Into our lives walks Maxwell Lord, the guy from the infomercial we saw in Part 1. Pedro Pascal does more than chew the scenery with this role. He devours it, then spits it back up for his children.
He’s here as a potential patron of the arts, and apparently he’s asked to meet Barbara by name. How does he know who she is? She’s only been there a week and she never talks to the press.
When Barbara doesn’t recognize him, he does his famous catchphrase: “Life is good… but it can be better.” And he does this amazingly smarmy smile you have to see to believe.
Oh, wait, there it is. “Apparently we share a passion for gemology.” He’s referring to what they’ll call the “Dreamstone” later, though again it’s not clear how he even knows about it.
Here he gives a thumbs-up to a random worker, thus cementing in our minds his Trump-like personality. It’s no mistake, folks.
Barbara is primping in her office prior to giving Lord a tour of the place. He looks in and recognizes the Dreamstone; it’s his real reason for being there. Now, we know how the stone works: just touch it and wish.
Now pay attention to how long it takes him to get at the stone, when all he had to do was say “Hey, what’s that?” right there and touch it. This is another way this movie belabors its obvious plot points.
Okay, THIS sequence is unbelievable. Lord is goofing around with a tribal mask of some kind, going “BLBLBLBLBLBLBL” at Barbara. She giggles and turns to no one and says “Hey, have you seen my friend? Where’d he go?”
Lord answers, off-screen, “I’m right here!” ARE THEY 5 YEAR OLDS? Was this meant to be endearing? Because it really just makes me cringe and dislike the both of them.
Lord does his catchphrase at Diana, and she contemplates breaking his index finger. This may be the best bit of acting she does in the entire film.
There’s going to be a huge party tonight, and Lord, staring directly at Diana’s boobs, says “It’s going to be an amazing party. I hope you have something to wear.”
He openly ogles Diana while Barbara watches, clearly pissed off that Diana’s upstaging her.
Diana says she’s not going to the party, and Lord does a Carlton-like dance, saying in singsong “I like to party”. Barbara says “Omigod you’re such a good dancer.”
Again, this is NOT endearing me to either of them. And if that was the point of this sequence, then mission accomplished, movie.
Later we follow Lord to this amazingly ugly building. The use of gold and super-out-of-place Greek ornamentation just SCREAMS Trump. Also, it’s a collective?
Surprise! Lord has a son, and it’s his weekend with the boy. It’s clear that he’s forgotten this, judging by his reaction. The boy asks where the pool is, and Lord puts him off.
Trigger warning for those of us with father issues.
This guy’s Simon Stagg, who’s a character from DC Comics better known for being part of Metamorpho’s cast. The hell’s he doing here? This is probably DC trying to ape Marvel’s connected universe schtick.
He’s upbraiding Lord for what he calls Lord’s “Ponzi scheme”. Lord’s been buying land on oil speculation, only there’s no oil anywhere.
Lord’s plan begins to take shape. He’s bought up all this land and he’s going to use the wishing stone to magically put oil in there. But of course he can’t tell this plan to his investors, so they’re pulling out.
His poor son has just watched Lord get chewed out by and humiliated by Stagg. This kid does an amazing job of appearing stoic, yet really wanting to cry. He’s easily one of the film’s better actors.
Lord gets down and says “You are going to be so proud to be my son.” The kid just says “ok” with tears in his voice. Honestly, it’s heartbreaking.
Meanwhile, Barbara is getting kitted out for the night’s shindig. Look at these godsawful shoes, holy crap. I mean, clearly she’s dressing for Trump. I mean, Maxwell Lord.
And when she reveals herself, hey, she looks great! But I have to say, this isn’t the amazing transformation you’d expect a wishing stone to perform. Her hair’s pretty much the same, honestly.
Her figure’s great, but it always was. They could have frumped her up a LOT more earlier. And here’s the funniest part: in the very next scene, the movie itself does her one better.
Diana arrives looking incredible, as she always does. So, are we meant to STILL feel sorry for Barbara? I can’t tell what the movie wants me to feel here.
This dude looks like a cross between Ethan Hawke and James Marsden. It’s got nothing to do; I just wanted to point it out.
Lord has found Barbara and she fumblingly says “I never look like this. Not even close. Took me a long time.” What’s she DOING? She made the wish to be more like Diana and now she IS. Why wouldn’t she just roll with it?
Was self-confidence not something the stone could grant? You know, like Diana has?
Lord has weaseled his way into Barbara’s office on the pretense of making out with her, when really he wants to get at the stone. See how long it’s taken him?
When he could’ve just gotten it earlier in the day, or even just by stealing away during the party downstairs?
And here he tips his hand by pointing and saying “What is THAT?” What ya doin’, mate? You didn’t have to say ANYTHING. You could’ve just walked over, touched it, and made your wish! Even just THOUGHT it!
Hey, you know what you should do? Grab the stone while making out! Barbara will never notice that you’re holding it awkwardly behind your back! Seriously, we’ve SEEN that all you have to do is touch it for the wish to work. Why does he have to TAKE it?
Dear Lord. Dear MAXWELL Lord. Please join me on Friday for Part 4 of Unearthed: Wonder Woman 1984!