K-12 | 2h 31min | 26.3.2021 via HBO Nordic
I’ve been looking forward to this film for a long time, so the waiting felt agonizing, until it was finally available here via streaming service yesterday… elsewhere it had been online by Dec 2020 and the DVD is about to be released … therefore it wasn’t easy to ignore all the trailers, reviews, actor interviews – and whatever else you could find online about this movie for what felt like 10 years – in order to avoid spoilers. If you want to do the same, you’d better stop reading here, because I don’t really care about spoilers any more – for the reasons mentioned above. And yes, the movie is good, a worthy successor to the Wonder Woman debut in 2017, I can easily say that right away.
The sequel to Wonder Woman, also directed by Patty Jenkins, is set in 1984, hence all those weird outfits and screaming colors – and I suspect the people behind it lived through that era and became severely fashion-traumatized (fanny packs!!) …
Briefly to the content – Wonder Woman aka Diana Prince gets a new colleague and together – unintentionally – they unleash ancient forces of chaos … which are not so easy to tame, especially when not everybody is willing to … There are also some clever philosophical questions, which left me with some question marks afterwards – or plot holes? Well, I’ll have to watch the film again – the advantage of streaming …
Plot-holey or not, the basic idea definitely works – gradually escalating a seemingly harmless mind game into Armageddon. What surprised me was that those chaotic street fight scenes left me quite unimpressed. Probably seen far too much like that in real life recently … or the story of an impostor cheating his way into power and threatening to destroy the entire planet. Yeah, we had that in real life too…. but “Mandalorian” Pedro Pascal as Maxwell Lord is much more entertaining and charismatic than this certain orange loser. Pedro seemed to have a lot of fun with this role, enjoying to depict slimy spinelessness as well as demonic egoism. And he still remains human and believable – a great antagonist for Wonder Woman.
I think I don’t have to praise Gal Gadot in the title role again – besides the breathtaking action sequences, she shows even more skill, character and vulnerability.
Kristen Wiig as Barbara Minerva also proves her skill and acting range – her action stuff came as a surprise for me, as I know her mostly from comedies and SNL. Comic relief is rather delivered by the returning Steve Trevor (Chris Pine) – I guess that’s meant to take the edge off the predictable tragedy. In this sense WW 84 has remained true to Greek drama traditions – no strict black&white characters, no real “happy ending” (luckily the Hollywood-typical kitsch was kept very short) – so it’s much more like smiling despite the agony and the broken heart. Great film, and its message – selfishness is what destroys the world! – and its emotional framework is so relatable, fitting like a glove to Covid-19 craze and pandemic-fatigue.
Flashbacks provide a chance to reunite with our beloved Amazons. And finally some elements I remember from the comics, e.g. the invisible plane – and especially these scenes I would have preferred on a really big screen, but maybe there will be another opportunity for that this year. The costume change via lasso is still missing, though…
And one more advice – watch it until the very end 🙂