Saturday, December 26, 2020

In Theatres: Wonder Woman 1984 (2020)

 Ah, the 1980's. The era of excess.

It's the setting for "Wonder Woman 1984", the 2nd solo adventure of the Amazing Amazon (Gal Gadot), as she faces not one but two enemies.

One is Maxwell Lord (Pedro Pascal, The Mandalorian, ex-Game of Thrones), presented here as a con artist and business partner to Simon Stagg, whom comics fans know as the primary antagonist of another DC hero, Metamorpho. Here, Lord is of Spanish background, but changed his name to get away from an abusive childhood. He's also a divorcee, with shared custody of his son, who figures prominently in the finale.

The other is the Cheetah, in this case, archeologist Barbara Minerva (Kristen Wiig, ex-Saturday Night Live), presented as a mousy neurotic, which hews to recent interpretations of the character in the comics.

What brings them together is an ancient artifact that Barbara found and brought back to the Smithsonian in Washington, where she and Diana both work, albeit in different departments. 

If Barbara's story seems familiar to moviegoers, it's because it's been done before by both Marvel (Electro in "The Amazing Spider-Man 2") and DC (Catwoman in "Batman Returns"). It's a trope that never gets old.

WB's strategy was to release the film, which had been delayed at least three times since filming concluded last year due to COVID-19, both to theatres (limited availability in multiplexes in the 518) and on HBO Max, the better to call attention to the new streaming service, which has been active for nearly a year.

I should note that there's a mid-credits scene that will please long time fans of Wonder Woman, and leave it at that.

Here's the trailer, from WB's YouTube channel:

And, yes, Diana will return. But will the Cheetah? 

Rating: A-.

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