Okay picture this: it’s Christmas Eve, and you’re in a packed movie theater ready to watch arguably the biggest movie of the year. You got your popcorn, possibly a soda and/or Icee and you’re just waiting for the previews to start. That is not how I experienced Wonder Woman 1984.
I watched it at home because 2020 sucks (editorial note: stay inside, I’m begging you please stay inside.)
Wonder Woman 84 is like I mentioned before, one of the biggest movies of this year but you have the option of watching at home via HBO Max for “Free”, barring the fact that you have the subscription service already. It’s also available in movie theaters. However, honestly I don’t think that many people will actually watch it this way–and in retrospect after watching the movie and giving myself a day to think about it a little bit more I’m really glad I didn’t spend the money on the ticket for the movie.
**CAUTION: SPOILERS AHEAD FOR WONDER WOMAN 1984**
Something about this movie just doesn’t sit right with me…
First off, 1984 is a weird year choice and I don’t really understand why they chose this if they’re still “ attempting” to make this one shared Universe. There is absolutely zero crossover between Wonder Woman 84 in any of the other DC Universe movies that I could tell. Now, I could be stupid and miss something but I saw nothing that would suggest such a connection. I was watching this movie with my mother who was the child of the 80’s basically and to her this was all spot on. The scene that we’ve seen the most and pre-release footage has been set in a mall and my mother said they nail the aesthetic perfectly which is awesome like this is an era that some people love it’s not really well represented in any of the continuities really ever of DC in the terms of TV and film mean DC kind of died off after the Super Friends and then went the away until the live-action Lois & Clark: the Adventures of superman and with Batman the Animated Series, Justice League Unlimited, and Batman Beyond reinvigorated the brand to mainstream audiences so there was a gap of the 1980s that was not represented and they did that so well here but it’s a random choice I don’t see why they chose this era maybe because it was so disconnected they could tell their own story and not have to interfere with any other time-lines but they didn’t make that clear to us and the problem is this is not the second this is not the true second movie with Wonder Woman this is like the 5th movie with her at this point almost.
There are major events in this movie that should in theory have repercussions to multiple other movies– I mean at this time, Superman was a kid? Batman was a teenager? Maybe the events in this movie should have big repercussions for the world but I don’t see how they would.
Gal Gadot is fantastic. No extra things needed to be said but I’m going to add on to say her as Diana Prince is probably the best depiction of her in TV and film since Justice League Unlimited back a decade ago or so. She fit well in Justice League, and has held her on in her own movies with some caveats here and there. In my opinion Gal Gadot is possibly one of the best choices for Wonder Woman–she is up there in terms of my favorite DC actors with Ben Affleck (rest in peace Battfleck) with his time as Batman and Henry Cavill as Superman
Secondly, Kristen Wiig, as a primarily comedic actress who’s mostly known for I would say Bridesmaids and Saturday Night Live did fantastic in this movie. She’s a bright spot to me. She’s someone who pulled off a performance that could have very easily been out of her depth with aplomb, and she wasn’t even the main villain which kind of blew me away. Granted, Kristen Wiig was a sort of strange choice because while she is a woman that can play a very mousy nerdy character, but not necessarily a femme fatale character. Her character arc really doesn’t make sense; though she’s jealous of Diana and wants to be like Diana so she makes a wish and then becomes super strong–because of that but why does she turn evil? Like I don’t get that because that one guy assaulted her (granted that’s a great reason to harbor a little bit of hate) but that somehow leads to her being a supervillain? I don’t think so.
Maxwell Lord is the main villain, and is someone whom I’ve never heard of. DC fans may come at me and tell me where I’m wrong and how he was big in the comics but again, I’m coming at it from the perspective of Joe Blow walking into the Cineplex trying to enjoy just a good summer blockbuster movie (granted it’s Christmas day but you know what I mean). As usual Pedro Pascal has fantastic and every role he’s been in and he brings this character with depth in all the wrong and right ways he’s a sleazy businessman but he’s also a father really sleazy businessman overall and that performance was so well done I hope he reappears in further movies (Wonder Woman 3 was just confirmed!). Editorial note: doing a quick Google search tells me that the character Maxwell Lord is all over the DC continuity including previous depictions on even Smallville.
And then of course, they brought back Chris Pine which, don’t get me wrong I love Chris Pine as he is “my” James T Kirk (f*** you fight me) but the only reason they did this is to push the whole “love conquers all” stereotype, which I get but is super campy and kind of fits with perhaps the Super Friends era of DC but this is supposed to be different. Maybe they’re trying to swing away from the dark DC Universe with really edgy Superman and Batman that Zach Snyder established but maybe they swung too far.
Now, because this is DC, there is no overarching person running a lot of the large narrative like there is for Marvel with Kevin Feige so I’m not quite sure where they’re trying to go overall and that’s why this movie throws me off a little bit more because it’s such a departure from what we’ve already seen and typically these movies build to something this movie when this one really…doesn’t.
I loved the “bright” Lynda Carter-style Wonder Woman but that’s not the Diana Prince we’ve seen for the last two movies that she was involved in. I can’t tell if this is some kind of “Mea Culpa” for the “DARK” DC extended universe that we’ve been subjected to for the last 10 plus years or if this is just a movie that stands alone outside of the larger continuity in it just so happens that is has Gal Gadot and Chris Pine.
That’s half the problem with this movie, it doesn’t have a direction, it doesn’t have continuity like I mentioned earlier; there are events in this that should shape the entire world–this is Washington D.C., not fake City Metropolis or fake City Gotham. Granted, we know those are based on other cities but still this is Washington D.C., where the president of the United States lives.
Overall my final thoughts on the movie. It was stupid fun and it made no sense with no sense of direction but it’s a perfect background movie.
I will gladly have this movie running on a second monitor while I’m playing video games because it’s pretty to look at for the action, and is decent. Gal Gadot does great things in the action scenes that show her abilities but what I will choose is an MCU movie over this absolutely whenever possible. If you think about Marvel and how they build to having reasons for things scattered across their movies…the structure is there. It has reasoning. This movie randomly created the invisible jet only to throw it away less than 10 minutes later, what is considered to be an iconic piece of Wonder Woman lore. She then learns how to fly of her own volition which, while is similar to the newer versions of Wonder Woman begs the question why even bring up the invisible jet in the first place other than to give Chris Pine something to do? This movie is literally just cramming in “hey remember this” moments with no Rhyme or Reason, just like this movie has no Rhyme or Reason for being as hyped as it is.
This movie would have been one of the top box office hits of the year but it doesn’t deserve its place, it’s perfect where it is where I’m watching it for free on HBO Max from the comfort of my home and that’s it.