Wonder Woman whips her Lasso of Truth in the 80s, and whips it good.
The report got out that for the time being (COVID-19 wise), Warner Bros. is releasing their movies simultaneously in theaters and on HBO Max. The sequel “Wonder Woman 1984,” “or “WW84” as promoted, is the first one to do so, and for obvious reasons, I’ve decided to watch it on my HBO Max account.
Once again directed by Patty Jenkins and reuniting Gal Gadot as the title hero, this sequel is just as exciting and nostalgic as the first DC Comics film from 2017. It has a similar tone to “Star Trek: The Voyage Home” and “Superman II,” both released in the 80s with its lighthearted attitude and emotional grip. The story is not always understandable, but it does make effective points about the power of wishes. You’ll find out what I mean in a second.
The story now takes place in 1984, when Diana Prince, A.K.A. Wonder Woman continues to use her Lasso of Truth against the criminals, and learns about an ancient stone known as the Dreamstone, which grants wishes. When she wishes for her old love Steve Trevor (Chris Pine), the WWI pilot who gave his life to save the world, to return, he now occupies another body (Kristoffer Polaha). To the rest of the world, he looks like that different man, but to Diana, he looks like Steve.
The new adversaries are a nerdy archaeologist named Barbara Minerva (Kristin Wiig) and a famous but struggling oil businessman named Max Lord (Pedro Pascal), both of whom becomes possessed by the stone. She wishes to be stronger and more confident, while he wishes to have the world on a string. He also uses there stone to grant more wishes. Unfortunately, it serves as the Monkey’s Paw (to gain something, you have to lose something). and it also has been capable of mass destruction for centuries. This is when they both start wigging out.
There are amazing action sequences in this sequel. There’s an opening competition scene when little Diana (Lilly Aspell) learns from her mother Queen Hippolyta (Connie Britton) and her aunt Antiope (Robin Wright) that cheating is wrong. When Diana turns a plane into an invisible plane (nostalgia), she and Steve fly through fireworks, and makes everything look colorful and dazzling. And I love how Wonder Woman uses her Lasso of Truth, and how the yellow special effects for are amazing to gaze upon.
Gadot and Pine both continue to provide the chemistry that made them so memorable in the original, while dealing with their own outcomes. And Wiig and Pascal are both fun villains with their own ambitions. Jenkins guides everyone with her intentions, and allows them to be versatile.
The story gets a little complicated with all this action going on, but you’re still able to grasp its message, and ease into the characters. In fact, once you grasp that, you’ll be reminded of how lighthearted superhero movies are able to have sincerity and ambition. “Wonder Woman 1984” is totally tubular.
And don’t worry, when you see Barbara transform into her supervillain alias Cheetah, you won’t be reminded of Tom Hooper’s “Cats.”
Now Playing in Theaters and Streaming on HBO Max.