While the first Wonder Woman was decent and certainly had entertaining moments, the sequel takes on too much and creates such a confusing mix that it’s impossible to feel invested in the film. The dialogue isn’t memorable, the music misplaced, and characters feel one dimensional despite attempts to make them more. This is popcorn entertainment at its weakest so suggest you stock up heavily on the snacks and focus on enjoying those.
Wonder Woman 1984 sees Diana living her life in the 80s till she has to face off against two new villains—Maxwell Lord and Cheetah.
No Character Development
The acting is meant to be meaningful, but emotions feel forced. Gal Gadot’s character doesn’t feel any different from the first film. Scenes between Diana and Steve (Chris Pine) garner thoughts of friendship rather than true love—just friends having a good time. It’s not all misses, but the moments where you will give a damn will lessen like Diana’s abilities. Albeit our lessening isn’t temporary and by the end of the film our hopes for the characters are nonexistent. Frankly, you will just want it to be over.
Barbara aka Cheetah (Kristin Wiig) is just the girl who wishes to be popular. We’ve seen both decent and worse iterations of this over decades—from Teen Witch to Wish Upon, but at least they had the excuse of being children. I’d have liked it more if the film at least owned the shallowness. Perhaps a dark and minimal version of “The Most Popular Girl”. Even her awkward woman shtick is unoriginal. Hell, Michelle Pfeiffer in Batman Returns was almost 30 years ago with the smart girl who doesn’t fit in.
Maxwell Lord (Pedro Pascal) is a mediocre man resentful that his greatness isn’t acknowledged and nothing he does pans out. If you looked up an image for “snake and oil salesman” his picture would come up—he is nothing beyond this. His character is hammy and would be hilarious if the rest of the film felt like it gave a damn about quality. The characters are kiddie pool shallow, and the unremarkable dialogue—dancing with trite, hollow responses—just help to flatten them out along the pavement. The only thing I remembered was the phrase “monkey’s paw” because it irked me so much.
Convoluted Plot That Does A Disservice To The Score
The plot of this story is all over the place. I can’t even convey how nonsensical it is. I’m not sure what the movie is about except a rogue genie wreaking havoc and Diana has to stop him and a furry. It’s not much more than that. Maybe just cheer at the passable fight scenes when they appear—if you can see them because there’s little else outside of those that are entertaining. The directing isn’t bad, but given how little else is working, there’s no amount of directing that can save it.
The score is dramatic and often lovely, but you’ll enjoy it even more with your eyes closed and no other audio from the film. This film is undeserving of such a score and it feels out of place in this ludicrous film. I did laugh once or twice, but that was because the scenes didn’t complement the score. Costuming is good too—loved some of Diana and Barbara’s outfits. However, the best parts of the film should never be the score and the costume designs. They amplify what’s there and should not be the saving grace.
By the latter half of the film, if aliens showed up you wouldn’t be surprised. They don’t, but why not? It won’t make sense but little else in the picture does. Ultimately, Wonder Woman 1984 will leave you confused, annoyed and wishing you could get that time back. But remember ”the monkey’s paw” I guess. Hey, if I have to remember it, so do you.
Feature photo credit: Clay Enos/ ™ & © DC Comics Copyright: © 2020 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. All Rights Reserved.