Wonder Woman 1984 follows Diana Prince (Gal Gadot) as she and a new co-worker, Barbara Minerva (Kristen Wiig), discover a new stone that has the ability to grant wishes. Both Diana and Barbara make a wish on the stone, but as the stone falls into the notorious and power-hungry hands of Maxwell Lord (Pedro Pascal), it leads him to wreck chaos all over the world.
The first Wonder Woman is my favorite DCEU film and I was very excited for this sequel which brings the whole team back together alone with newcomers Wiig and Pascal. However, WW84 didn’t work for me, it felt too bloated and boring, with an uninspiring story.
Since the film takes place in 1984, directors Patty Jenkins decides to go full 80s nostalgia for this film. Full disclosure, I am not a big fan of 80s movies, of course there are a few that are classics, but they are mostly just so corny that I cannot take them seriously (not that you’re really supposed to). And I could not just take WW84 seriously. Diana does not have much of an arc here, she is still reeling from the death of her love, Steve Trevor (Chris Pine), which happened over 60 years ago, but we see that she is still unable to move on.
Pine’s return as Steve Trevor is nice, but he does not really add anything to the film. This time he is the one who feels out of place since he is in the future and is unfamiliar with the advancements around him. He is still the supportive boyfriend, but I thought he and Gadot were lacking in the chemistry they had in the first film.
Wiig’s Barbara storyline is fairly clichéd. Barbara is a nobody, but is incredibly intelligent. She admires Diana and uses the stone to be like her, which results in some newfound confidence and the unexpected perk of superpowers. Pascal is a failed businessman who wants to be successful and powerful. He knows there is money in oil, so he uses the stone as a cheat in order to gain influence and power. Pascal was the highlight of the film for me. He is an over-the-top, but gives the best performance out of Gadot, Pine, and Wiig. And he was the only part of the 80s cheese that worked for me.
The action didn’t stand out and there was not really a moment that resonated with me like the No Man’s Land scene did in the first Wonder Woman. The theme of the movie is pretty clear, truth prevails over lies and you cannot take short cuts in life. This film is 2 and a half hours long and it’s obvious that some stuff could have been cut down in order to help with the pacing as the first two acts were a drag.
They also added some weird elements to their action scenes. For example, Diana’s tiara is often used like a boomerang and her lasso is used more like Spider-Man’s webs, which causes Diana to swing around to get to place to place.
It’s clear that Jenkins is once again inspired by the Richard Donner Superman films. The first Wonder Woman has an alleyway fight that is a callback to the 1978 Superman. Whereas WW84 has a few scenes where Diana is flying like Christopher Reeve.
I would say that WW84‘s biggest fault was not having Diana be interesting, especially since she’s been the stand-out character to me in the other DCEU films she appears in. I think the film’s script was weak and too convoluted. And overall, I found the film to be boring since it lacked the warmth and grace of its predecessor.
I give WW84 a C-