Wonder Women 1984 Review

Written by James Laird

James Laird

    To wrap up a most disappointing year across the board, the world received a much welcomed Christmas present. After a handful of delays and turbulence for the film industry Warner Brothers finally released Wonder Woman 1984

    With the overwhelming success of the first outing from 2017, the studio quickly started movement on a sequel. Star, Gal Gadot and director, Patty Jenkins got the ball rolling on what has become Wonder Woman 1984. The sequel continues the story of Diana Prince, also known as Wonder Woman. Long after the events of the first film, which was set in WW1, we now see the character in 1984 in Washington D.C. Here, she meets character Barbara Minerva, Kristen Wiig, a nerdy character who is beaten down by the world. She also encounters a sleazy and unsuccessful villain named Maxwell Lord, played by Pedro Pascal. The story centers around an ancient artifact that grants wishes. The artifact gets into the wrong hands, and causes many dangerous events to occur. Diana now has to save the world as Wonder Woman and reverse all the destruction before it’s too late. 

    After most films were pushed back to 2021 and after I saw my most anticipated film of the year, Christopher Nolan’s ‘TENET, I was looking forward to Wonder Woman 1984. On Christmas Day, I sat down with my family and watched the film in our home. Once the credits rolled, I found myself utterly disappointed. I was confused as to how an excellent film like 2017’s Wonder Woman could be followed up by this. 

    Let’s start with the tone. The first film had a great mix of seriousness and humor, and a timeless look and feel to it. I was totally fine with throwing this next adventure into the 80’s, and while it was a unique look, it’s almost as if the weirdest aspects of the era had thrown up on screen. The outfits worn by people were the most 80’s you’ll ever see. It was a sight to behold. The tone was also all over the place, to the point where it was kind of silly and cheesy. Wonder Woman 1984 wanted to be a goofy adventure, emotionally impactful, but also in the vein of Christopher Reeve’s Superman films. Unlike the first film which captured the essence of Superman (1978). This one seemed to capture the essence of Superman 3. It clearly didn’t know what it wanted to be.

    The story contradicted itself multiple times. The rules of the wishing rock seemed to change with every scene. It wasn’t just 80’s in look, it really seemed like the whole pitch for the movie was “what if Woman Woman was in the 80’s?” The sleazy businessman villain was a staple of 80’s action films, and Maxwell Lord was no different. It made sense for the movie, but it’s something we’ve already seen. 

    Speaking of something we’ve already seen, the second villain’s arc, Barbara Minerva also known as The Cheetah, took a page out of Michelle Pfieffer’s Catwoman from Batman Returns. The trope where the attractive actor is cast as a bumbling nerd, but halfway through the film somehow turns evil is a won out arc. Kristen Wiig definitely filled the role well, but Michelle Pfieffer did it best. 

    There were a couple bright spots for me. Gal Gadot is absolutely perfect as Wonder Woman. Chris Pine’s Steve Trevor character was a welcome return and he did provide a couple good jokes. Pedro Pascal as Maxwell Lord didn’t completely vibe with me, but I respect him for just totally going for it. Also, I will watch anything with Kristen Wiig. 

   While this film failed to impress me, there is still a lot to look forward to in the comic book movie realm. This was definitely a very unique experience and it further adds to the growing number of crazy films based on comics like Joker and Aquaman. DC is going to be a very interesting studio to watch in the coming years. In March of this year we have Zack Snyder’s Justice League finally premiering on HBO MAX. Matt Reeves’ The Batman looks excellent. And 2022’s The Flash looks to change the landscape of DC films completely. Marvel is looking to shake things up as well with their next few titles on the release slate, but that’s a whole other article. 

  All in all, Wonder Woman 1984 was not my cup of tea, but that shouldn’t stop you from watching the film and seeing what you think. While you’re at it, check out more excellent films from DC and maybe you’ll get excited for what’s to come. 

 

WW84’ Rating: 2.5/5