Wonder Woman 1984 Review

By: Amanda Guarragi

If this year has taught any of us anything, it is that patience is key and that greed truly ruins the best of people. We’ve seen that leaders do not look after their own people because power and money are more important than saving their country’s population. What Wonder Woman 1984 does so well is show us what humanity values. What it truly needs is the support of others around them in order to survive in this world. Diana Prince (Gal Gadot) is the embodiment of all of these values, patience, love, honesty, justice and most importantly, peace.

The film begins with a young Diana (Lilly Aspell) taking part in the Amazonian Olympics. She is the youngest out of the rest of the contenders. What is so wonderful about this opening sequence Diana’s determination to be the best and her passion towards achieving that goal. That passion and drive is definitely a good thing but sometimes it can turn into something else. Wanting something more than anything in the world can also be damaging depending on the desire. Patty Jenkins wanted to reflect the world we live in by incorporating fun nostalgia to gloss over the fact that life can be horrible in any decade. Everyone wants to lead the perfect life. People want to achieve their dreams and when that doesn’t happen when they want it to happen, when they believe it should happen, people get desperate.

(left) Gal Gadot and Chris Pine
Courtesy of The Stone Quarry and Warner Brothers

The story was really strong but the execution is what was lacking the most. The entire cast was fantastic and really brought so much energy to the film. However, there were plenty of missteps and there were restructured pieces from the first instalment, that made it somewhat feel repetitive. If it weren’t for Steve Trevor’s (Chris Pine) “man out of time” schtick to make this film enjoyable then it would have been pretty dry. Gadot and Pine have excellent chemistry so it was absolutely magical to see them interact again but it wasn’t enough. Steve Trevor is the heart of Diana Prince, therefore the heart of the entire film (again), we haven’t seen Diana without Steve in her own film yet. Don’t get me wrong, it is a very fun film but it loses its power towards the middle.

(center) Pedro Pascal as Maxwell Lord
Courtesy of The Stone Quarry and Warner Brothers

Jenkins also introduced us to Maxwell Lord (Pedro Pascal) and Barbara Minevra (Kristen Wiig) who both gave excellent portrayals of their characters. Pascal stole the spotlight, he was brilliant and the one thing everyone will remember from this film. In all honesty, as good as Wiig was as Cheetah, Pascal overshadowed her and it felt like the story wasn’t strong enough to tie her in as well. There was so much more they could have done with Cheetah and I understand that it is her debut but Wiig was underused. The special effects weren’t that strong either and they should have taken more time to perfect Cheetah, instead of just rushing her debut in this way. The third act of the film also felt incredibly rushed, especially considering how long it took to get there. They needed to tie everything up quick and you could tell.

Wonder Woman 1984 is filled with 80s nostalgia and Gal Gadot embodies the character of Diana Prince so well. There are moments that mirror the powerful scene in the first instalment that will make all women feel empowered. Wonder Woman makes all women feel proud of who they are because everyone can see a little bit of themselves in Diana. Gadot brings this purity, this essence that no one can quite describe and that is what makes her version of Diana so wonderful to watch. Make sure to stay for the post credit scene because there is a lovely little treat for fans.

The Irishman Review

The Irishman is Martin Scorsese’s reflection of his entire career; when he started, how he rose to his power and who helped him along the way. He presented this through the story of Frank Sheeran, the man who was known to paint houses.

Frank Sheeran’s story was heavy and he met so many people along the way. It seemed that Sheeran lived many lives throughout this film and time played a major factor. The time he spent in the war, causing serious PTSD and conditioning by the army. The time he spent working and earning as much as he could for his new family. The time he spent making different moves with Russell Bufalino and Jimmy Hoffa. The time Sheeran takes in his old age to reflect on how he focused on one life instead of the other. It shows that no matter how loyal you are, how respectful you are or how many hits you do, you end up alone and that time being spent, reflecting on your life, feels like an eternity.

The pacing of this film is something I haven’t experienced before. It didn’t feel slow and it didn’t feel like there was too much being shoved into the runtime, it was just perfect. Thelma Schoonmaker is a master editor and she knew exactly how to run this story. The two acts showcasing the rise to power and the politics that become integrated in Jimmy Hoffa’s story all flowed beautifully. These characters were interesting because of the dialogue and the historical accuracy of it all. The third act is where Schoonmaker slows it down, it wasn’t because the story was coming to an end but because the protagonist, Sheeran was older, much older and life began to slow for him as well.

This felt like Scorsese’s magnum opus because there was such a finality to this piece. It was a love letter to all of the mob films that came before and in a way an introduction to the new generation. At the beginning of this film Sheeran states that no one knows or even cares about Jimmy Hoffa and then he proceeds to tell his version of the story. I found this interesting and I perceived it as Scorsese referencing his own career and this was the way he was going to reintroduce himself.

Everything was about this film was perfect. From Scorsese’s direction to Rodrigo Prieto’s cinematography, to Sandy Powell’s costuming, to Robbie Robertson’s score and obviously to Thelma Schoonmaker’s editing, this beast is his masterpiece. Robert De Niro was superb and played Sheeran so well. His de-aging was perfectly fine and it didn’t look bad at all. Al Pacino as hot head Jimmy Hoffa was the only possible casting because he knocked it out of the park. He captured both sides of Hoffa and it was great to see. Joe Pesci’s Russell Bufalino was perfect and his subtlety as a mob boss was fun to watch. The three of them on screen together was quite emotional to watch at times because a film like this, with this calibre of acting, will never happen again.

The Irishman felt so personal, it felt very intimate and it’s because of who was on screen and working with Scorsese. It felt like a goodbye but we all know Marty isn’t going anywhere.