2020, Movies

Wonder Woman 1984 (2020, Patty Jenkins)

I have not seen the first Wonder Woman in a while but my memory of it is that it is a needed corrective, with a story that is mostly different enough. Only the climax was too 21st Century Comic Book movie for me. Well, this one is not on the same level, as you probably heard.

This movie, like so many superhero movies, is too long. It begins with a second origin story, this time featuring young Diana in Amazon Ninja Warrior. (That’s Jenn’s joke.) We got Diana’s origin in the first film so why this film thinks we need a new one, in order to explain that, um, Diana doesn’t believe in cheating at life, I don’t know. This goes on for some time and is one of at least two sequences in the movie that could have been cut entirely with no effect on narrative coherence.

A lot of the film’s attempts at humour early on are “Wow, weren’t the ’80s kooky!” As Jenn pointed out, Gadot dresses basically normally, and looks great, and nearly everyone else is just trying to provide jokes the script doesn’t through fashion.

But a bigger problem is the whole Dreamstone wish granting thing. The film never really clarifies its own internal mythology and we’re not really sure what Lord is getting, beyond control over certain people. (Also, what exactly does he want? He wants to destroy the world? Why?) There’s this whole thing where he’s granting a wish but he appears he’s also getting his own wish. That’s because he somehow controls the “toll” he takes for the wish and it’s just him wishing. This is pretty muddled in the execution. And then it gets worse because he can SPOILER ALERT somehow get everyone to wish just by looking at him on TV for a second. (He says they just need to look into his eyes and we immediately watch a woman glance at the TV and have a wish. Their justification for this is, um, the world is made of particles.) Soon Pascal is in some kind of vortex of wishes and floating and nobody knows why and they certainly aren’t going to try to explain it to us.

And then we just never learn what happens to the dreamstone. It just is no longer important to the movie once Diana inevitably triumphs. Seems like a pretty big oversight.

Honestly, I am tempted to give it an even lower ranking but I was high and I might have missed some things that I felt like were major errors. Regardless, I feel like I can safely say this is not good but not in the Justice League way.


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