Wonder Woman 1984 review: a worthy addition to the DC Film canon

Leo Dawson reviews the long-awaited sophomore outing for DC's wonderous hero

Leo Dawson
29th December 2020
Image: IMDb

2017’s Wonder Woman may have been about ugly truth but Wonder Woman 1984 is all about beautiful lies. Patty Jenkins’ superhero sequel has just as much heart as its previous instalment and stands out just as strongly in an imperfect DC Extended Universe.

Mild Spoilers

After several false starts this year due to COVID restrictions, Wonder Woman 1984 is finally out in (some) cinemas and I must say that it is a shame few will get to experience it as theatrically intended. The second period piece to follow Gal Gadot’s (Wonder Woman, Batman v Superman) Amazon warrior explodes on the big screen with enough colour and campiness to rival Saturday morning cartoons – perfectly suited to her brand new setting of 1980s Washington D.C.

Image: IMDb

Diana Prince is finally shown as the fully realised superhero that generations of us love: busting robberies, saving innocents and all with some (literal) winks to the audience as she goes about her hero duties. WW84 also continues to portray Wonder Woman as the emotional heart of this entire DC franchise, getting several opportunities to deliver over-the-top inspirational speeches and sharing heartbreaking scenes with her back-from-the-dead love interest Steve Trevor (played again by Star Trek’s Chris Pine.)

Gadot’s on-screen charisma is rivalled only by that of Pedro Pascal’s (The Mandalorian, Game of Thrones) slimy con-man Maxwell Lord, joining Michael Shannon’s General Zod and Ewan McGregor’s Black Mask as one of the most well-realised DCEU villains.

Driven by a desire to grant the most amazing and terrifying wishes to the world, Lord is a Trump-esque megalomaniac that plays amazingly well off Gadot’s Diana and Kristen Wiig’s (Saturday Night Live, Bridesmaids) bumbling scientist turned secondary antagonist Barbara Minerva, who sadly falls short compared to her vicious comic book counterpart, despite a few high stakes action scenes.

Wonder Woman 1984 actually manages to deepen the emotional beats of other films in the franchise

As a prequel to the majority of DCEU instalments, Wonder Woman 1984 actually manages to deepen the emotional beats of other films in the franchise, with Hans Zimmer borrowing his own harrowing work from the soundtrack of Batman v Superman (2016) to score the climax of WW84. 

The return of ‘Beautiful Lie’ will be picked up on immediately by DC fans, a musical motif that accompanies both Batman and now Wonder Woman’s emotional arcs. It fits perfectly into a film dealing with the importance of truth and lies perfectly and I commend Patty Jenkins for including it in what could be considered an otherwise standalone blockbuster.

3.5/5

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