wonder woman holding a man up by a leg

Written by Ana Jones

As far as sequels go, Wonder Woman 1984 or WW84 is entertaining and enjoyable to watch, but don’t expect too much – it is a movie based on comic book characters after all! You don’t need to have seen other DC Universe films to understand what is going on though.

The film begins with young Diana (Gal Gadot) competing against older Amazonians in a friendly sporting competition that celebrates fallen warrior, Asteria. Diana is disqualified for taking a shortcut in the course after falling from her horse and lessons abound around truth and what is right. We then fast forward (thankfully) to 1984, some 40 years after the first film was set and Diana is now a senior anthropologist at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington DC specialising in the culture of ancient Mediterranean civilizations. Her newest friend is the mousy Barbara Ann Minerva (Kristen Wiig), a new cryptologist at the Smithsonian.

When Wonder Woman foils a mall robbery shortly after, several of the items/antiquities that were stolen are sent to the Smithsonian for identification, including a wishing rock (aka a magic talisman), and this is where all the trouble begins…

You do not need to know too much about the DC Comics to enjoy the film, although it probably helps – so here goes.

Wonder Woman is a character that appeared in DC comics from 1941, the superhero got her own series the following year, according to Wiki. The character hails from the fictional island of Themyscira where Diana is the daughter of the Queen of the Amazons – with superhuman powers gifted by the Gods (her demi-god status and daughter of Zeus came much later).

Warrior woman standing

Created by American psychologist William Moulton Marston (aka Charles Moulton), Diana/Wonder Woman (and all characters in his comics) draw from DISC theory (behaviour modelling which centres on four different personality types: yellow, green, blue and red and behaviour types: dominance, inducement, submission and compliance). Many of the monsters and villains in his comics were also founded in Greek mythology.

Of Diana Prince, Moulton wrote: “Not even girls want to be girls so long as our feminine archetype lacks force, strength, and power... Women's strong qualities have become despised because of their weakness. The obvious remedy is to create a feminine character with all the strength of Superman plus all the allure of a good and beautiful woman,” (The American Scholar, 1943).

Diana Prince bucked the ‘damsel in distress’ role almost all-female comic book characters had at the time. And WW84 holds true. In the last movie, she marvelled over 1918 London and this time around we see the 1980s through fresh eyes. As an 80s child though, I feel betrayed as this could have been done so much better – more hairspray, beatboxes or bangles, Dianna is trying to blend in isn’t she!

We do start to see Wonder Woman’s favourite defence tools this time around, the ‘boomerang’ tiara and invisible aeroplane, plus the armour of Asteria which are all classic.

We are also introduced to two new villains. The first is businessman Maxwell Lord (Pedro Pascal) who operates a pyramid scheme in order to finance mining and oil operations to find the dream rock (Dreamstone). The second is The Cheetah, the festy feline possess almost all Wonder Woman’s strength, speed and sass! The development of The Cheetah from introverted, shy Barbara to jealous, power-hungry villain is enjoyable to watch too.

Gal Gadot has been criticised for not being Amazonian enough for the role; however, she stands at 5’10”, the same height as the most famous actress who played the same role, Lynda Carter.

woman in fur walking through graffitied city streets

The similarities don’t stop there. As you will see when Lynda who played Diana Prince/Wonder Woman for the 1970s TV show has a cameo. Those in the movie theatre who watched the series let out a small cheer when she appeared on-camera... Here’s hoping it is a bigger role next time around!

The cinematography is what you expect from a 2020 blockbuster. Rated M, it is directed by Patty Jenkins (Wonder Woman) and runs two hours and 30 mins. It was written by Patty Jenkins, Geoff Johns and David Callaham and based on the characters from DC. IMbD users have rated it 5.5/10.

If you have been in shutdown, lockdown or self-imposed quarantine – this movie will put a smile on your face and other than the long opening scene, it is two hours of entertainment!

The film also stars Chris Pine as Steve Trevor, Kristen Wiig as The Cheetah, Pedro Pascal as Max Lord, Robin Wright (the Princess Bride) as Antiope, and Connie Nielsen as Hippolyta.

Watch The Trailer - Wonder Woman Returns

Images: Copyright: © 2018 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc / Clay Enos™ & © DC Comics

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