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Friday, May 14, 2021

Now showing: Wonder Woman 1984 (M)

Luke McWilliams gives his review of the 2020 superhero film, Wonder Woman 1984, starring Gal Gadot and Chris Pine.

In the mythical land of Themyscira, a young Diana Prince (Lilly Aspell) takes a shortcut in a multi-stage athletic competition. Flashing forward to 1984, and Diana (now played by Gal Gadot) discovers a ‘Dreamstone’ at her work as an anthropologist that seemingly grants whatever the heart desires!

Less a sequel to the 2016 instalment, WW1984 instead works as a stand-alone a la the Indiana Jones and James Bond series. Where the original was set in World War I, discussing the evil that mankind performs on itself, WW1984 looks at the globally destabilising effect of greed and selfishness.  

The movie is brighter in look, adjusting to Aquaman’s tonal reboot of the DC Extended Universe after the retooled Justice League’s attempt to align with the very successful Marvel template. The 1980s theme is strong with popping colours and noticeable cultural hallmarks like malls, fashion and hairdos. The movie borrows from 1980s family movie lore, referencing Christopher Reeve’s Superman in tone and emotional payoff with big comic-book performances (Pedro Pascal evokes Nicolas Cage, Kristen Wiig is the blooming wallflower), simple moral lessons and a goofy McGuffin: an object that grants wishes at a price!

Dramatic themes of love and loss are rehashed from the first movie with the unnecessary return of Steve Trevor (Chris Pine) which stalls Diana’s character growth.  

Verdict: The shift in tone and focus from the much stronger original outing may sour fans. 2.5 stars.

Wonder Woman 1984 is showing at Dendy.

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