Movie Review: Wonder Woman 1984 (2020)

[Please note: there are moderate spoilers for Wonder Woman 1984 here, simply because I was having trouble writing a review without them. The short version is: this movie was not very good.]

An interquel between Wonder Woman (2017) and her appearance in Batman v Superman (2016), and once again directed by Patty Jenkins, Wonder Woman 1984 is a 2020 superhero/comic book movie. Set in approximately November 1984, Diana Prince / Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) is working at the Smithsonian in Washington D.C., where she meets new gemologist Barbara Minerva (Kristen Wiig), the latter of whom is inspecting a mysterious stone for the FBI. Diana and Barbara unknowingly have their deepest desires granted by the stone, as it falls into the hands of nefarious businessman Maxwell Lord (Pedro Pascal). But every wish has a price…

+ as far as comic book movie villains, I really enjoyed both Maxwell Lord (Pascal, doing a great if unintentional impression of Nathan Fillion) and Barbara Minerva (Wiig). Minerva, in particular, was really good despite playing second fiddle to Lord, and her transformation to one of Wonder Woman’s most iconic foes was genuinely quite sympathetic
+ Cheetah’s soundtrack motif, the simply named ‘Cheetah‘,  is a twisted version of Wonder Woman’s banger of a track, and I loved it. I’m a sucker for a good musical stinger, and that transformation (hilarious pun intended) at 1.35 of the linked track is just perfect

– this isn’t an original thought, but straight up, the way that Steve Trevor (Chris Pine) makes his reappearance in the film is concerning and questionable at best, if not outright disgusting. I’ll leave that to a subjective viewpoint, but I thought it was weird and the film glossed over just how weird it was
– the special effects are not very good, with obvious green screen, stunt doubles and even dummies in some scenes. A sequence set around a speeding convoy is perhaps some of the worst comic book action I have ever seen
– a lot of plot points come out of nowhere, with barely a handwave explanation. Something like using a tiara as a ranged attack is the perfect thing to have her do at a cool moment, and that was probably the only thing I have no problems with. But flight, an invisible jet and lassoing lightning are abilities that we should see Diana earn or practice, not just suddenly ‘have happen’ to her
– I have no issues with the ending of the film being somewhat ambiguous. My disdain comes from the fact that it only feels ambiguous due to no thought going into how the characters would get out of such situations. Instead it just leaves it up to interpretation, which feels both cheap and lazy
– overall and in general, I hate prequels and interquels, because of the plot holes they create in whatever comes chronologically next. Why didn’t Wonder Woman fly in Batman v Superman? Why did she never throw her tiara in Justice League? Are we to believe she literally turned a jet invisible, then never thought to use that against Steppenwolf?

> that first trailer really did spoil a lot of the film, didn’t it? Just using single words here — satellite, White House, Cheetah, stone, Trevor, armour — is a basic description of the entire plot
> my personal preference for Diana wearing the long blue pants and red chest plate thing still stands. Even more so as she now jumps and flies around everywhere; a skirt just seems like it would get in the way

Should you see this film: No. This was a bad Wonder Woman movie, a bad comic book movie, a bad sequel and a bad prequel. What this succeeded at was showing what not to do in the future.


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