I wanted to see for myself if the reviews were justified. I’m not going to go so far as giving WW1984 a green splat (Rotten Tomatoes). It’s incredibly hard to have a second film be better than the first one. This franchise is similar to many other franchises. It is the repeated story over and over like Mission Impossible or Fast and Furious. This one is different as it is based on a comic and it seems the diehard fans tend to be pickier about these films. I will give a quick synopsis of each one and give reasons why I overall liked both movies and why one edged out the other.
Wonder Woman and Wonder Woman 1984 star Gal Gadot as Diana, Chris Pine as Steve Trevor, Connie Nielsen as Hippolyta, and Robin Wright as Antiope. Both are rated PG-13 for action and violence and directed by Penny Jenkins. The WW script was written by Allen Heinberg and the WW 1984 script was written by Patty Jenkins, Geoff Johns, and Dave Callaham. Wonder Woman is about the evolution of a Amazonian princess named Diana. She is raised and trained by her mother and aunt, Antiope. As she grows, her fighting skills improve and become beneficial during WWI. Wonder Woman 1984 is about Diana trying to live a normal life as an archaeologist at the Smithsonian. She encounters an unstable entrepreneur named Maxwell Lord. This meeting sets off a chain of events where she must once again use her lasso and shield for the greater good.
I thought both movies were worth watching. Because it was the first movie in this “new franchise,” Wonder Woman had the advantage. Before WW, Gal Gadot was best known for her role in Fast and Furious movies. I had seen her previously on Conan when he visited Israel. She killed it in this role as Diana. She was the perfect actress to play her. It wasn’t only her previous experience in the IDF (Israeli Defense Forces), but her beauty doesn’t hurt either. Previous to getting into acting, she was a model. The first movie opens up with strong women teaching strong girls to become better than themselves. This is the lesson Diana learns and keeps as a warrior. She expects the best from others and herself. This is quickly forgotten as she sees the effects of war and how her influence isn’t what it seems. As the war rages on, the battle of all battles presents itself and Diana must fight against Ares hopefully for the last time. Wonder Woman 1984 takes place in, you guessed it, 1984. If you haven’t noticed already, there has been a huge revival of this decade. This sequel begins with Diana learning a valuable lesson that she carries with her. It is that cheating even if you think it is justified only hurts yourself. Since this lesson and about forty years after WWII, Diana meets Barbara, who was recently hired at the Smithsonian. They both take interest in a stone with magical powers. If it falls into the wrong hands, it can do great damage. As Diana and Barbara learn more about the magical stone, Maxwell Lord has other plans. To make things more complicated, this stone sets off a chain of events where another war could begin, only this time nuclear.
Both of the WW movies were entertaining but because of the newness of the first one, I preferred it over the second. I could not see any character that weakened the story. The scenes were amazing to watch especially the fighting scenes. The enemies to Wonder Woman were creepy and disgusting. There was the notable sacrifice throughout and up until the end. The second one had a great opening scene with the horses. While all the scenes can’t be this exciting, the strength of the movie weakened as it progressed. I have to say Kristin Wiig was not my first pick as Cheetah. My personal preference was more along the lines of Anne Hathaway. While her role was not as powerful as Wonder Woman for obvious reasons, she was severely handicapped. I wanted to see her as more equal. Her outfits should have been less furry and not as subdued in their colors. She gave up all her smarts for dressing provocatively and became a power hungry woman. For what? She wasn’t going to end up with Maxwell. He was on his own collision course of crazy. The bottom line is the reasoning behind Cheetah turning so quickly should have been a little longer and more pronounced. I will hand it to Pedro Pascal as Maxwell because his character was down right creepy. The winner between Wonder Woman and Wonder Woman 1984 should be a no brainer.