Movie Reviews

Published on December 23rd, 2020 | by gareth


Wonder Woman 1984 Attempts To Be Epic But Comes Up Lacking And Disappoints

Gal Gadot returns as Diana Prince in “Wonder Woman 1984” which has seen its release date shift a few times due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The film has started to open overseas and will arrive in the U.S. on Christmas day with a limited debut on HBO Max as well.
The story sees Diana now living in Washington D.C. in 1984. Diana is popular but has refused male companionship as she still longs for her late love Steve Trevor (Chris Pine).

Diana works in the Smithsonian Institute in antiquities and keeps her secret identity under wraps even when a daring mall heist forces her to leap into action.
A shy and passive employee named Barbara (Kirsten Wiig); who is afraid of her own shadow and largely ignored by her peers is befriended by Diana and they discover one item from the heist is inscribed with the ability to grant a wish. Unknowingly Diana wishes for Steve to return and Barbara wishes to be more like Diana which sets a chain of events into motion.

A shady businessman named Maxwell Lord (Perdro Pascal) has his site on obtaining the relic as he believes having the ability to grant wishes will allow him to save his failing business and give him the power he craves.
With such a promising setup; the film ultimately does not deliver on its premise and becomes bogged down in drawn-out sequences with surprisingly little action and gaps in logic that defy even standards for a comic book film.
The first 90 minutes of the film has roughly 10-15 minutes of action tops and we are instead given lengthy scenes of Steve trying to find an 80s fashion look; flying over fireworks, and Maxwell trashing from one locale to another without much-needed continuity.
An action scene involving a convoy chase through the desert seems very inspired by “Raiders of the Lost Ark” and ultimately does not deliver especially with such a long gape between the action sequences.
The final act does attempt to redeem the film as seeing Barbara transform into her new persona is interesting and Wiig does a very solid job with the role. This sadly is undermined with a single line of dialogue which takes away a big part of the transformation that audiences deserved to see.

There was also a sequence where Diana races down the streets and takes to flight with her Lasso and then discovers she can fly like Superman. Not only is this not in keeping with the character; but we see this extended fast-moving sequence where she is heading away from D.C. at a great speed only to arrive at a destination with an item that had been established to be back at her home in D.C. It is this sort of sloppiness that detracts from the film. There is also the fact that Steve has to fly her around on a jet that even as a pilot he should not know how to fly as he has never flown a jet aircraft in his life.

When the big confrontation comes it is a letdown as it is not overly epic and the CGI does not seem to mesh. What is an even bigger disappointment is that a certain character stands emoting for several minutes while Diana gives such a bland and extended speech that even my wife had to ask “who wrote these lines”.

The film was not a total disaster as the characters were interesting and worked well with one another making the film entertaining in parts despite being disappointed with it.

The film strikes me as a product of the talented Patty Jenkins being able to do whatever she wanted after the success of the first film. Jenkins not only Directed but did the screenplay for it. Considering the amazing job she did writing “Monster” I had high expectations for the film but to me, it seemed like it could have used a bit more attention to several aspects.

My summary would be the following… a good cast, entertaining in parts, not much action over two hours, takes huge liberties with Diana and her abilities, massive gaps in logic even for a comic movie. It aims to be epic and comes up lacking. At least the mid. credits scene was worth it.

3 stars out of 5


About the Author

Syndicated movie & game critic, writer, author and frequent radio guest. His work has appeared in over 60 publications worldwide and he is the creator of the rising entertainment site and publication “Skewed and Reviewed”. He has three books of film, game reviews and interviews published and is a well-received and in demand speaker on the convention circuit. Gareth has appeared in movies and is a regular guest on a top-rated Seattle morning show. He has also appeared briefly in films such as “Prefountaine”, “Postal”. “Far Cry”. and others. Gareth is also an in-demand speaker at several conventions and has conducted popular panels for over two decades.

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