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Mild spoilers for Wonder Woman 1984 follow, especially in the conclusion
On Saturday night I watched Wonder Woman 1984 over Zoom with my mom. (We just start shows on our TVs at the same time with our laptops next to us.) If my mom wasn’t watching it with me I would have switched it off about halfway through. After seeing the second half I regret that decision. At least we had a good time making fun of it. We were mocking how bad and long the fight and actions scenes were particularly. Overall I was really disappointed. I say this as someone who was wearing a Wonder Woman sweatshirt, WW tank top and WW leggings while drinking from a WW cup on a WW coaster. I am not exaggerating about this, I grew up watching Linda Carter as Wonder Woman and I had the merch as a kid too.
The first movie was solid, the plot made sense and I was entertained throughout. I guess I had high hopes for the second, which were absolutely dashed after about an hour. The villains were asinine, Wonder Woman vacillated between being all powerful and laughably weak, the scenes were too long, the plot was a mess and I just wanted it to end. I’m not the only one. Although the film has a decent 65% critics and 73% audience Rotten Tomatoes rating, a lot of people also found it bloated and meandering. Here are segments from two reviews that I agree with. Critics are always better than I am at explaining why I liked or disliked a film.
On top of rehashing bits from the first film, an extended flashback, a resurrected romance, and a buddy plot that introduces one Wonder Woman villain, these DCEU creatives decided to loop in a second foe. This one wears slick suits and a desperate smile while promising his could-be investors all they’ve ever wished for. The ’80s setting with Lord as the Big Bad makes sense in theory; if you want to do something radically different in tone/style from the WW1 origin, flee far from the mud-colored No Man’s Land to the violently vibrant era of Greed is Good, then center on a guy who’s made that his maniacal mantra. To Pascal’s credit, he clearly revels in playing an unhinged conman. However, this plot swiftly runs away with the film, dragging in haphazard geopolitics, problematic stereotypes, and muddy themes, all while subjecting Pascal to a haircut that is a crime against his face. – Kristy Puchko on Crooked Marquee
Frankly, thank the heavens for Chris “Charming” Pine. The scenes between him and Gal Gadot were the only moments that I didn’t feel needed to be trimmed in this bloated mess. Frankly, I would have much preferred just watching the Steve Trevor and Dianna Prince eighties romantic comedy for two hours. Despite the lack of eighties tunes, 1984 is on full display, like, for example, in the high action fight sequence Wonder Woman has with a bunch of bandits in the mall. As much as I did enjoy this scene, it was, frankly, rather pointless in the long run, much like the entire introduction of the film in which young Dianna competes in an obstacle course in Themyscira.
When it comes down to it, so many terrible choices were made here, except for the Steve Trevor fashion show. This, I can get behind. In paying homage to the first Wonder Woman, Steve and Dianna’s roles are flipped. This time, it is her serving as a tour guide to show him this new world he finds himself in. It is through this I discovered fanny packs are the new utility belt (sorry, but not sorry Batman).
As for the villains in this flick, yep they are here. Did I care about them? No. – From Rosalie Kicks on Movie Jawn
[From Crooked Marquee and MovieJawn.com]
I actually didn’t agree with everything that Rosalie Kicks at Movie Jawn wrote. While Chris Pine was a definite highlight, I think the Steve Trevor fashion show was too long and that we needed more time with him at the Air and Space Museum. The movie needed to be edited way down. I also had a lot of questions about potential plot holes. How does Steve know how to fly a modern jet? How is the villain Maxwell able to both grant wishes and take whatever he wants in return? (The monkey paw doesn’t decide what to take for its own good. The consequence is whatever will screw over the wisher.) How was Wonder Woman able to get that new power and then immediately change into her special suit? They could have fixed that with a little spinning scene. Where was the spinning change scene in this movie?! We didn’t get one in the first Wonder Woman movie either, right? Linda Carter was shoehorned in at the end and she deserved so much better. They could have written her in cleverly, but nothing was clever about this film.
Also why was Wonder Woman so hung up on one guy she loved over 60 years ago? That just made me sad, as did the fact that Cheetah’s turning point into becoming a villain was enacting revenge on a rapey guy who completely deserved it. Cheetah needed more of a backstory and she transformed from being empowered to cartoonish in about a minute. Plus the film was racist against Arabic people. It was very much like an 80s movie in that respect. Wonder Woman deserves better, and we deserve a sequel that does justice to the superhero we grew up with. I guess you can’t have many expectations of DC movies except that they’re going to mess up their franchises even when they have an ace in the hole.
I know which Wonder Woman I’m going to be watching.
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