It’s a shame that you read the headline you saw when you clicked on the review. I adore the first Wonder Woman film. I thought Patty Jenkins did a remarkable job with the 2017 film. It has a lot of heart and the action is handled brilliantly. The No Man’s Land scene and the sniper scene in Veld are movie excellence and I have nothing but praise and respect for the first film.
Going into the sequel, I had mild optimism. The DC Extended Universe has been hit or miss, so I’m quite surprised when there’s a quality release. In the DCEU, I’ve only enjoyed Man of Steel and Aquaman, and due to DC and Warner Bros.’ incompetence, I haven’t cared to see Shazam! or Birds of Prey yet.
Unfortunately, the incompetence continues as Wonder Woman 1984 is not only underwhelming, it is a complete disaster. I hate this movie. It has no excuse to be as terrible as it is. Any movie with a massive budget of $200 million should, at the bare minimum, be watchable.
I can’t talk about all the wrongs of the film without mentioning spoilers, so if you have any intentions of watching this movie, then head out now, but you are going to wish you had your time back.
Essentially, WW84 is the equivalent of undergoing two and a half hours of Chinese water torture with some of the worst writing I’ve ever seen put to screen, horrendous, eyesore CGI and pacing slower than a sloth walking through maple syrup.
Let’s get the positives out of the way because there are little of them. The movie begins with a flashback to Diana Prince as a child in an athletic competition on Themyscira against older Amazons. While she’s dominating her competition, she falls off her horse and the horse runs off. However, she takes a shortcut to take the lead again, but is stopped by her aunt because she knows that she cheated. The action and Hans Zimmer’s score are actually great in this scene, which I thought would hint at more goodness to come later. There’s also a hint at a potential theme of cheating, whether it be in life or in battle, that I thought would show up throughout the film, but it really doesn’t. Some may say that her bringing back Steve Trevor may be a symbol of cheating death, but that is an extreme stretch, so this theme really isn’t explored and the entire opening scene is for nothing.
The other positives are for the performances from Pedro Pascal (The Mandalorian, Game of Thrones) and Kristen Wiig (Saturday Night Live, Bridesmaids). The screenplay is atrocious, but they put their best foot forward and make their scenes watchable.
Pascal plays a struggling oil baron, Maxwell Lord, who wants to be successful and rich. Meanwhile, Wiig plays Barbara Minerva, a gemologist whose motive is to be beautiful and bad ass like Wonder Woman. Her arc is that she can’t walk in heels when she’s “unattractive” and she can when this magic stone grants her wish of becoming beautiful. Yeah, these are supposed to be our villains. How freaking terrifying..
Yeah, this magic stone that grants endless wishes to whomever is the plot and Maxwell seduces Barbara and takes it from her, and there’s our conflict. They have to get the stone back from Max but it dissolves in him and he can grant anyone’s wish. The one part that could’ve been good surrounding this stone is that people begin to deteriorate with the amount of wishes they make. Their health declines and we see this progression with Max and Diana ends up taking bullets and is bleeding in certain moments. It would’ve been cool, but the writers didn’t care to take it anywhere.
I actually enjoyed Wiig in the movie, even though she rarely appears. I think she has more time in the trailers than in the actual film. She actually helps Wonder Woman and Steve Trevor…oh my God, they brought him back, up until the third act. Barbara just calls Diana from a bunch of random locations you wouldn’t expect a pay phone to be, but it does, and she just feeds information.
Now, Barbara turns into Cheetah by the end of the movie. Yeah, she turns into a jellicle cat, ladies and gentlemen, and it’s as ugly as you’d think. Her and Diana have an awfully-choreographed fight in the final act that is shot in as little lighting as possible to mask viewers from seeing the incriminating CGI. It’s a shame because there’s some good fight scenes in the White House prior to this and Wiig looks badass in this cheetah-print outfit and she looks like a mad woman. Why this movie couldn’t leave her with that look, I have no idea, but that’s only a small issue with the abundance of problems with WW84.
Then, there’s Chris Pine miraculously being brought back as Diana’s lover, Steve Trevor, and this is as Hallmark-y of a plot point as there can be. Diana, unknowingly, makes a wish near the stone that Steve could be alive, and gosh darn it, he comes back folks. However, he is in the form of another man. It’s 100% out of left field. This man just becomes possessed by Diana’s wish and all of a sudden is sleeping with her, flying her out to Egypt and going into battles with her. This guy, somehow, has the strength to throw a warhead hundreds of feet in the air and at the speed to where Diana is dragged by this warhead. This screenplay…. We are shown Chris Pine just for our convenience because that’s who Diana is seeing. Steve Trevor is still dead.
Let’s talk about the flight scene during the Fourth of July. Steve and Diana steal a plane from a military base. Then, decide to do insane barrel rolls and tricks at an incredibly low altitude. Steve, then, rockets up the sky at a 90-degree pitch and somehow, the jet doesn’t stall out. After all that, this jet apparently had enough fuel to fly all the way from Washington D.C. to Egypt.
Am I just getting into the pacing issues now? Jesus….
After the first scene where Diana stops some mall burglars who pull a Michael Jackson and dangle a child over a ledge, nothing, action-wise, happens for an hour and a half. It’s a lot of talking, men flirting with Diana and Diana being disgusted, business discussions involving Maxwell, expected 1980s references to get people nostalgic, and Barbara fitting into heels. This is enthralling stuff.
Also, do we remember Wonder Woman’s incredibly-thrilling theme? It shows up once in this film for about 10 seconds.
I have nothing against Patty Jenkins. I think she’s a great filmmaker and she’s going to do great stuff down the line, especially with her getting the reins for Rogue Squadron, but she needed a better co-writer for this film. The dialogue is vomit-inducing. There are a lot of filler phrases and Diana says one of the most hilarious lines in the film. She’s in a total state of fear as she talks about how ancient gods could have something to do with the stone and that they sought power. WOWWW. Ancient gods seeking power! Who would’ve thought?
I’m gonna leave at that. Y’all will spot more and more problems. This is not a good movie. It’s not even fun. This isn’t 1980s superhero movie cheesy that you can enjoy. It’s just bad cheesy, corny and cringy. The immense cliches aren’t cute, they are outdated.
Wonder Woman 1984 feels like a movie that DC threw away in 1984 because of how bad it was and decided to release it 36 years later.
Outside of Pascal and Wiig, there isn’t a decent aspect of this film and I’m ashamed of watching it.
DO NOT WATCH Wonder Woman 1984.