After the glowing success of Wonder Woman (2017) in a dismal DC Universe, many had high hopes for its sequel, Wonder Woman 1984. Unfortunately, WW1984 leaves a disappointing mark against its predecessor.
Akin with the first in the sequel, WW1984 comprises with direction from Patty Jenkins with Gal Gadot reprising her role as Diana Prince and Chris Pine as Steve Trevor. Set at the height of Reagan-centric consumerism, the film offers a distinct message on the dangers of greed and the purity of truth in society. A well delivered message by Gadot, who retains all her charming, heroic features that captured us in the first instalment of the franchise.
The plot, however, is rather basic in comparison to other superhero films such as the illustrious Avengers Endgame. Now working as an archaeologist and living in Washington D.C., Diana meets Dr Barbara Minerva, played by Kristen Wiig, and the two attain a mysterious stone that unknowingly grants wishes at a cost. With Diana wishing for the return of her lost lover Steve, meanwhile Barbara, envious of Diana’s good nature, wishes to become more like her. The antagonist Maxwell Lord, played by Pedro Pascal, is a failing businessmen desperate to become an oil tycoon. Upon realising the stone’s potential, Lord wishes to become the very stone itself, enabling him to grant wishes to anyone, in exchange for his own personal profit.
Whilst there is some fantastic acting by Gal Gadot, and a refreshing change of pace for comedy actress Kristen Wiig, Pedro Pascal’s character felt one dimensional. Moreover, there was no need for Chris Pine’s return as Steve, who offered little to propel the plot forward.
The story dashes between Diana, Barbara and Maxwell, leaving a dismantled structure of character’s realising the consequences of their wishes or exploring their new-found powers. The plot seemingly changes its rules dependent on what is needed for each character at that time, but nonetheless provides some brilliant action scenes. Notably that of Diana and Steve against Maxwell in Cairo, and Diana against a now fully-fledged Cheetah in Barbara.
Whilst there is merely a glimmer of what made the first Wonder Woman film so great to watch, with Gadot retaining her charisma and goodness as Diana, as well as some excellent action scenes that grip your attention, Wonder Woman 1984 just falls short with a lacklustre story and pace.