Monday, December 28, 2020

Wonder Woman 1984 - A Blast From The Past (No Spoilers)

 Wonder Woman 1984 released on HBO Max and in theaters on Christmas day, but since HBO Max isn't as prevalent as say Disney+ and movie theaters are still problematic, I'm doing a spoiler free review. 

So back into the life of Wonder Woman we go, only this time we're doing it 80's style. 

Totally Tubular

Wonder Woman 1984 takes place in the time between Diana first entered man's world in Wonder Woman but before she stole the show in Batman Vs Superman: Dawn of Justice. The first half of the film is an 80's comedy throw back, complete with the girl who we have to pretend isn't hot because she wears glasses but gets a makeover, the nonsense McGuffin with magic properties that moves the plot, and the rich yuppie dressed like someone the Golden Girls would date. After this initial style nod, the film quickly transforms into the superhero movie we expected from Wonder Woman, who, admittedly, has become the gold standard for DC superhero films (Sorry Harley Quinn-you're a close second!)

Villains Done Right

It's hard to talk about the villain without spoilers, but I can at least say their names since Lego spoiled it six months ago. What we get are Wonder Woman's other two villains besides Ares, Cheetah and Maxwell Lord. While these could've easily become standard CGI or mad laughing mastermind but here, the villains are humanized to the point of sympathetic, even when the laughing and CGI comes out. Wonder Woman doesn't have a ton of villains because it's hard to find a constant villain that a warrior demi-goddess wouldn't either compassionately rehabilitate or just decapitate. Cheetah and Aries have been standard for decades, with Maxwell joining in about a decade ago after he was mind controlling Superman. Wonder Woman solved Maxwell's issue by twisting his head backwards in the comics, and while I was fully expecting that to happen in DC's darker superhero universe, the twist we got was a pleasant surprise. 

All That Glitters

The biggest headline for Wonder Woman 1984 was Wonder Woman's golden armor making an appearance. Introduced in Alex Ross's award winning Kingdom Come, when the armor was first revealed in trailers DC nerds collectively squeed with delight. The film gives the armor a backstory, that it was worn by an Amazon hero left behind so the others could escape (Not plot important so calm down). When the armor makes its appearance in the film for the climax, it was worth the hype. Wonder Woman uses her winged armor to its full potential, giving all the Alex Ross fans more to squee about. 

Overall Opinion

The film itself is an absolute delight to watch, despite some moments of "Wait, what are they doing?" The villains, while well established, do become a bit muddled near the middle but the film pulls together by the climax. Overall Wonder Woman 1984 is the perfect way to start a new year, full of hope, potential and a hero we can root for. 

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