Wonder Woman 1984 captures the spirit of hope and humanity

Wonder Woman is back and now she’s facing her most horrid enemy ever: The 1980’s. When a sleazy businessman dabbles in a little wish-making, the world is thrown into chaos and only Wonder Woman can fix things. Oh, and Steve is alive again for some reason.

I will freely admit that Wonder Woman 1984 will not be for everyone. The story is a little goofy, there are many, many convenient plot contrivances, and the bad guy in this movie is basically a rock that grants wishes which is super goofy if you stop to think about it.

However, if you take another step back, you’ve got to realize that… this is Wonder Woman. Wonder Woman, without a little magical goofiness, would be like Star Wars without droids. It would be like Batman without the Batmobile. It would be The Wizard of Oz without musical numbers. Magic goes hand-in-hand with Wonder Woman and to complain about it is to not understand who or what Wonder Woman is.

Wonder Woman 1984 is full of magic and various nuttery and, yes, I fully get how this lack of realism would upset people who wonder, “Hey, why is Wonder Woman swinging around in the sky with her lasso?” I, however, am not one of those people and I really enjoyed it, as flawed as it was.

To me, Wonder Woman is more a symbol of hope that Superman is. She is a person who loves unconditionally and who would sacrifice anything to save a life where Superman would destroy an entire city just to take down Zod. Wonder Woman 1984 captures this spirit wonderfully, as Diana uses words to defeat evil over her fists and trusts people to do the right thing when it comes down to it.

I just enjoy superhero movies that are unconventional. Maxwell Lord, the closest thing that this movie has to an antagonist if you don’t count the magical wishing rock, really isn’t out to destroy or conquer the world, he’s just a guy who wants to prove himself worth. Even the Cheetah is more of a victim in this movie than an actual adversary, having made an innocent wish, only to have it pervert her morality and her physical nature.

Chris Pine returning as Steve Trevor was a lot of fun and even made sense in the story, giving Diana a much-needed internal struggle to deal with as the consequences of her wish become too much to ignore. Her attitude of, “Why can’t I have this one thing?” is understandable. I may not be out saving the world, but I hear you, sister. I hear you.

Gal Gadot is, of course, a brilliant Wonder Woman, tough as nails and yet, gentle at the same time. I once read a comic where a superhero was talking about Diana and they mentioned, “No one else in the world loves like Wonder Woman does.” Gadot captures that sentiment beautifully.

Granted, this movie has problems. The Cheetah’s storyline needed a lot more development and, even though I can see what they were doing with the character, making her the victim of a wish, I personally wish that this had been made more explicit. To be honest, the Cheetah could have been removed from this movie all together and it wouldn’t have made much of a difference. It is almost like she was shoved in just for the action scenes.

I will say, though, that Kristen Wiig was outstanding. I’ve never seen her in a dramatic role before and I though she was very good.

There are also scenes that rely a lot on happenstance and luck which felt very cheap. For example, when Diana and Steve decide to steal a jet, Diana suddenly remembers that she can make things invisible. Like, right out of the blue… and then she makes the jet invisible. It’s just that silly.

So, yes… it’s a strong movie in my opinion. It’s bright, colorful, optimistic, and hopeful. On the other hand, it’s also very silly and a little lazy in some departments. It’s not as strong as the first movie, but is is fun and it leaves you with a good feeling.

It would be for everyone, but it will be for me.

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