The Mandalorian star Pedro Pascal played the hero and the villain when his two newest superhero films hit theaters and streaming platforms last week.
SPOILER ALERTS: In the bigger role, Pascal hams it up for the camera in Wonder Woman 1984 as Maxwell Lord, an eccentric businessman and TV personality desperate to save his failing oil company. When Max learns a “Dreamstone” that can grant wishes is being housed at the Smithsonian where Diana Prince (Gal Gadot) works as an archaeologist, he finds a way to steal the artifact. Once in his possession, Max only has one wish.
“I wish to be you—the Dreamstone itself,” he says before the object disintegrates in his hands and grants him all its powers.
For the rest of the film, Pascal’s Max, who is a sort of mix between Donald Trump and the Gordon Gekko character from the 1987 film Wall Street, uses his newfound abilities to grant wishes to anyone he encounters. In doing so, however, he also takes from them something he wants in return. For example, when an Egyptian oil tycoon asks that his ancestral lands be returned, Max magically builds an enormous wall across the country and takes the tycoon’s oil reserves.
The wall ends up having massive international consequences and puts the world on a path to nuclear war.
While Wonder Woman 1984 has some major narrative problems, Pascal is easily the best thing about the movie. His deliberate overacting fits the character’s personality, and the chaos Max creates is an interesting take on the old-school villain the sequel hoped to depict.
In a smaller but important role, Pascal plays superhero Marcus Moreno in Robert Rodriguez’s new family-friendly flick We Can Be Heroes. Marcus is the leader of The Heroics, a team of super crime fighters who are captured by an army of space invaders. Now, it is up to Marcus’ daughter Missy (YaYa Gosselin) and the rest of the superheroes’ children to find a way to save their parents—and the world. We Can Be Heroes is focused mainly on the kids’ adventure, but Pascal is a solid addition to the cast.
Wonder Woman 1984 is currently playing at theaters and on HBO Max. We Can Be Heroes is streaming on Netflix.