Film Review – Wonder Woman 1984 (2020)

Title – Wonder Woman 1984 (2020)

Director – Patty Jenkins (Monster)

Cast – Gal Gadot, Chris Pine, Kristen Wiig, Pedro Pascal

Plot – It’s now the 1980’s and Diana Prince/Wonder Woman (Gadot) is still trying to recover from the death of her first love Steve Trevor (Pine) as she stops petty crimes and works at the Smithsonian Museum. With the emergence of new colleague Barbara Minerva (Wiig) and wealthy oil tycoon Maxwell Lord (Pascal), Prince’s life is about to change for good.

“Nothing good is born from lies”

Review by Eddie on 06/01/2021

Lets not kid ourselves, 2017’s Wonder Woman was no cinematic classic but when compared to this second outing, the 2017 Gal Gadot starring and Patty Jenkin’s directed hit looks like the Citizen Kane of superhero films.

A surprisingly fun and inventive offering, the first WW came at the ideal time for the struggling DC cinematic universe and in turn launched its leading lady and director into the public eye in a big way, with many fans from across the globe keen to see where the adventures of Diana Prince would lead to next.

Ensuring that we all understand wishes shouldn’t always come true (a key theme to one of the films incredibly overwrought and cringe plot-lines), the return of the WW gang comes as one of the nastiest surprises of the 2020 release calendar as the first films charm and playfulness is replaced with a dreary, overlong and lifeless blockbuster that fails in almost every single way as it tries to recapture the lightning in a bottle vibe the original managed to harness.

It’s one of the biggest drop off’s in quality seen in a sequel in some years, gone is the charm of Gadot who appears to be laboring with the material she’s given, Jenkin’s is unable to capture any magic with set pieces or character beats and the films 80’s infused humor and throwbacks is nothing more than a waste of time, with one left wondering why on earth the film even needed to be set in the 80’s outside of the fact it was trying to piggyback off the era’s popularity in pop culture right at this moment.

From the instant we witness Prince swinging around a local mall in the films awkward opening stand you get a feeling something isn’t quite right in WW world but there remains hope things can only pick up from here on out but with a laborious 40 minute or so stretch that follows, that allocates far too much time to Kristin Wiig’s Barbara Minerva and the Raspberry Award seeking Pedro Pascal as oil tycoon Maxwell Lord (legitimately one of the worst comic book villains committed to celluloid with a performance that is all-time bad), you quickly begin to realize that 1984 has been doomed to fail.

If one were to waste their precious time or somehow manage to endure multiple screenings of this cringe-worthy affair there could be thousands of words written about the lameness that is to follow on in the wake of 1984’s mismanaged opening segments with countless plot holes and eye-rolling moments (fueled up museum planes, 4th of July fireworks, kids playing soccer on a highway etc etc) building and building until you’re willing the film to put and end to this whole shebang as its tigertastic final battle and preachy messages of love and kindness take hold around an overwrought final act, one that I’m sure its screenwriters were gleeful with as their life affirming messages found themselves proudly attached to one of recent memories worst finales.

Throughout the film you’re given moments that remind you that everything at one stage appeared to point to WW being a likeable and fun cinematic property, Gadot and the returning Chris Pine still share a good on screen chemistry even if their reunion is clouded in a seriously odd set of creepy circumstances and a throwback to the island of Prince’s youth is fun and over the top with Hans Zimmer’s typically intense score perfectly encapsulating proceedings but all you’re left with as the credits begin to roll is a feeling that WW may never properly recover from the misguided failings of this Xmas turkey.

Final Say – 

There’s an incredible amount of things wrong with Wonder Woman 1984, a preachy, over the top and uninviting escapade that is far too long and self-confident for its own good. We may never know how things turned so bad from something originally so promising, as its now unlikely we will ever again see the Diana Prince and her adventures we all feel in love with back in 2017.

1 1/2 wishes out of 5 

20 responses to “Film Review – Wonder Woman 1984 (2020)

  1. I liked elements but unfortunately they didn’t seem to know what story they’re telling. I loved the darkness of Cheetah/Wiig finding her depth, and taking people out (I’d have been happy with more of that) but it was half-camp, half-serious and while I actually enjoyed the final section, and the themes were positive, it was a bit all over the place, it really was.

    I also wanted to like it a lot more (I really did love WW) but it’s far too forgettable. I was thinking that without Chris Pine, and I also disliked the return of his character as a catalyst for her (which at least made sense the first time around), there would have been no proper laughs, and then even his moments were oddly off-beat.

    Just disappointed really but I’ll probably have a second look when I get there.

    • Very disappointing mate.

      I think the whole need for Diana to find fulfilment in her life by having her lover back and then (Spoiler Alert) feeling no pain that his soul took over someone else’s life felt really off to me, especially for such a strong and moral character.

