Movie Review: Wonder Woman 1984



Wonder Woman 1984 is the second Wonder Woman solo movie, directed and co-written by Patty Jenkins. Gal Gadot and Chris Pine reprise their roles as Diana Prince and Steve Trevor respectively, and Pedro Pascal and Kristen Wiig are added to the cast, playing the role of the movie’s villains. When I was about to watch this film, I was not expecting much. I did like the first Wonder Woman movie, and while it did have its flaws, it was still quite enjoyable. Sequels are usually not as good as the original, but I gave this movie the benefit of the doubt. However, by the end, I was only left disappointed. If I were to completely list out all my complaints with this film, it would be way too long. Therefore, I have decided just to present my biggest issues and explain why I feel the way I do.
The movie opens with a competition sequence in which a young Diana races against a group of much older Amazonians. I’ve heard a lot of people praise this scene, and I will say that it was exciting and fun. However, the CGI just wasn’t working for me. The part where Diana has to jump from column to column just looked straight up goofy. Also, while this scene was enjoyable, I did not really see how it tied to the overall plot in any way, as flashbacks like this usually do. Near the end of this sequence, Antiope stops Diana from winning, telling that she cannot succeed in life if she tries to take shortcuts. The only time this was brought up again in the movie was when Diana learned she could not take a “shortcut” and cheat death by bringing Steve back, and even that felt like a stretch. In all, this scene was quite disconnected from the rest of the film, both in quality and storytelling.
When Barbara Minerva was introduced, that was when everything started going downhill for me. I know it was still pretty early in the movie, but just the fact that she was the stereotypical clumsy, awkward girl made it possible for me to predict that she would somehow end up getting powers and fighting Diana in the end. I even predicted that she would stop wearing her glasses once she got superpowers, and I was correct too. Her entire character, decisions, motivations, and all were incredibly predictable and boring.
I also think there was no need for Barbara/Cheetah to be in this movie. Maxwell Lord worked as a villain on his own, so in my opinion, Cheetah did not need to be added. This was one of the issues I had with the first Wonder Woman movie, as it also had more than one villain. My best guess as to why Cheetah was added to this movie and why Ares was added to the first was because the creators needed someone for Diana to have a physical fight with. While I understand this, I still believe it would be better if they chose one villain and stuck with that.
Briefly, I would like to discuss my issue with bringing Steve Trevor back. He serves no narrative purpose to the story at all and is just there because Diana wants him to be there. If what Diana wanted was an object and not a person, there would not have been much of a difference. Steve just did not do anything significant except make Diana lose all reason and sense. Diana was willing to stop helping the world just so Steve would stay.

The whole wish storyline was weak and extremely messy in my opinion. First off, the premise “be careful what you wish for” has been done time and time again, and this was nothing special. Secondly, the movie tries to establish rules to the wishes, but does nothing to follow them. Maxwell Lord continually says that people need to say their wish out loud for it to work. Diana never said that she wanted Steve back; she just thought about it, but it still happened. Additionally, the powers of the Dream Stone were quite confusing. Maxwell could create gigantic walls out of nowhere, but Steve had to be brought back in the body of someone else. Finally, I refuse to believe that not one person at the climax of the movie chose to wish for something good. This movie is telling me that no one in the world wished for world peace or a cure to cancer or anything remotely noble. And if they did wish for something good, did they still have to renounce their wish too? It doesn’t make sense.
Finally, another major problem with this movie is that it drags. There were so many scenes that were prolonged more than necessary. One example was the scene where Steve and Diana flew through the fireworks in the invisible jet. Visually, it was cool, but it was also way too long. The pacing of the movie as a whole was disastrous. It began with two action packed scenes, the Amazonian contest and the mall scene, and then nothing happened until the road chase scene much later. It continues to drag on until the the Wonder Woman vs. Cheetah fight which was a whole mess on its own, with dark lighting to mask the bad CGI and made horrible use of Diana’s golden suit that was supposedly such a big deal.
In all, I give this movie a 6/10. It was entertaining, and the acting was good, but the overuse of tropes and the weak storyline caused the movie to fall flat for me.
Image credit: IMDb