wishing stone-- that was recovered during the mall robbery. Diana can’t trace its origins. However, this Dream stone is mighty powerful and if you wish for something, it appears just like magic. Imagine that.
As luck would have it, Diana’s wish comes true. Her former love interest Steve Trevor (Chris Pine, TV’s “I Am the Night”) appears and he’s not quite the confident and cocky guy she once knew.
For starters, Steve is amazed at everything about 1984, from the cars and language, to the clothes. The whole fish out of water banter between Pine and Gadot add to the film’s light and funnier moments.
Meanwhile, the evil, greedy and narcissistic entrepreneur Maxwell Lord (Pedro Pascal, TV’s “The Mandalorian”) wants that precious stone so he can rule the world. He donates to the Smithsonian in hopes of getting closer to it. Barbara who is kind of digging on this guy, plays to his every need and becomes wrapped in his twisted scheme.
Now, Diana has a real mess on her hands and must cut Barbara and Maxwell Lord down to size.
“Wonder Woman 1984” does drag a bit in the middle and would been better served with about 20 minutes cut from it, but overall Gadot works her magic once again and makes this stylish sequel an enjoyable romp.
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Watch This Trailer For "WONDER WOMAN 1984"
Lana K. Wilson-Combs is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics' Association (BFCA), The Black Film Critics Circle (BFCC) and a Nominating Committee Voting Member for the NAACP Image Awards.