Wonder Woman 1984 a Less Lustrous Sequel

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Wonder Woman 1984 Blu-ray

I've had my misgivings about WONDER WOMAN 1984 ever since seeing the psychedelic poster with the golden angel armor. And while the armor fits nicely into the story, and with a decent reason attached to it (save for how Diana brought it to America, unless she's making back-and-forth trips to Themyscira), it's really there just to set up the nostalgic wink in the post-credits scene of the film.

In 1984, Diana (Gal Gadot) is working as an antiquities expert in a museum while also doing the whole Wonder Woman thing on the side. Apparently the directors almost forgot that Batman himself was unable to uncover any evidence of Diana after her photo taken in World War I, so we see one obligatory "take out the security cameras" scene, albeit surely too little too late. Still, the rest of the film beggars credulity that Diana could have kept herself so far out of the public eye while simultaneously appearing so publicly so often.

Director Patty Jenkins goes out of her way to never directly reference any of the characters by their comic book names. We never hear Diana referred to as Wonder Woman, nor do we hear Barbara Minerva (Kristen Wiig) ever called Cheetah. Maxwell Lord (Pedro Pascal) is the main antagonist of the film, but he's almost comically so, and the character he truly becomes is only ever referenced once, and then obliquely, as The Duke of Deception.  

The plot, such as it is, involves Lord being desperate to succeed after his Ponzi scheme blows up in his face. But Lord has also been tracking down an object of mythological power -- the Dream Stone (apparently one that escaped Thanos' notice), which allows the possessor to get a wish granted, at a great personal cost. Not even sure that the stone does what it promises, both Barbara and Diana make idle wishes on it -- Barbara wishing to be like Diana, and Diana wishing to have back her lost love, Steve Trevor (Chris Pine). Both wishes are granted, but Barbara becomes more aggressive while Diana slowly loses her powers (while getting up close and personal with Trevor, whose soul inhabits the body of another man).

Lord begins turning his fortunes around by granting wishes and taking the cost paid to himself, accumulating power and health along the way. And, somehow, this causes the entire world to swirl into messy, angry chaos in just a few short days. Fortunately, there's an easy way to fix any of these situations -- the person simply has to renounce their wish, which means once again a DC hero must find a way to save the day not through defeating the bad guy but by reaching the hearts and minds of an entire populace. Didn't we already see this episode of Supergirl?

For best results, jump to the scene where Diana explains the golden armor of Asteria, then jump to the post-credit scene to see that this lost Amazon still walks the Earth. That's all you really need to get out of this film.

There are a number of bonus features on this Blu-ray release, but the only one that truly remains with you is the shot-for-shot remake of the Wonder Woman television theme using footage from the film.

Grade: 
3.5 / 5.0