2020 was not the year that people envisioned it to be. Following 2019’s explosive year for cinema with Avengers: Endgame snapping away records, 2020 felt left in the dust with only Birds of Prey and The New Mutants representing comic book lore on the silver screen. That is until Warner Bros. made the bold decision to simultaneously release Wonder Woman 1984 on their streaming service, HBO Max, alongside a limited theatrical release wherever possible during a pandemic.
There’s something to be said about ending the year with a movie titled Wonder Woman 1984. Such as wanting to be in any other year besides the one we all just had. Or even a reminder of what all entertainment is, a form of escapism.
With the much-needed mandatory lockdown and quarantine orders, the new decade was not a magic refresh as some wished it would be 12 months ago. So in line with this theme of wishing and seeking to be taken elsewhere, I enjoyed WW84 and its relatively more light-hearted tone delivered via its visual aesthetics, soundtrack, and major plot points.
2017’s action-adventure Wonder Woman film could be considered a historical war film for taking place during World War I, with a darkened and gritty aesthetic to reflect a more dated story. In comparison, WW84 livens things up with more upbeat energy and matching bright color tones to take viewers back to the retro era of the 80s.
Pedro Pascal was the star of the film, despite playing the villain Maxwell Lord. His over-the-top acting as Lord was perfect for the film. Pascal showed a great range from being a charismatic businessman to being a shady conman to being sincere and well-meaning as a father. His character deviated greatly from the source material.
Comic book readers may remember Maxwell Lord as a supervillain with government connections who actually first supported the formation of the Justice League. Only to later betray them in his attempts to defeat and neutralize them. Wonder Woman would put an end to his reign with a snap of his neck, reminiscent of Henry Cavill’s Superman at the end of Man of Steel.
Despite lowering the likelihood fans would ever get to see such a twisted, epic moment play out in theaters, Pascal’s Maxwell Lord will stay a part of the current pop culture discussion. Especially with his unforgettable line “life is good, but it can be better.”
Now if there aren’t any theaters around you, HBO Max is probably your best bet to watch WW84 soon. But you better hurry because January 24, 2021, is the last day Wonder Woman 1984 will be available on HBO Max.