      At the end of the day a film like this isn’t supposed to be taken seriously and is there to provide some good old fashioned thoughtless fun but with a lack of great action, a sense of self-importance and a genuinely bad script, there wasn’t much fun to be had here unlike the first.
      E

      • Yeah, there was something off about all that – and I’d kinda forgotten that it was literally someone else the whole time, that’s a weird move really.

        I actually enjoyed the opening sequence with young Diana, that was promising but there’s a such a mish-mash of tones and themes, it never really settles. Gal deserves better as well!

      • Yeh the opening stuff was great, over the top but perfectly suited to what you want from the material. I really do think they have a tough job getting things back on track for a third.
        E

    • A wise choice Emerald! The first film doesn’t do anything we haven’t seen before but its got a lot of charm and some great moments…this one however is just a real misfire!
      E

  2. I agree, the bar was pretty low but I was still disappointed. They couldn’t even really capture the magic of the 80’s like other shows (Stranger Things, Ready Player One etc.) have done, and they were so confident about that being the theme that they put it in the title. I liked the start, a lot of other reviews have said they didn’t see the point of that opening sequence but it was pretty clear they wanted to set up the premise of truth prevailing, and that the real enemy in this movie was lies, but that was obviously lost on a lot of people and that’s understandable given the confused mess we were dished up in the end.

    • There was so much going on here mate and so much of it was dealt with in such a heavy handed way that it all seemed to come to nought at the end.
      So much murky character motivation and instances too, I felt like this was really most evident in Prince’s role in this film which was a major step backwards for her character.
      E

    • This might sound weird but with all the outstanding promo work, especially the Neon-themed posters and such, I thought the film really lacked in a brightness, which I also thought would be there because they sold the ’84 part so intensely.

  3. When you say Prince was swinging in a mall, do you mean Purple-Rain-the-artist-formerly-known-as-Prince, Prince?

    I have not seen the new WW84 but I love your review. I’ve read many discussions of it on reddit and while some people’s disappointments with the acting or characterizations weren’t always the same, the consistent evaluation is that the sequel is a hotter mess than possibly the live-action Mulan.

    Of course, there’s an apples-to-oranges-but in that position, but given how eagerly anticipated both of these films were, they seemed to have been overwhelmingly panned even by those who wanted to like them.

    • Oh mate, seeing Prince swing around a mall would’ve made this film worth it!

      Great points on this and Mulan though, they both had the potential to be really enjoyable and also relevant films to our times but both failed miserably, this one even more so considering the talent.
      E

  4. Pingback: Film Review – Wonder Woman 1984 (2020) | Talking Movies With Bee: The Reviews That No One Wanted·

  5. I really loved Diana in the first WW (though I didn’t care for the movie overall), but I had a strong suspicion that the writers were really going to struggle with her character in the sequel. Her fish-out-of-water arc was really strong, but you can only do that kind of story once, and the first movie already dealt with Diana’s only real flaw, i.e. her being overly naive.

    That they had to fall back on something from the first movie to give Diana some conflict and drama seems to have proven my feelings right. I love me some romance, but sorry I just can’t swallow the idea that Diana would spend 60 years pining for Steve.

    • It was really unbelievable and almost desperate, such a strong woman being bought undone by pining for Pine. Then just ignoring what she had done to conjure him back into existence. So much oddness in this film!
      E

  6. Just had the chance to see it (localized shutdown over Dec.) and I actually thought it was okay. I think I did like the first one’s story better and will certainly concede that the pacing in this one dragged in serval instances (cases in point, I think the jet scene and Wonder Woman’s first flight should’ve been shortened). I also agree that having Steve come back in someone else was a mistake, esp. since him walking around in someone else’s shoes literally has no bearing on the plot and it creates a plot hole when the wishing rock’s magic is later shown to generate stuff out of nothingness anyways.

    On the other hand, I think I liked the antagonists in this one more, since they where given more development in backstory and motivations, and more nuance at least in the sense that their goals weren’t so much inherently evil as was the lengths they were willing to go to get them (they were certainly more broadly acted, but that seemed to be the movie’s tone). Can’t really complain about Gal Gadot and Chris Pine’s acting, either. So, I guess I got more out of it than others did. Granted, I did see it just after watching “Monster Hunter,” so I may have went in with a lower than usual bar.

    As far as why it was set in the ’80s, I thought that was partially done to utilized the “greed is good” mentality of American culture of that era to help set the stage and tone of the movie’s themes. I’m only speculating on that point, though.

    • Glad you enjoyed it Seth. I enjoyed small elements of the film but the negative far outweighed any positives I could’ve taken from this one. My fingers are crossed the third entry is far more refined.
      E

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