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‘Wonder Woman 1984’: trailer review

Unless you’ve been living under a really big rock, you’ll know that Patty Jenkins’ Wonder Woman rocked the cinema world back in 2017. Despite the fact many feared a female-led superhero movie would be a total flop, Wonder Woman went on to make $821.8m at the box office, and received a pretty prestigious 93% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Naturally, a sequel was going to be made. Wonder Woman 1984 however seems to have been hit by a curse—the curse of 2020.

At the beginning of the year it was slated for cinematic release on 5 June 2020; but then enter stage right Covid-19. With cinemas closed indefinitely, DC Studios made the choice to delay release thrice more, so now Christmas Day is when the film is scheduled to hit the big screen. The hype has died down.

Then we had DC FanDome. This virtual convention saw DC Studios unveiling their future cinematic plans, and drew a record-breaking 22 million viewers from all over the world. The event kicked off with cast members Gal Gadot, Chris Pine, Pedro Pascal and Kristen Wiig along with director Patty Jenkins discussing the film’s eventual release.

Not only is this visually stunning, but also a stark reminder of Diana’s power, and the fact that she is, in fact, the daughter of Zeus

Near the beginning of the trailer, we see Diana ‘flying through the sky’, by lassoing the lighting and pulling herself through the atmosphere. Not only is this visually stunning, but also a stark reminder of Diana’s power, and the fact that she is, in fact, the daughter of Zeus. Everything so far has been to remind us that Wonder Woman is a force to be reckoned with. In the DC Comics universe, Diana is capable of flight. It will be interesting to see if she has come into her own enough to be able to take this full flight power yet.

We finally get to meet Maxwell Lord in this trailer, played by the almost unrecognisable Pedro Pascal. His powers are a threat to the whole globe as panoramic shots show him announcing onto the streets from the White House: “Citizens of the world, I’m here to change your lives.” It seems probable that he has been awarded powers by the God of Lies via the Dreamstone. This results in the ability to grant the wishes of anyone who sees his face.

However, this ability being awarded to him by the God of Lies, a minor demi-god of manipulation and deception and accomplice of antagonist of the first film, Ares, means that this power will hardly be granted with goodwill. We don’t get a glimpse of the chaos caused by Maxwell and the Dreamstone explicitly, so it will be interesting to discover what part this plays in the broader movie.

It’s particularly exciting to see Kristen Wiig in this iconic Wonder Woman villainess role, and it will be incredible to see what this otherwise comedic actress will bring to the character.

We’ve met Barbara Minerva, AKA the Cheetah, in the previous trailer for Wonder Woman 1984, and whilst we do get to see more of her and her development in this video, things are still mostly under wraps with regard to her personal history and development. It’s particularly exciting to see Kristen Wiig in this iconic Wonder Woman villainess role, and it will be incredible to see what this otherwise comedic actress will bring to the character.

From what we can infer from the initial shots of Barbara, she seems to be familiar with Diana, working, or at least attending the Museum that she works in. We also get a clue towards how she becomes the semi-monstrous creature we see later in the trailer, as we hear her wish, presumably to Maxwell, “I don’t wanna be like anyone, I wanna be an apex predator.”

Another exciting development involving Barbara and Diana’s relationship can be seen in the fight we get glimpses of, set presumably in the White House. Barbara is already a strong fighter, and it is uncertain as to whether this is due to her wish or otherwise. From the few shots we get, the two women really seem perfectly matched in combat.

Interestingly, Barbara’s costume appears to be invoking two elements here, which give us a little insight into her character. Firstly, in the side by side shot, it’s very apparent that Barbara’s ‘costume’ seems to directly parallel Diana’s long boots and short skirt; an armour-esque, but somewhat brusque leather jacket ensemble.

Perhaps Barbara is still modelling herself to a degree off Diana at this point. Pause at the right moment, and the resemblance is too uncanny to be pure coincidence. Secondly, throughout all three costume moments for Barbara, they all hold a sense of Selina Kyle aka Catwoman, à la 1992 Batman Returns. Can we expect more parallels with this iconic feline DC villain-cum-antihero?

Barbara certainly got her wish, but the twist of the knife seems to have left her a deformed half human half animal, something I have no doubt she is mad about

We finally get a glimpse at the fully-fledged Cheetah in this trailer, something that Warner Brothers had kept so under wraps that fans had begun to speculate if whether we would even be seeing her in this movie. With the low-lit action shots, it is hard to really discern anything of detail, other than the fact she looks hideous. Barbara certainly got her wish, but the twist of the knife seems to have left her a deformed half human half animal, something I have no doubt she is mad about.

With a little analysis, her fight against Diana doesn’t seem to be against the Amazonian. Instead, she seems to want to get past her. It’s likely that the third act climax has some big secrets to lay bare. A further revelation occurs in this portion of the trailer: Diana’s glorious Golden Eagle armour. We’ve already seen a few promotional shots, but this is the first time we see the costume in action. First debuting in the comics back in the ’90s, the armour is Themescerian (the island that Wonder Woman comes from) made and used only when Wonder Woman faces an almighty foe.

As seen previously, Steve Trevor is back! But he died in the first movie; how can he still be alive? Perhaps he was the result of Diana’s wish granted by Maxwell, maybe he was resurrected by the goddess Aphrodite. All we know is that he seems alive and well and that Chris Pine looks resplendent in full 1980s fashion. The tables have turned in the fact that now Steve seems utterly clueless in this new world of bum bags and radar, but it seems he will provide excellent comic relief, and joy for Diana.

When asked about the delayed premiere and whether they would consider an online release instead, Jenkins was adamant that the film had to be released in cinemas. Her excitement proved completely understandable: the trailer drop was a total hit, and the hype around the movie was once more reignited.

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