This is the second standalone adventure for Wonder Woman (played by Gal Gadot), where she finds herself dealing with giving up what she wants in order to do what’s right. It’s somewhat like Spider-Man 2 in that regard, but of course entirely its own venture. This is an interesting concept for the follow-up, bringing in some fresh faces while also having a surprise along the way as well. It’s definitely not the most subtle of films in regards to some showcases, basically with there being an excessive amount of animal print surrounding the scenes of Barbara (Kristen Wiig).
While I don’t want to dive into that character since that may spoil things if it’s not blatantly obvious, I will note that I didn’t necessarily fully get behind her transformation as it didn’t seem to really come across as believable. Another involved faction was headed by the extremely charismatic Maxwell Lord (Pedro Pascal), an individual that kept wanting more. Definitely well done, having a balance of needing to have more and being just evil enough.
It was nice to see that there was more heart there for balance, but I think they could have also went further in regards to allowing us to understand his struggles. Still, you can see why this character was built up in a certain way and fairly believable as an opponent in a different sort of setup. It’s mostly just weird narrative wise as this is super campy and has incredibly high stakes while also not having anything too intense going on throughout it.
The performances were generally great here, I think Gal Gadot once again absolutely nails the character and her struggles. She’s got a great paired character that I enjoyed seeing in a flipped spot this time around. I won’t go further in that discussion as it’ll be fun to witness that pop up freshly if you’re watching it without spoilers. I liked her opposition, Pascal was the perfect image of an American capitalist of the era and I wanted more from his humble beginnings.
I think my main issue was that you don’t really feel a transformation from Wiig since she looks and basically acts the same, shocking since so much time was spent on her. It’s as though they had two wildly different villains that weren’t really the same goals wise and were sort of just thrown together in this one. They just couldn’t balance that mix, and I think like the first one that the film’s message got muddled a little due to that.
When it comes to the visuals I was mostly impressed, it looked very cool yet again had this silly sort of camp style to it. It was very eye winking if that makes sense, like the whole way through. I thought the effects were mostly quite believable though a running sequence in the desert looked off. I also was a bit puzzled by the flying outside of an iconic aerial presentation.
I liked that they wanted to have more fun with this one, at the same time they went a bit wild with the brightened attitude and it ran far too into the element of being campy for me. Like honestly, why were those kids in the middle of the road playing soccer? We need more believable situations of regular heroism, not something really in your face. I want to be shown they’re trying to do what’s best for the people caught in the cross-fire, not have it be the center of attention during an action sequence. That drives me to another point that the pacing felt off at times, it was quite a long movie.
Wonder Woman 1984 comes across as far too silly with a high dosage of camp, and an almost hollow story anchored by two villains with wildly different goals that don’t mesh. I still had fun watching this, it’s alright. It’s just not quite as well done as the original, which is a shame since I felt that one could have used this brighter shine to it.
Like most of the DC films, I’ve been waiting for this brighter side of things, but I don’t think they hit the mark here. They try to do the Spider-Man 2 story arc, and it wasn’t as well done. It was certainly harsher in what needed to be given up, but I didn’t feel as moved by the notion. I did love the set pieces, and the action scenes were enjoyable. She really rocks that lasso, and Gal Gadot is just perfect as Wonder Woman. That right balance of complete strength, grace and of course emotional hurt during the hard points.
I think the other characters were really great too, Pascal is perfect and I felt that character with just a bit more of a focus could have been one of the best villains in the DC movie efforts. Instead we have a lot of time for Wiig’s transformation that while initially was interesting didn’t really draw me in like it should have by the end. She really didn’t change much, aside from when things really went off the deep end into a CGI presentation.
Though that should have been easily guessed since they were incredibly blatant with the foreshadowing, to a degree I don’t believe I’ve ever seen in a movie before. Like seriously guys, calm down on that. There’s animal print in like literally every scene. Still, fun enough and a decent movie. I want to see more of this character in action, perhaps less stakes though. The world doesn’t need to be ending constantly. It’s an easy going action film, with fun personalities and unique situations.
Wonder Woman 1984 Review at Home with Streamed Viewing
Screening Provided by Warner Brothers