Wonder Woman 1984 (2020) [Blu-Ray/DVD/Digital]

Director Patty Jenkins’ “Wonder Woman” movie series has been very good so far. What’s kept the series from being great is the films’ lack of really interesting super villains that can make Diana’s heroic quest difficult. “Wonder Woman 1984” is a very good movie that has its sights set on paying tribute to the iconic heroine, and in those respects it’s a very good follow up to the original film—save for some glaring flaws that keep it from being a great follow up.

Diana Prince lives quietly among mortals in the vibrant, sleek 1980s — an era of excess driven by the pursuit of having it all. Though she’s come into her full powers, she maintains a low profile by curating ancient artifacts, and only performing heroic acts incognito. But soon, Diana will have to muster all of her strength, wisdom and courage as she finds herself squaring off against Maxwell Lord and the Cheetah, a villainess who possesses superhuman strength and agility.

“Wonder Woman 1984” is centered on showing us why Wonder Woman is such a dazzling character. The sequel does actually move forward, exploring Diana Prince’s ability to make the most out of her life, while also never really being able to mix with average society. Her sense of belonging was left with Steve Trevor unfortunately, and she’s not so much looking for him as she is the feeling of someone or something that can give her fulfillment. Her heroism and bravery is ultimately what completes her, allowing for a fascinating (albeit long) evolution in to a super heroine who has a full grasp on what she’s capable of. Patty Jenkins’ direction is fantastic, and often times she sets Diana Prince in some stunning sequences.

This includes her much anticipated donning of the golden winged armor, her infiltration of the White House with her golden lasso, and her moment of clarity while coasting through the clouds in the climax. Gal Gadot is perfectly good as Wonder Woman and Diana Prince; her charisma and charm more than compensates for her clear lack of acting prowess, and she’s carried well by (woefully miscast) Kristen Wiig, and Chris Pine. Why he’s even in the movie is baffling, and the rationalizing and over explanation from the script does the character absolutely no favors. That’s especially true considering the morally questionable way he returns.

In the gallery of super villains that Diana Prince has, it’s also a shame that “Wonder Woman 1984” only really utilizes the cheesy Maxwell Lord, alongside a very under used Cheetah. The way “Wonder Woman 1984” completely mishandles Cheetah is a damn shame, as she’s one of Diana Prince’s most prominent and fiercest foes that just doesn’t get a ton of screen time. There’s plenty of Kristen Wiig improvising, but when it comes down to her final form, we have to wait a long time for the pay off. Meanwhile, Maxwell Lord often feels like a cheesy Batman villain, and gets the majority of screen time, failing to offer up much in the way of an obstacle both physical and mental for Diana, in the end.

There’s Giganta, Circe, Silver Swan, and so many more villains that could be dynamic on screen. Instead the hammy Maxwell Lord is the central villain who shares a good portion of screen time with Gadot and is painfully over the top. Pedro Pascal is a fine actor, he just plays Lord more for laughs, and he ruins the otherwise strong momentum. “Wonder Woman 1984” is problematic and downright flawed, but it’s an otherwise entertaining and visually dazzling follow up that competently pays homage to the Amazonian hero. I hope the second sequel in the series rewards us with a higher stakes villain.

Included in the features is The Making of Wonder Woman 1984: Expanding the Wonder, a fairly in-depth featurette that covers most of the behind-the-scenes topics including location scouting, stunt work, special effects, casting and supporting characters, rebuilding Alexandia’s Landmark Mall, and the special cameo by Lynda Carter. First-hand interviews includes director Patty Jenkins, producer Chuck Roven, Gal Gadot, Kristin Wiig, Chris Pine, production designer Aline Bonetto (Wonder Woman, Amélie), set decorator Anna Lynch-Robinson, and several others.

In Gal & Kristen: Friends Forever, Gal Gadot and Kristin Wiig briefly talk about their characters’ curious connection and of course, their own off-screen friendship. Small But Mighty is a quick overview of the opening scene starring young Diana (played by Lilly Aspell, who returns from the first film), which includes a glimpse of her 2015 audition tape. Scene Studies is a Short breakdowns of two of the film’s more complex action scenes, including Diana and Steve’s Fury Road-like pursuit of Max’s entourage in the Egyptian desert and that colorful first-act chase scene at Landmark Mall, both of which include a few comments from Patty Jenkins and others.

Gal & Krissy Having Fun is a fun dance number, presumably sung by the two actors, while Meet the Amazons is a virtual roundtable interview, moderated by actor Tiffany Smith, and features director Patty Jenkins along with Lilly Aspell, costume designer Lindy Hemming, production designer Aline Bonetto, and Themyscira Amazons Brontë Lavine, Briony Scarlett, Jade Johnson, Miranda Chambers, Moe Sasegbon, Gwendolyn Smith, Doutzen Kroes, Jessie Graff, and Jenny Pacey (the trainer and Amazon performer for the opening games). There’s the Black Gold Infomercial, a VHS-grade version of Max Lorenzano’s famous TV appearance, a Gag Reel, and finally Wonder Woman 1984 Retro Remix, a great piece that mixes the the original Wonder Woman opening theme with panned-and-scanned clips from WW84 for an animated tribute.