After seeing the first Wonder Woman film in 2017, I was looking forward to watching the sequel released on Christmas Day 2020. I even splurged and subscribed to HBO max just to view it. While not as "wonderful" as the first, 1984 is still worth seeing and thus I gave it four out of five stars. (Warning: a few spoilers below.)
On the positive side, the two best scenes are at the beginning and the end. The opening scene features young Diana in an Olympic type games competition on the Amazonian island of Themyscira. The competition is intense and young Diana (Lilly Aspell) is adorable. Hans Zimmer's score is thrilling. The next best scene is actually not at the end but a few minutes after the credits start rolling. There is a special guest appearance which I will not detail for fear of spoiling it for those who haven't seen the movie yet. So, don't walk out or stop the film when the credits start. You'll be very pleasantly surprised. Some performances are particularly strong including Kristen Wiig as WW's co-protagonist Barbara Minerva (aka Cheetah) and Pedro Pascal as the villain Maxwell Lord. There are a few cute and engaging scenes like the one at the gym where Barbara gaining some of WW's powers starts pumping iron in front of a bunch of shocked men.
Unfortunately, there are also quite a few disappointments with WW84, the main one being that the story line is so outlandish it is even not very believable for a superhero movie. It begins with the core problematic of a dream stone where anyone who makes a wish upon it gets their wish. Unknowingly, WW as Diana Prince wishes her past love Steve Trevor who died in the first film comes back to life. Voilà, he comes back to life but through the body of another man! The villain of the film, Max Lord steals the stone and wishes that he himself would become the stone so that he can grant wishes to other persons whom he tricks into making wishes that benefit himself. Naturally, all this conniving leads to a world that ends up destroying itself through the unintended consequences of everybody's divergent wishes. One of the most "un-believable" scenes is that of a middle-eastern oil magnate who wishes for his ancestor's ancient Bialyian Kingdom to be restored. Next thing you know, a divine wall appears throughout the landscape marking off his ancient territory. Another disappointment is the performances of the two main characters. For some reason, Gal Gadot as WW this time is not as dynamic and charming. Her performance though decent is rather flat and lacks the spark and chemistry with Chris Pine (as Steve Trevor) we saw in WWI. One gets the impression that Gadot was rushed in this film and didn't really have time to enter into her character.
In spite of the disappointments, this film is still worth seeing. The action scenes are well-done and will keep you entertained. And the special guest appearance while the credits roll is a real delight.