Wonder Woman was one of the only current crop of DC movies that didn’t really suck. Gal Gadot’s portrayal of the Amazon was decent, it had an intriguing storyline and pretty good set pieces. Yeah, the ending was kind of lame but considering this is DC we’re talking about, it’s a miracle the rest of the movie was good.
To prove that the original wasn’t a fluke, DC’s back with a Wonder Woman movie. Weirdly, it’s not a sequel to Justice League (or even Aquaman or Shazam) but one that takes place entirely in the year 1984!
Does that make the movie good?
Read on to find out!
What is Wonder Woman 1984?
Wonder Woman 1984 is the sequel to 2017’s Wonder Woman. It stars Gal Gadot as Diana Prince/ Wonder Woman, Chris Pine as Steve Trevor, Pedro Pascal as Max Lord and Kristen Wiig as Barbara Minerva/ Cheetah. It has a runtime of 2 hours and 31 mins.
The movie’s directed by Patty Jenkins, based on a story by her and DC scribe Geoff Johns.
Decades after stopping Ares, the movie takes place in 1984 (duh!), with Diana Prince now a senior anthropologist at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington. She also fights crime as Wonder Woman, though she tries to keep her identity out of the spotlight whenever possible.
In the sequel, Diana’s much more acclimated to living in the human world.
Nothing surprising there, she’s had decades to adapt. She has her own apartment, is pretty liked by the colleagues and even has time to fight crime in between social events of her life.
…Not like Batman.
Yet, like the original film, it’s the gods that are ultimately behind the troubles that Diana face. In this case, it’s Dolos (the Greek God of Mischief and Lies)…or rather an item of his creation called the Dreamstone.
The Dreamstone is like the Genie’s (from Aladdin) lamp.
The holder can use it to get free wishes! The flipside is that while your wish is granted, the Dreamstone also gives you an unforeseen drawback.
In a sense, it’s like the movie Wishmaster, except with the Mandalorian himself playing the main bad guy in the movie.
Like the original film, Wonder Woman 1984’s a pretty decent mix of story and action.
The set pieces are pretty good, the action passable (though the wirework is definitely questionable) and the actors pretty much fit their roles…except for Pedro Pascal.
Nothing against him (he’s cool as hell as the Mandalorian) but he’s not really that believable as Max Lord. At least in this movie’s version of Max Lord (I’ll come to that later).
Max Lord in the movie should be a slick, snake-oil selling con-man. A Svengali-like figure who can make you do horrible things and thank him for letting you do it. Pascal’s portrayal seems to be more of a bumbler, without the intricacies or malice behind it.
The late Bill Paxton would’ve been perfect for the role, as he pretty much nailed the essence of Max Lord’s movie character in True Lies.
Speaking of true lies, Max Lord in Wonder Woman 1984 is a lie.
He isn’t the Max Lord you think he is.
Apart from the name, he’s nothing like the Max Lord from DC’s comics. The Max Lord who schemed and plotted to take down the JLA from within. The Max Lord who made Diana do the unthinkable; snapping his neck on live TV.
It’s a crying shame of wasted potential.
With Diana so intent on keeping her existence a secret, wouldn’t the ultimate evil move be to expose her on live TV AND make her a murderer at the same time?
At times like this I honestly wish for more of the Snyder-verse grimdark stylings. The whole thing with Steve Trevor’s return and why Diana has to ultimately give him up is a cool idea, but it’s entirely predictable on how it would play out.
At the end of the day, Wonder Woman 1984 isn’t a bad movie…
Rather, it’s a mediocre follow-up to a good movie.
Expectations were heightened for the sequel and apart from one or two instances (the part with young Diana in beginning was great!), the movie feels like a barely strung together story.
Cheetah’s inclusion was like an afterthought (and took too long to hit pay dirt) and is a disservice to fans of her character. I figured DC should’ve gone with a solo villain, either focus on Max or just go all out with Cheetah.
Putting multiple villains in the movie rarely goes well, just take a look at Spider-man 3! That, and there are also problems with the film’s pacing. Despite a great start, things soon start to slow down and never really picked up till the last act.
I rarely complain about a movie’s length but Wonder Woman 1984 kept me looking at my phone and wondering when it would end. It seemed to drag on and on, filled with useless scenes that served only to needlessly extend the story.
As it stands, Wonder Woman 1984 is an average movie sequel to a great one. It has some of the sparks that made the original fun to watch but is hampered by a ton of issues that detract from it.
The Verdict: C-
Could’ve used more tweaks to characters and plot.
- Great cast.
- Decent action.
- Wonder Woman finally can fly and gets her invisible jet!
- Max Lord is a completely different character for the comics.
- Nothing that ties in to other DC movies.
- Linda Carter cameo should’ve been in the movie proper instead of a post-credits scene.
- Laughably bad wirework and stunts.