Review of 'Wonder Woman 1984'

ww1984.jpg While not as good as 2017's first film, Wonder Woman, “Wonder Woman 1984” still is well worth a watch.

After a stunning race sequence of her as a child where she learns the value of honesty and integrity, the action shifts to Washington DC in 1984 where Diana Prince (Gal Gadot), still coming to terms with the loss of the love of her life in the previous film Steve Trevor (Chris Pine) works as an archaeologist at the Smithsonian Museum. When an artefact shows up that proports to grant whoever touches it whatever they wish for, Diana wishes for the return of Steve…who promptly makes an appearance, just as confused as Diana at the dramatic turn of events. Meanwhile would-be oil baron Maxwell Lord (Pedro Pascal) is on the verge of financial ruin but has obsessively been studying the artefact which he promptly steals from the Smithsonian and makes a wish…to become the artefact itself so that others can wish through him but he can extract his heavy, selfish, toll in return. With the world descending into chaos there is only one who can help…

Coming away from “WW1984” I felt as though I had just watched a slightly-overlong made-for-television film despite having seen it at a drive in (considering this was never really released in the theatres, this is the closest I could get). The plot seems skimpy, to say the least, with a maniacal villain with only the thinnest of attempts at making even remotely sympathetic or human. Gadot is still quite amazing, drawing your attention every second she is on the screen but here this drawn-out simple right-and-wrong story she is related to repeating simplistic dialogue and struggling with angst. Great to see a major character displaying her flaws but not so good having it drag out the narrative. The action sequences are, unfortunately, also sadly lacking with only a few sequences where Wonder Woman is left to unleash her battle prowess…though even here it is cartoonish to say the least. Chris Pine returns as love interest Steve Trevor but that is all we really get from him other than, conveniently, his skills as a pilot who is miraculously able to apply his World War 2 flying skills to a modern fighter jet in a matter of minutes. He does help out a bit with the occasional baddie battle but otherwise he largely repeats what we have seen from him before.

Not all was rubbish, it was great to see a cameo by the original TV Wonder Woman Linda Carter during the closing credits and it is also great to see the “lasso of truth” (with it's seemingly infinite length and limitless powers, including providing Wonder Woman with the ability to fly…yeah, I know…) finally making an appearance along with, briefly, the transparent airplane that many might remember from the original series though the effects have moved on significantly from seeing Wonder Woman sitting in mid-air. Otherwise, this was more of the same with very little movement in Diana's story.

I really wanted to like WW1984 having been so impressed with the original “Wonder Woman” but I was left disappointed and somewhat cheated in this big-budget, overblown, and overlong sequel. Perhaps if there is a third they can move on from this and return to what made the first film so powerful: A big, human action flick with a compelling story that actually sees the character move on…

Rating: “It is OK but I have some issues”

Review Date: 2021-04-18

Directed by: Patty Jenkins

Studio: Atlas Entertainment

Year: 2020

Length: 151 minutes

Genre: Action/Adventure

Other reviewed films by Patty Jenkins: