WW84 isn’t exactly a wonder


Photo courtesy of Ryan Lattanzio / Creative Commons / via IndieWire

Vivian Chiang

The second installment in the series, “Wonder Woman 1984”  was released on HBO Max and in theaters Dec. 25, 2020. Directed by Patty Jenkins and featuring high profile names like Gal Gadot, Kristen Wiig, Chris Pine and Pedro Pascal, this movie is a pretty good sequel as far as DC sequels go.


The story centers around the discovery of a mysterious stone that grants the wishes of whoever touches it, coming to the Smithsonian where Diana Prince (Gal Gadot) and her awkward new friend Barbara Ann Minerva (Kristen Wiig) work. They both make wishes on it; Diana wishes for Steve Trevor (Chris Pine) to come back to her, and Barbara wishes to be cool and strong like Diana. Of course, both of these wishes come true, but it is not long before the stone falls into the hands of failing businessman and divorcee Maxwell Lord (Pedro Pascal). Using wishes to give himself more money and power throws the world into chaos, but Barbara cannot give up her newfound powers and decides to help him, becoming the villain Cheetah.


In terms of character development, this movie does a good job of expanding upon some of the growth from the last movie. The first “Wonder Woman” (2017) left off with Diana realizing that even if humanity does not deserve her help, she will protect them anyway. She keeps doing this of course, all the way into the ‘80s; however, she has failed to reach out emotionally to other people and keeps them at an arm’s length, leaving her lonely. Some may think this characterization makes her out to be a damsel who cannot live without a man, but I disagree. I actually think this is a very real portrayal of her character, especially when considering that she is an immortal and all of her friends from the time of the first movie have already passed away.


As for the other characters, they too were very believable and relatable. Maxwell Lord has your standard tragic backstory, but it is his relationship with his young son that is really meant to touch the hearts of the audience. His son, played by a forgivably awkward child actor, spends the movie trying to connect with his father, attempting to support who he believes to be a good person at heart. Pedro Pascal gives an incredible performance, elevating what would be a cookie-cutter villain to a character we can somewhat relate to.


The first “Wonder Woman”  was a straightforward and simple narrative with just one twist at the end, and the second follows in its footsteps. I honestly was not expecting much walking into this movie after seeing “Aquaman” (2018) and finding it… lacking. This movie, however, manages to make it just entertaining enough to pull off the somewhat plain storyline. In part, this is because of the actors’ performances, but the screenwriting also built in some scenes purely for the pleasure of the viewers—this includes a montage where Steve Trevor tries on some increasingly radical outfits inspired by 80s fashion, which is just ridiculous enough to be funny.

While this is not the movie of the year and does not exactly measure up to the new superhero movie standard created by Marvel, it is a good sequel for the DC Universe. I have no major objections to anything that happened in this movie, and can honestly say that it is an entertaining movie if nothing else. For these reasons, I would rate it at seven stars out of 10.