Alongside ‘Tenet’, this could well have become one of the major blockbusters of 2020, but it lacks girth and pales by its side. It’s missing the action, draws heavily on stereotypes, sometimes even borders on parody, and struts out the same kind of bad guy we’ve seen time and time again, one who’s eager for power. Directed by Patty Jenkins, ‘Wonder Woman 1984’ destroys any expectations we may have had about it, especially great expectations after a year with few releases. It was our last hope after a 2020 pandemic where the closest thing ana action movie premiere we got was Christopher Nolan’s most twisted quantum physics. And yet, we come away feeling that we’ve seen a predictable movie where the conflict is too easy to resolve.

If anything saves the storyline, then it has to be Wonder Woman herself; that look in her eye, that smile; that spectacular white suit she wears as she gets out of the car. Actress Gal Gadot once again leaves us speechless. Her archrival on the other hand, is losing water on all sides. We have a villain who wants to control the world, granting wishes to whoever approaches him – as if they were Aladdin -, in exchange for achieving his own agenda. Forgetting that a superhero like Wonder Woman (disguised behind the anonymity of Diana Prince) has other bad guys. Her power is immense (she is a demigoddess!), And they pit her against an earthly tyrant, about as intimidating as a kitten, incarnated by Pedro Pascal (the protagonist of ‘The Mandalorian’), and all he wants is more and more, and we already know how this is going to end.  

Wonder Woman 1984
“Wonder Woman 1984”

It is also difficult to visualize the transformation of Wonder Woman’s friend, actress Kristen Wiig who, in cartoon-like fashion, becomes the Cheetah. Her evolution is, despite everything, interesting: a woman ignored by the world who asks to be granted the wish of being like Diana. She then begins to win the respect of others and is loved by the masses. But as we already know, to greed, all nature is insufficient. And any goodness and humility she may have possessed before the metamorphosis, soon begins to fade as her desire to become ever-more popular grows. The problem is the final transformation. That strange feline that appears to us in the dark (thank God) and who’s presence is almost laughable next to our protagonist.

On this occasion, actor Chris Pine reappears out of her past to stand alongside the love of his life. Love; one of Nature’s greatest glories, and especially that of Wonder Woman. Her only wish is to once again cast her eyes on the only person she has ever loved. Wish granted. So, if you’ve ever been in love, then it’s the story of these two that we can identify with and really hits a soft spot deep down inside. Watching Gadot cry breaks us into a thousand pieces. Save the world or spend the rest of your life next to the person you love? And as we already know, a superhero always sacrifices herself for the greater good.

Wonder Woman 1984
“Wonder Woman 1984”

Set in 1984, it’s a little weird to see how they’ve adapted the aesthetics of the time. The leggings and the headbands, the fanny packs, the pastel colors of the mall in one of the opening sequences … A very low-level sequence that, by the way, is reminiscent of the last season of ‘Stranger Things’, also set in the 80s. One of the highlights of this film is the subject of female empowerment, something already intrinsic in the world of Wonder Woman, as a princess and Amazonian warrior, raised by women. You just have to see how she deals with the guys who approach her, or the independence with which she walks through life.

There’s a moral to the story of this sequel that we can apply in our day to day. Humankind will always want more. A bigger car, more nuclear weapons, to colonize new lands, another million dollars … But everything has its consequences. You should always be careful of what you wish for. Having money or power can often entail just as many headaches as it does solutions. The movie showcases human greed. Instead of reflecting on what we have, we get lost in what we have yet to acquire or achieve: to be stronger, sexier, more popular … And in the meanwhile, life passes us by. Wonder Woman teaches us a lesson: learn to value what you have. And that’s something that 2020 has taught us all.

Bárbara Padilla. Collaborator in the Series section of La Vanguardia. News editor and presenter on RAC1. Barcelona-based journalist since 2007. An amateur movie buff since she was old enough to know right from wrong and of series since the Netflix boom.