Wonder Woman 1984 ★★★
Starring Gal Gadot, Chris Pine, Kristen Wiig, Pedro Pascal, Robin Wright, Lilly Aspell
With a freshened palette and coating of fun, the D.C. universe's next feature was set to move away from the moody, joy-lacking films that have preceded it, or followed it; as this film sees Diana Prince (Gal Gadot) in the 1980's, before she met that Super Bloke or Bat Fella. She finds herself in the midst of a struggle for power from two sources: the first is a handsome, frantic businessman who has his eye on a genie stone. And the other, a supposedly frigid and unconfident archaeologist/gemologist who idolises Diana in a want to be like her.
Let's start with the latter: Barbara Minerva, played by a terrific Kristen Wiig. Barbara is transparent to her colleagues and has nothing particularly positive to say about her life. The film shows fairly early on a transformation to her character that is meant to leave audiences as shocked as the background actors seem to be. But, with Wiig being so likeable from the off, and looking pretty damn cool with her 80's hair-do and baggy outfit, it was difficult to empathise with the character's change.
Both villains were given a lot of time to show off and both Wiig and Pedro Pascal (playing Maxwell Lord) were exceptional in the roles, the best of the film in fact. However, with so much time given to them, Diana was almost pushed into the background, even in the climax she seemed to be secondary in relevance. And this inclusion of back story for the antagonists also added to the run time, which feels as long as it is.
It is a shame that we didn't get to see the bright surroundings and excellent set pieces on the big screen, as these really did pop. Finally, the D.C. universe are having some fun; using subtle yet regular comedy and a brighter shade of colours to tell their story. And Hans Zimmer's score is so simple, yet so effective. The gentle drops of Wonder Woman's motif were executed swingingly. Get it...cause she swings with her lasso and...oh forget it!
Gal Gadot is charming as always here and her moments with Chris Pine are so refreshingly funny. Yes, the 'man out of time' trope has been done a lot in recent years, (just take a certain rival superhero studio as an example) but I think this example is the best of the bunch. A particular montage lets Pine show off his comedic side, boosting him up in the rankings of 'Best Hollywood Chris'.
Although the concept becomes a little ridiculous in the final act of the film, and by that point I was left anticipating the credits, the film does have a sense of fun that other films involving Princess Diana have been lacking. Plus, the performances here tick all the boxes of a decent superhero movie. There's just far too much happening, and not enough of the leading lady.
Wonder Woman 1984 available now on PVOD