WONDER WOMAN 1984 (2020)
After years of anticipation and numerous delays, Wonder Woman 1984 flies to theaters and HBO Max this Christmas with thunderous, wondrous disappointment.
Diana Prince (Gal Gadot) faces off against friend turned enemy Barbara aka Cheetah (Kristen Wiig) and ambitious businessman/conman Maxwell Lord (Pedro Pascal) in the follow-up to the hit 2017 film. While director Patty Jenkins presents a beautifully shot filmed that highlights the always incredible Gadot, Wonder Woman 1984 suffers from a scrambled plot that rides the backs of characters with unclear motives. Pascal’s Lord is a messy mixture of a Trump-like figure and potentially diabolical foe for films to come, yet his arc is frustratingly convoluted and his position at film’s end destructively weak. Wiig is a delight throughout, rising to the occasion in a surprising turn as an action villain, though she’s written unmistakably as a lesser Catwoman from the Michelle Pfeiffer era.
Most criminal in this overhyped test of patience is the stripping of Gadot’s character’s charm and purpose. Save for a beautiful monologue at the end, she presents as everything the first film made her not, tied up (once again) in a love story with Chris Pine’s Steve Trevor (awkwardly and strangely) and simply lacking in all respects. The film certainly dives deeper into Wonder Woman lore (including the overuse of the lasso), but those hoping to see more of Themyscira will be disappointed after the first scenes (which can already be found online).
After committing to the slow burn of story development, you’re left underwhelmed as the flame is extinguished in a rushed climax bookended by lackluster CGI work. The character, and all actors involved, deserved better than Wonder Woman 1984 gave them.
Wonder Woman 1984 hits theaters and HBO Max on Friday.
Photo from Collider