A flashback to the 1980s as we see Diana Prince in 1984 and coming up against some new villains in Maxwell Lord and her friend Barbara Minerva who becomes The Cheetah. With the Dreamstone playing a big part to everything that unfolds.
The opening scene we see Diana Prince in her youth and learning a big life lesson about shortcuts and quite frankly cheating. Although to begin with you are left wondering the point of seeng this. It does then make more sense as the plot in 1984 unfolds throughout the film. Anything worthwhile must be obtained honestly, isn’t that something good to just think about and remember in general?
As we enter 1984 we see that Diana is working at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington and still performing heroic deeds but in a way that no one really expects her to be anything extra. She makes friends with Barbara Minerva when she joins the museum. Barbara is nice but very socially awkward and when men are around they don’t even notice her when she is with Diana. This was something that made her a little bit envious of her friend and when an artefact was stolen that was known as the dreamstone which could grant people one wish to anyone that holds it.
This is where things get a little bit messy as Diana accidentally wishes to have the deceased Steve Trevor back in her life. His spirt then taking over a new body and only she can see him as Steve. I mean this is probably a little bit of a stretch but the relationship between the pair really was a highlight in Wonder Woman so I can understand why we would want to see more of them together. These scenes were actually some of my favourites, especially when he has to adapt to the fashion of the 80s and different new things. For example that first trip on an escalator was a highlight in amusement factor.
The night Diana saves Barbara from the advances of a man she was no interested in at all leads to her wish to being like Diana and this means those superpowers she has as well. We could already see how this would cause many problems going forward. Although I think that character is very relatable as I am sure most women have felt as she did in the beginning and would often wish to be better. So I more felt sorry for her throughout. Then the change to becoming The Cheetah reminded me of the Selina Kyle to Catwoman transformation. Then going after the men who wronged her and just quite frankly having more confidence, considering this is DC I guess I can understand even more the similarities.
Maxwell Lorenzano who we known more commonly as Max Lord was failing as a businessman and does that good old wish for more wishes which we are always told is not allowed when it comes to wishes. He wanted the dreamstone to save his business which I guess we cannot really fault but when he is rather consumed by it and wants to have the same power, it was never going to go well for his body. It was evident that Max and Barbara would be drawn to one another. This leads me to a slight complaint that these DC universe films don’t seem to be able to get the villains right, they are always stupidly over the top and more laughable than anything else (yes I am thinking about that Lex Luther). We learn that the way to reverse it all is to denounce the wish and that will lead to a second loss for Diana having to say goodbye to Steve.
The film really does have some fantastic moments and the overall ideas behind the wishing and accepting your life is interesting enough. I do think the running time which goes over two and a half hours is something that should have been reduced as it unfortunately felt rather repetitive at times which was a shame. Should have been building on the success of the first film but instead stalls a little bit. I am still unsure if bringing Steve back was essential towards the plot or just so the viewers had a second familiar character. I mean personally I loved his character and the relationship in the first one but then knowing it couldn’t last was rather heartbreaking. Towards the end we get a terrible looking superhero moment of her running which looked really bizarre but then is saved by a very amazing flying scene just after that so it was quickly saved and made up.
Performances were decent enough and Gal Gadot is very good in this role, you cannot really imagine anyone else being able to play this part with such ease. I liked Kristen Wiig I thought that was very good casting for her to be Barbara/Cheetah she manages to have the relatable factor and feeling like a normal person (as Barbara of course not the Cheetah). Pedro Pascal was the typical over the top DC villain, I really do feel that this is the part of the DC universe that lets down the more recent films.
I guess overall it is a little disappointing given how good Wonder Woman really was and the build up to eventually getting this film released was something that we could not avoid, given the seven different release dates it had. I truly believe that has not worked in its favour which is such a shame, we need a great female superhero like Wonder Woman to keep breaking the mould and pushing boundaries.