It is no secret that DC has had its fair share of cinematic flops, with its bat nipples and CGI cats taking the lead. When Patty Jenkins’ Wonder Woman was released, it really created a spirit of hope that the DC super-hero universe would be changing lanes and heading for a more successful destination. The year after its release we were given the Aquaman movie which, despite a few flaws, turned out to be a pretty fun and exciting movie. The direction DC is moving has many fans hoping for a brighter tomorrow and when it was revealed that Patty Jenkins would head up the Wonder Woman sequel, that hope was met with roaring applause.
In the last few years, the entertainment industry has produced films and television shows set in the 80s more than I have ever seen. Stranger Things, The Goldbergs and the latest season of American Horror Story have had great success so naturally, I was excited to see that Wonder Woman would be set in the 80’s as well. There is something fun and nostalgic about watching an era gone by played out on the big screen with its big hair, bulky clothes and bright colors.
The first thing I noticed and enjoyed about this film was after we are introduced to a young princess Diana trying to earn her place on her home island of Themyscira, the year jumps ahead to 1984 and with the time jump comes some major cinematography changes. Jenkins took a bold approach that I feel paid off, the film was shot much like the 80s movies we know and love, with softer edges and over exaggerated movie extras. I honestly could have watched the entire film being shot this way; it gave off a feeling of the classic Christopher Reeves Superman films that I grew up on. However, after a few different shots of Wonder Woman saving average citizens the films style takes on a more modern approach, which is useful when it comes to the big action scenes.
The film does a great job of nodding to its 80’s Super-hero movies with its overall approach to the thought that anyone greedy enough can become the villain but is never too far gone to be redeemed. All though I really enjoyed this aspect of the film, I felt that the main villain left much to be desired. The audience never really felt that hate for the villain and at times, almost feels bad for him.
The body swap plot is another 80’s trope that I had high hopes for however, I was left wanting more emotion from the side plot than I was given. I feel that the emotion was lacking between Diana and Steve seeing how his character was literally brought back to life. There are a few moments where you can feel the connection, but they are few and far between unfortunately.
The Zero to Hero play with Barbara Minerva becoming Cheetah was a lot of fun to watch. Another great call back to classic 80s films, I feel that Kristen Wiig did a fantastic job of playing both the nerd that is ignored by everyone, to the attractive woman that everyone wants to be noticed by. Also, the fact that they brought in Cheetah to be one of the villains is a fun bonus for anyone who loves the comics.
Wonder Woman 1984 is a fantastic comic book movie with a lot of great action scenes (but not over saturated) that gives fans another reason to love Wonder Woman. Lacking a bit of on screen emotion, the overall feeling of the film is fun and enjoyable.
Written exclusively for TheLastPicture.Show by Jacob Ruble
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