Wonder Woman 1984
By James Davidson
“”Wonder Woman 1984” is the much anticipated sequel to “Wonder Woman” that came out in 2017. It was released simultaneously in theaters and on the streaming service HBO Max on Christmas Day 2020. This iteration of the latest superhero continues the story of Diana Prince ( played by Gal Gadot), an Amazonian princess with super strength who was introduced to the world of men during the first World War. This movie follows her adventures during the 1980’s as she attempts to defeat her newest foes, Max Lord (Pedro Pascal) and The Cheetah (Kristen Wig).
As I mentioned earlier, there has been an incredible amount of hype surrounding this film, and I was curious to see if it was going to be able to live up to it. I was a fan of the first film and I was hoping that this sequel would follow in the original’s footsteps. Unfortunately I was extremely disappointed in the result.
I found the plot to be extremely convoluted and it seemed to be a mish mash of storylines that never seemed to develop into one cohesive story. The Max Lord plotline takes up most of the movie and Max Lord seems to have more screen time than the movies namesake. While I enjoyed Pedro Pascal’s performance as Max Lord, Pascal really seemed to enjoy playing an eightie’s super villain, I thought it took up too much of the story and would much rather have seen more time dedicated to The Cheetah, considering she is one of Wonder Woman’s arch rivals. There is also an entire scene at the beginning of the movie that seems to have no purpose at all. I kept expecting a morale to be learned from the flashback scene at the beginning of the film, but it never materialized.
While the writing and story seemed convoluted, the one bright spot in the film was the lead cast. Gadot, Pascal, and Wig all did a fantastic job with what they were given. Unfortunately I don’t think that they were given much to work with. Even the directing seemed a bit subpar. A lot of the characters seemed exaggerated and overacted which I believe is a result of a confusing plot and unfortunate directing choices.
I was hoping that the action sequences would save some of this movie, but again, they only seemed to disappoint. The action sequences were full of bad CGI and even in one scene, a couple of obvious dummies that get slammed into the ground so hard that I thought the children they represented had died in the story. Most of the fight scenes were cheesy and poorly shot, they weren’t reminiscent at all of the first film that had some incredible action sequences.
Another question I had about this film was why the writers chose to set it in the 1980’s. Other than a few wardrobe choices, the film doesn’t appear to be in the 80’s at all. There is no 80’s music in the soundtrack and the story itself doesn’t seem to draw on anything that happened in that time period. I was a bit confused since I expected the film to lean heavily into the 80’s nostalgia like some of the films that have come before it.
This movie is rated PG-13 for sequences of action and violence. Other than some poorly executed action sequences and depictions of violence, there isn’t anything terribly offensive or inappropriate in this movie and it should be appropriate for most ages. It seems to be directed at preteen and teenage children, although I think the first “Wonder Woman” would be a better choice to watch.
“Wonder Woman 1984” is a disappointing superhero film that can’t live up to the hype that it set for itself. While some of the acting performances are ok, the action scenes dn subpar writing make this film the biggest disappointment of the year, at least as far as movies go. It is very hard for me to recommend this film as I will probably not be watching it again. However, if you already subscribe to HBO Max, and don’t have to pay anything to watch it, and you are a fan of the first film, it might not be a bad thing to pass an evening with. Just prepare yourself for disappointment. It earns 2 out of 5 stars.