Review - Wonder Woman 1984
The first Wonder Woman movie was disjointed, as the third act didn’t match the first two acts. That isn't a problem in WW84; the film is garbage start to finish.
WW84 doesn't fit the DC franchise, where Wonder Woman lost faith in mankind after 1918, and only picked up the mantle again in Batman vs Superman. Instead, she's running around in 1984, in full costume, as if she has been superhero-ing the whole time. Alright, off to a bad start.
After the first 5 minutes, the movie sluggishly moves in a storyline where random chance affects the story more than our main characters, and sense flies out the window. Most of this hour is spent contorting into situations from the first movie but with the fish-out-of-water role switched between Chris Pine and Gal Gadot.
The bulk of the story is a standard cursed monkey paw plot. A wish giving crystal grants each person one wish, except it takes something in return (that last part isn't established until later in the film and isn't consistent). Without knowing it, Diana wishes Steve Trevor back life, at the cost of her power. This is a fine idea but executed terribly. There is no clear power loss. Diana gets shot a couple of times, but it doesn't have much effect. She is sometimes weaker and sometimes stronger, rather than clearly less powerful. Steve’s soul is for some reason in a new body (might have been a god dynamic if they didn’t have Chris Pine back), even though later we see wishes make things out of thin air. Because another character wishes "to be more like Diana," and is getting superpowers, I thought that she was stealing Diana's powers for maybe an hour of the film, because the film is so unclear on the rules.
When Max Lord, played by Pedro Pascal, gets his hands on the stone he wishes to be the stone. Why? Umm, I guess reasons. Honestly, it is a terrible wish. The character's motivations are to become successful, so his son will be proud of him. Ok, what does that have to do with becoming a genie? It just does I guess.
As multiple wishes conflict and the world turns to shit, Diana sets off to get everyone to renounce their wishes, lest the universe get all wibbly-wobbly. Somehow she does this with a very lacklustre speech, but whatever.
There are story holes all over the place. The flight from Washington to Cairo in a stolen plane that would need to be refuelled four times to get there. The teleporting around the globe multiple times, as does Wonder Woman's costume, which appears whenever she needs it. Clothes teleport a bit in the film. At one point Diana changes into three different outfits in the same day without going home or carrying a bag of any kind – perhaps the Amazons have Time Lord technology. We are told that it is the 4th of July as the leave for Cairo, but the film finishes with a white Christmas scene for some reason. Wonder Woman learns how to fly, but must forget again before Batman vs Superman.
Chris Pine and Gal Gadot put in good performances, but the writing is monstrously bad. Pedro Pascal almost plays two characters, Max Lord and Dad Lord. Dad Lord is pretty good, but Max Lord is a cliched villain. Kristen Wiig has been so badly typecast as the nerdy shy character that it was distracting. She couldn't pull off the conflict between the characters, as watching a 47-year-old lanky nerd beat down a 35-year-old underwear model just visually doesn't work that well. I'm not having a go at Kristen Wiig, I just think that she was miscast for the role.
It's hard to know how much the pandemic affected the film's development, so I'll give the visual effects the benefit of the doubt, but the story cannot be given a pass. The pandemic doesn't stop writing or editing from happening. The film's internal logic is so incoherent that I cannot believe anyone would take this to a studio and call it a final product.
Wonder Woman 1984 is a long boring film that will waste a lot of people's time. I imagine it will be quickly forgotten.