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Wonder Woman 1984 review: Gal Gadot shines even brighter in heartwarming blockbuster

As the entertainment industry sees out a shaky year, Wonder Woman 1984 lands just in time to remind us all about the power of cinema.

DC Comics haven’t exactly had the best attempts to match the critical and box office success of Marvel films, but Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman helped breathe new life into DCEU in 2017.

Indeed, Wonder Woman was universally celebrated as one of the best superhero movies in recent years so there was plenty of pressure for director Patty Jenkins to deliver a follow-up that could once again capture the heart of the audience – and she does it in style.

The director makes her intentions clear in the opening sequence of the film as we are taken back to Diana Prince’s childhood with the Amazonians in Themyscira.

Child actress Lilly Aspell reminds us once again that while Gadot was perfectly cast as Diana Prince, the most inspired casting of all might be the Scottish-born star as Young Diana.

Viewers watch the young girl compete against other full-grown women, her determined attempt at an intense assault course helping the movie start with an empowering kick that sets the tone perfectly.

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Kristen Wiig brings the laugh as Barbara Minerva (Picture: Warner Bros.)

Not too much can be said about the plot of the film without spoiling some of the fun surprises as we see Diana living and working within 80s America. The superhero is fighting crime as stealthily as she can when new foes present themselves, as always.

Kristen Wiig’s casting as Cheetah raised a few eyebrows for some but the comedic actress gets to play to her strengths as clumsy archaeologist Barbara Minerva.

Like the rest of the world, she can’t help but be in awe of Diana Prince. However, her desire to garner the kind of attention Diana gets begins her heartbreaking journey into iconic villain Cheetah.

Wiig brings in laughs with ease in the wallflower role before stepping up to show the different levels of her character’s transformation.

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Pedro Pascal is captivating as villain Max Lord (Picture: Warner Bros. Pictures/DC Comics)

Elsewhere, Pedro Pascal is an absolute delight to watch as smarmy businessman Maxwell Lord, who will do anything to help his luck turn around in his dogged mission to achieve wealth and success.

The only issue with having the two villains in the same film is it cuts down on the amount of time viewers could have had to enjoy both performances.

Naturally, there is one character that fans are most intrigued to see in the flick as Chris Pine returns to the franchise as Steve Trevor. After gut-wrenching death in Wonder Woman, the clever way in which he is brought back into the action is great.

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Chris Pine’s Steve Trevor makes a welcome return thanks to a clever plotline (Picture: Clay Enos/DC Comics)

The chemistry between Diana and Steve once again provides the most fun and touching moment in the flick. In many ways, fans needed this just as much as Diana did!

At the end of the day, all these performances mean nothing without Gadot as the ancor of the film. The 35-year-old once again dazzles in the role, projecting every moment of strength and struggle Diana faces when challenges come her way.

In the first film, she was a well-meaning princess who had her eyes opened to the world. Now she’s developed into a true heroine who fully understands the weight of the responsibility she must carry.

The blockbuster shies away from massive CGI-filled scenes and the usual carnage featured in superhero movies at times. Instead, the thrilling action sequences are full of sleekly choreographed close-contact combat and sublime aerial stunt work.

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Lilly Aspell dazzles as Young Diana in the opening sequence (Picture: Warner Bros. Pictures)

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The film shows the continued growth of Diana Prince (Picture: AP)

The final act is refreshing, original, and helps Wonder Woman 1984 feel so different from other Superhero films being released right now.

Mix all that with Hans Zimmer doing his always impactful work with a sensational score and every part of this movie just hits you right in the feels.

The fact Wonder Woman 1984 release was pushed back five times has turned out to be a blessing in disguise. As viewers feast upon the uplifting sequel many will take in a message we needed this Christmas more than ever before.

Without a doubt, this is one of DC’s best sequels to date thanks to the decision to keep focus on the continued growth of Diana Prince as Wonder Woman.

This is very much the film the world needed right now to help ensure 2020 ends on a high. A blast from start to finish, Jenkins and Gadot once again made movie magic in a follow-up that soared above and beyond all expectations.

Viewers will laugh, cry and leave the cinemas filled with hope for tomorrow.

Wonder Woman 1984 will be released in UK cinemas on December 16, and the film drops in theatres and HBO Max on Christmas Day in the US.

 


Credit: Original article published here.

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