Wonder Woman 1984 (2020)

wonder woman 1984 poster 2020 movie
5.5 Overall Score
Story: 5/10
Acting: 6/10
Visuals: 6/10

Attempt to make a modern 1980s superhero movie

Couldn't commit to the 1980s idea, bland story and characters

Movie Info

Movie Name: Wonder Woman 1984

Studio: DC Entertainment

Genre(s): Comic Book/Action/Adventure/Sci-Fi/Fantasy

Release Date(s): December 16, 2020 (UK)/December 25, 2020 (US)

MPAA Rating: PG-13

wonder woman 1984 mall fight gal gadot

Shhhh…the secret is the mall fight is the high point

The ’80s are in full swing and commercialism and excess is the rage.  When a strange crystal arrives at Diana’s office, Diana (Gal Gadot) and new employee Barbara Minerva (Kristen Wiig) quickly find that the crystal can give people their dreams and wishes.  As Diana welcomes back Steve Trevor (Chris Pine), Barbara discovers her desire to be more like Diana is also coming true.  When failed business man Maxwell Lord (Pedro Pascal) gets ahold of the crystal, all hell is about to break loose…and it is up to Wonder Woman and Steve Trevor to stop it before the world ends.

Written and directed by Patty Jenkins (with additional writing by Geoff Johns), Wonder Woman 1984 is a DC Comics superhero movie.  A sequel to Wonder Woman from 2017 and following Wonder Woman’s appearance in Justice League 2017, the movie was intended to be released in theaters, but was pushed back due to the COVID-19 outbreak.  The film premiered on HBO Max and in a limited number of theaters on December 25, 2020.  It received mixed to negative reviews and received Razzie nominations for Worst Supporting Actress (Wiig) and Worst Remake, Rip-Off or Sequel.

wonder woman 1984 pedro pascal maxwell lord

I wish this was a better movie

I am behind the concept of Wonder Woman 1984.  It is meant to be a throwback to the 1980s, but also include a 1980s-esque superhero adventure along the lines of something like Superman III.  While it does start out this way, it feels like there is a failure to commit, and as a result the movie kind of ends up a mess.

The movie is too long.  It starts out with an extended Paradise Island sequence (primarily it feels like to incorporate Robin Wright and Connie Nielsen’s characters) and provide a semi-lesson that kind of factors into the story…but not strong enough to devote so much time to.  The movie then dives into what should be the thrust…excess.  Much like Stranger Things, the movie starts to tap into that over-the-top style of villain (Pedro Pascal) combined with a goofy super-villain (Kristen Wiig) that was king in the 1980s with action to match it…but then it reverts back to a rather blasé typical superhero movie without much spirit or direction.  It all ends with pretty much everything being moot…which the whole movie feels like.

wonder woman 1984 fourth of july invisible jet gal gadot chris pine

Wouldn’t it have been funnier if the body he inhabited was a short 55-year-old overweight balding guy?

I feel bad for the cast.  Gal Gadot continues to shine as Wonder Woman, but the script doesn’t let her be the Wonder Woman that was present in the first film.  I realize her character is supposed to have evolved, but the Wonder Woman in mourning isn’t very fun.  Chris Pine returns in another body (Kristoffer Polaha) that looks like him but is only seen briefly.  I feel that this was a missed opportunity to have a real mismatch for Diana with someone who wasn’t traditionally handsome being possessed by Pine.  Pedro Pascal is great in The Mandalorian, but the character misses the point by not diving completely into a Gordon Gekko-esque “greed is good” type archetype (nor does the sympathetic character they try to make work).  Kristen Wiig is a lot like other superhero villains (think Jim Carrey in Batman Forever…or Uma Thurman in Batman & Robin…or Michelle Pfeiffer in Batman Returns…or more recently Jamie Foxx in Amazing Spider-Man 2) who goes from geek-to-glam, but it feels old and tired.  It seems like she should have been Cheetah more and that the Cheetah scene was almost tacked on as an afterthought.  It was nice to see the surprise cameo at the end however.

wonder woman 1984 cheetah babara minerva kristen wiig

Couldn’t we have skipped “sexy Barbara” and gone straight to this?

The movie also takes visual cues from 1980s superhero movies, but it applies modern superhero movies to them.  There is a lot of defying gravity and reinforcement that it is a “magic” lasso that pretty much can do what’s needed to be done for a scene.  The action isn’t as strong or compelling as in Wonder Woman which featured “stand-up and cheer” type moments that actually felt significant.

Overall, Wonder Woman 1984 was a disappointment but more so because I had high hopes for it.  Instead of a fun and light 1980s adventure, it tried to straddle the line and ended up with something in between…and not very satisfying.  The movie, I hope, is just a little stumble for better things for the character and that a third outing would break the dreaded trilogy curse which often features the last film being the worst.  Gal Gadot is the Wonder Woman we need, but we need another Wonder Woman story we can believe in.

Related Links:

Batman v Superman:  Dawn of Justice (2016)

Wonder Woman (2017)

Justice League (2017)

Zack Snyder’s Justice League (2021)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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