*Definitely a few minor ones here
Diana Prince lives quietly among mortals in the vibrant, sleek 1980s — an era of excess driven by the pursuit of having it all. Though she’s come into her full powers, she maintains a low profile by curating ancient artifacts, and only performing heroic acts incognito. But soon, Diana will have to muster all of her strength, wisdom and courage as she finds herself squaring off against Maxwell Lord and the Cheetah, a villainess who possesses superhuman strength and agility.
“No true hero is born from lies.”
When the original Wonder Woman came out, it was the best thing that could have ever happened to the DC Universe. Man of Steel (If you need a Director’s Cut we have issues), Batman vs. Superman (ditto Director’s cut), Suicide Squad were all relative flops so to have one of their movies finally hit was huge. To top it off, she is a bad ass female hero and exactly what the world needed at the time. Since then we have had the mediocre Justice League, followed by three years of hysteria about the Snyder Cut (we will not go into that now), and some actually decent to good movies like: Aquaman, Shazam!, and Birds of Prey. However, the state of the universe is still somewhat of a mess so what a perfect time to have a new Wonder Woman movie to swoop in and try and save the day.
Patty Jenkins came back to helm the second part of this franchise, and her influence is felt immediately. She shot the grand opening sequence and the final sequence with IMAX cameras and she fought Warner Bros. to keep the ratio when it went to streaming on HBO Max. Seeing those scenes the way they were meant to be seen is fantastic and allows the home viewer to have some semblance of a theater. That opening sequence is something to behold, where we see young Diana competing in a competition with the other Amazonians. Not only are the landscapes vast and beautiful, but the Hans Zimmer score brings you into the movie in a heart pounding way. From there we jump to the 80’s where our story really takes place.
In 1984 we meet our two villains to be. Maxwell Lord (Pedro Pascal) a local businessman who has an eye on much bigger things. And Barbara Minerva (Kristen Wiig) an archaeologist and friend of Diana’s who just wants to be as confident and as strong as she sees Diana to be. Through our MacGuffin, aka the Dreamstone, anybody is able to wish one thing into reality. Of course Diana wishes for Steve Trevor and wallla! Chris Pine is back. We then get the reverse fish out of water from the first movie where Diana has to teach Steve about the 80’s. All of these is pretty fun and where most of the humor of the movie lies (I know a DC movie with humor, shocking). These are all the parts of the movie that works.
What does not work so well, is the endless cheesiness of the dialogue, and the majority of the third act. I understand Superhero movies have to end in a battle but the best movies make that battle coherent and relatively enjoyable. The battle with our villains is not that here and again like the first movie the third act will be remembered as bringing down the overall joy of the movie. I still think there is enough there in the first 2/3 and the film work and score can carry you through this 150 minute story.
Stock Neutral – Gal Gadot
She is one of the biggest stars in the world, the only thing that could really up her stock would be to win an Oscar. I do not think that is happening here, but she is still perfectly cast and such a bad ass figure that makes this movie tick. When she finally takes flight it is a site to behold
Stock Up – Pedro Pascal
The guy is absolutely on fire right now. The Mandalorian, We Can Be Heroes, and this all this month and he does not seem to be stopping any time soon. I honestly think he won this movie by chewing every piece of scenery that he could. Kind of like Ewan McGregor in Birds of Prey, he is having more fun than anyone else on set, and it is not really that close. Whatever he chooses to do next, I am there for.
Stock Up – Kristen Wiig
She was great in both her roles in the story. As Barbara and when she turned into Cheetah, she had a presence every time she stepped onto the screen. She has made some really interesting choices recently with Where’d you Go Bernadette, How to Train Your Dragon 3 and Mother!, so I really have no idea where she goes from here. I look forward to whatever that decision is though.
Stock Up – Patty Jenkins
Patty Jenkins not only has now made two fun Wonder Woman movies but now she is following that up with the huge announcement she is joining the Star Wars universe. She will be directing a Rogue Squadron movie and if it looks as good as this I am very excited. Oh and she announced it in the most perfect way possible.
*A couple other tidbits
- Have I mentioned the absolutely phenomenal score from Hans Zimmer?
- The flight sequence with the fireworks was genuinely stunning to look at.
- I absolutely hated the end sequence, it felt like a hallmark movie.
DC has gotten a bad rap for their movies in comparison to Marvel over the years. However, I feel they are putting out fun movies and with the Wonder Woman franchise they have a true hero and symbol of good. There is more than enough craft and unique performances throughout this sequel that it is easy to overlook the cheesy dialogue and the 2.5 hour long runtime.
*You can find my 2020 Rankings here.
*You can find my DCEU Rankings here.
*You can find all of my Movie Ratings here.
*You can follow my Letterboxd account here.