I would normally try to avoid spoilers when giving a review and tend to try and focus on mood, writing, character and overall impressions. I touch on plot points as little a possible and describe the experience as best I can. I won’t be doing that today! If you want a quick impression of WonderWoman 1984 with no spoilers then only read this paragraph : It’s long, boring, lacking in action scenes, lacking in coherent story telling and overall a bit of a drag to sit through. Avoid it unless you have nothing better to watch or are a die hard DC fan who must consume all content.
Now that I have that out of the way…..there will be spoilers from here on out. My reason for this is because I feel the need to explain why this film disappoints so much.
This is actually a stand out moment. We’re brought back to the land of the amazons with Diana Prince as a small child taking part in a competition to prove her worth. I really enjoyed this as an opener and it ended with a morality lesson for our young hero. One which I assumed would be a recurring theme in the movie or lead to a tough decision by our heroine later on based on what she just learned. It was not! It bears absolutely no relevance to the rest of the movie. At a stretch, you might tie it into Diana’s wish later on being ‘a shortcut’ or ‘cheating’ but that is really reaching. It just doesn’t fit in with the rest of the movie and really belongs attached to a much better film.
Lazy Story Writing
This is probably the biggest problem. None of the actors are bad and there is definitely decent choreography and set-piece action (although not enough) in this movie but the plot is bonkers and unforgivably lazy. It seems more like an episode of Goosebumps than a blockbuster motion picture. The basic plot is this : A McGuffin shows up in the form of a rock. It grants one wish to you if you hold it however it also takes away your greatest strength/attribute after granting your wish. To add a little complexity to this process (not really) Pedro Pascal’s character Maxwell Lord holds the rock and wishes to become/embody it’s power. Rock dissolves and now Pedro becomes a genie type. He has people touch him and wish for things so that he can then choose what attribute/strength to take from them in return. He then goes on crusade to gain more and more power and nearly destroys the planet in the process. Simple yes? Shite, definitely! Having a wish for anything mechanic allows the writers to do whatever they want without needing much explanation. With some imagination, that could be very well implemented especially in a comic book movie but they totally fuck it up. What follows is an excuse to bring back Chris Pine (who I like) and give Kristen Wiig’s character some of WonderWoman’s powers. Everything falls into chaos and the moral is…..be careful what you wish for or don’t take for granted what you have already or some shit like that.
Iron Man 3 actually benefited (in my opinion) by having very little IronMan and a whole load of Tony Stark sans suits. WW ’84 seems to try to copy that by having Gal Gadot walking around as Diana for most of the film. That could be okay however……nothing ever happens while she’s out of costume! Boring exposition and a few funny scenes with Chris Pine trying to get used to the eighties and not much else. I counted maybe four action scenes in the film (including opening scene) and only two of them were memorable. If you’re going to make a superhero movie, either make the characters and plot really interesting or keep the pace moving with decent action set pieces (preferably do both). This is so long and so dull to watch that I don’t think I could ever bring myself to watch it again.
I’m not going to go too far down the rabbit hole here but I could really dedicate pages and pages of text just to the plot holes in this film. The biggest mistake that’s made was completely avoidable thanks to the lazy wish granting mechanic. The writers gave themselves an easy escape plan and failed to take it. So, as the movie progresses, the world plunges into complete chaos and we’re moments away from nuclear war and the whole planet being destroyed. This movie is based in the 80’s so the obvious thing to do at this point is to have all the wishes undone and hit the reset button. Going back to a place in time before the wishes happened or even just straight up Men in Black style mind wipe everyone. Having no memory of the events seems like the only logical solution to end the movie. But no! The wishes are undone but it all still happened. Sure the nukes in the air disappear but the events and the memories of everyone in the world remain intact. We see Pedro running through rubble, smoke and debris to find his son for Christ’s sake. How the fuck do you explain this? When we watched the lack luster ‘Justice League’ I don’t recall Bruce Wayne googling Diana and finding out all about that one time, in the eighties when the whole fucking world went insane and nearly blew up!
There are so so many other things wrong with this movie but I don’t want to get bogged down. Any plot point you focus on for more than a few minutes completely falls apart and makes no sense. I will list in bullet points quickly just a few below to give you a taste :
- Why did Diana’s wish lead to a Quantum Leap style Body possession. This didn’t happen to anyone else
- Why did Minerva get two wishes. Maxwell couldn’t do this for anyone else (we see him try)
- Why did nobody in the world wish for fucking superpowers?
- What the fuck is with the Lasso basically doing a million different things now?
- How is ‘Handsome Man’ not freaking out after his body possession escapades. Does he have a wife, kids? Anyone wondering where’s he’s been for weeks?
- How could the special armor hold off an army of men but couldn’t last five minutes against cheetah?
- Is Maxwell going to jail for mindfucking the whole planet?
I could go on and on but it just upsets me the more I have to think about it. I loved the first movie so for me this is a huge disappointment. I could forgive gaps in logic if you entertained me enough but that’s not the case here. This is long, boring, poorly paced and lacking in action or character arcs. The writing is lazy and there is very little to root for here. Gal Galdot, Chris Pine, Kristen Wiig, Robin Wright & Pedro Pascal are all accomplished performers and just like the opening scene, they too belong in a better movie……….release the Snyder Cut!! Oh wait, there isn’t one!
What did you think of the movie? Am I too negative? Comments below are always appreciated!