Feature Length Films

Mr. Khan’s Review on Wonder Woman 1984 (2020)

A review on Hollywood feature length film, ‘Wonder Woman 1984‘ (or WW84) (2020). The Film’s distributor is Warner Bros. Pictures and is part of the continuing DC Extended Universe.

+ Crew I

  • Directed by Patty Jenkins
  • Cinematography by Matthew Jensen
  • Written by Patty Jenkins, Geoff Johns, Dave Callaham
  • Produced by Charles Roven, Deborah Snyder, Zack Snyder, Patty Jenkins, Gal Gadot, Stephen Jones

+ Crew II (Production Houses)

  • DC Films
  • The Stone Quarry
  • Atlas Entertainment

+ Note

Wonder Woman 1984 is the direct sequel to the film Wonder Woman (2017) and stars once again Gal Gadot as arguably the most famous female superhero, Wonder Woman. After the success of the first film (critically and commercially), Patty Jenkins obtained the faith of Warner Bros. executives to this time, write and direct the movie herself and in-turn, pursuing a larger and more creatively driven story with less studio driven constraints. Will Patty Jenkins be able to pull off yet another ‘Wonder’ in the long list of Superhero movies?

+ Main Cast

  1. Gal Gadot as Diana Prince / Wonder Woman
  2. Chris Pine as Steve Trevor
  3. Kristen Wiig as Barbara Minerva / Cheetah
  4. Pedro Pascal as Maxwell Lord
  5. Robin Wright as Antiope
  6. Connie Nielsen as Hippolyta

+ Plot

Its the Eighties! Wonder Woman/ Diana has continued to save the world since her last major encounter but her heart still wishes for her love Steve Trevor to return. Enter Maxwell Lord; a low life businessman/ con artist who dreams of striking big in the Oil business with not much luck. He then discovers that the archaeologist at the Smithsonian Barbara Minerva (villainess Cheetah) has the possession of a “Wish Stone”; An ancient stone which can grant any wish you can desire, with consequential results. 

It is now up to Wonder Woman to stop this destructive chain reaction of “wishful events” and rid the world of Evil once again.

+ High Points

i – If you were a fan of the original Superman movies from the Richard Donner/ Richard Lester era, the vibe in some parts of the film (especially the Shopping Mall fight scene) perfectly encapsulates it, giving it a comedic yet charming look to it. 

ii – The cinematography works well for the most part. The pictures are mostly vibrant, colorful and very reminiscent of the Golden age of Wonder Woman comics.

iii – Kristen Wiig as Barbara Minerva / Cheetah is entertaining and holds up quite well throughout the film’s runtime. She knows when to play it straight and when to ‘ham’ her performance up a bit.

iv – The depiction of the 80s is very prominent but never overbearing. The overpaded shoulders, the crazy hairdos, the aerobics outfits. I’m a sucker for anything 80s so I quite enjoyed it.

v – The film remains faithful to the Wonder Woman principles of truth and justice. Its nice to see the film not be tainted by the dark/ brooding or the overtly comedic/ quip machine superhero movies of the modern era.

+ Low Points

i – This film is tedious with its “message”. It hits you on the head with it so many times that as an audience member, it literally insults your intelligence.

ii – The opening scene on the Amazon Island is long and uninteresting. If the first scene of the film fails to capture your attention, then that’s always not a good sign for the rest of the film. The Wonder Woman character was already established in the last film, why not start with the 80s Shopping Mall scene? So many baffling decisions…

iii – This time around, Patty Jenkins decided to co-write the script and it unfortunately shows. She has written some good films in the past (for e.g. Monster (2004)) but this is definitely not one of them. The pacing is all over the place, the dialogue is hokey (even for a silly superhero movie!) and worst of all, there are too many “filler” sequences which add nothing to the overall narrative.

iv – Remember when I said that WW84 is reminiscent of the 80’s Superman films? Apparently this also applies to its special effects! The CGI is embarrassingly atrocious and pulls you out of the movie every time Wonder Woman flies through badly greenscreened clouds or the murky, dark final battle between WW and Cheetah (the fight obviously takes place at night to hide the horrible CGI effects). Terrible!

v – In the last film, Gal Gadot’s Israeli accent and not so great acting chops kind of brought a certain charm to the “fish out of water” story. Unfortunately one cannot say that now since she has been saving the world for decades now. Her lack of acting skills are too obvious at this point.

vi – Donald Trum— uh, I mean, Maxwell Lord as the main antagonist is lame. Couldn’t the filmmakers come up with something rather more original and interesting?

vii – So where does WW84 fit into the DCEU? Is it part of the Zack Snyder universe or the Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker universe? Or the Shazam/ Aquaman universe? At this stage, it is clear that Warner Bros. has no plan where they are going with all this.

+ Overall

This has unfortunately been quite a letdown. The film has potential to be good but playing it safe with its over simplistic plot and bad CGI really makes it into yet another below average DCEU movie. Here’s hoping that Robert Pattinson’s The Batman (2022) will save DCEU from mediocrity. 

Rate: 2 out of 5 stars

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