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Review: Wonder Woman 1984 – “A love letter to all that’s bigger and brighter than life itself”

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I can’t even lie. I got emotional before I even got to the cinema and that almost certainly had an impact on my viewing. It’s hard to differentiate being back in a cinema against the standard of the film itself — which I almost certainly loved. For the most part, at least.

That long strip of neon cinema numbers really hit me hard, as I went in. I started to realize that the absence has very much made the heart grow fonder.

I wasn’t with Mrs T. or the boys and I couldn’t check if my Dad had fallen asleep, but I was back.

Once I reclined and realized I’d been overly ambitious (and overly charged for coke that’s still half full and popcorn I was never going to eat! Christ), I settled back. Almost as if I hadn’t been away.

I settled back so hard I was A) worried I’d never want to leave and B) I’d doze off and miss my 3pm start time at work as the recliner seat kicked in. There was very little danger of that, though.

Patty Jenkins starts with a slam dunk and rarely lets up from there. Any film that’s 2 hours plus feels a bit bloated, but aside from some lag from minute 20-40, I really enjoyed it. When the film gets it right, the whole thing just… crackles.

It deftly trades off the innocence you’d hope for — especially in its depiction of children, versus the sinister elements, to being a lone female walking the streets at night.

From the neon-drenched opening (WB have previous form here, so fair play) it’s just relentless, once it finally gets going.

Egypt. Mayans. Everything gets thrown at a hectic finale, so bonkers that I couldn’t help but be swept away. Does it all stick together seamlessly? Absolutely not. But it’s bold in its approach and almost certainly unique. So you can’t help but applaud, even if the final beats were a tiny bit overly sentimental for me.

That’s not a criticism, as when it gets that right with Gal Gadot and Chris Pine, it sizzles. I found myself totally bought into them as a couple and I was genuinely surprised by that.

When it gets going, it’s relentless in a really endearing and empowering way.

Cheetah’s full transformation is too CGI reliant and will likely age badly. But my word it’s nightmare fuel. Proper 80’s Zuul in ‘Ghostbusters’ andvery unlikely going to have my 6 y/o doing anything but screaming out loud.

Is it rough around the edges? Sure. Is it likely to get lost once the trilogy is complete? Possibly.

But for right now? Right this very second? It’s exactly what we need.

I’ve seen people say it’s Zimmer’s best and I can only presume they never heard his other stuff — but one very important section gets a glorious chunk of music. & it’s every bit as majestic as Cavill’s first ‘Flight’.

Some of the humour doesn’t land and if you haven’t bought in to the villains, it’ll be far too messy come the conclusion to care. I liked both and can see why they’ve been put together.

Having said it’s bloated, I’d be intrigued to see PJ’s original cut. Although it’s unlikely action beats, I enjoyed spending time with everyone, so would be interested to see how it affects pacing. I won’t even patronise anyone by beginning to know what it feels like to be able to watch Gal Gadot as a girl who’s had to do with multiple men in spandex up to now — but Patty and Gal get it and that’s all that matters.

There’s a responsibility here to represent in the right way and anyone not excited to have more Wonder Woman in ‘Zack Snyder’s Justice League’ (R-rated or not) is arguably cutting their nose off to spite their face. She’s again, fantastic.

Personally? I needed that colour injection, today. That burst of life. A bit of the innocence that seems to have reminded everyone of Donner’s ‘Superman’.

Simpler times, indeed.

‘Wonder Woman 84’ is a love letter to all that’s bigger and brighter than life itself. I can’t think of a better shot to the arm, after the year we’ve all had. Vaccine aside.

Try and go if you feel safe. Support cinemas. They — and Tom Cruise — need us more than ever.

I’d justified that my home cinema would be enough. But in reality, I was talking myself through the disappointment of not seeing this as large — and loud! — as possible.

2021, and Warner’s especially, threatens to be a very different year.

Let’s enjoy it while we can. Going to the cinema already feels nostalgic. From a time long gone.

But there’s still time. I promise to never get frustrated at a kid kicking the back of my chair, again. Or to someone on their phone, just as I’m trying to work out what’s going on/being said n the latest Nolan.

OK. That last bit wouldn’t get past the lasso of truth, but you catch my drift. Hopefully loud & clear, lassoed on to crashing lightning. With Hans Zimmer coming through in Atmos surround sound.

Recommended.

Wonder Woman 1984 is in UK cinemas from 16th December 2020. It will be released simultaneously in cinemas and on the HBO Max streaming platform in the U.S. on December 25, while debuting theatrically in international markets a week earlier starting on December 16. The film will be available for a month on HBO Max in the U.S.

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