Wonder Woman 1984: The Good, The Bad, and The Nonsense


R E V I E W – M O V I E


Tasnia Shahrin


If you are looking for a movie to shake up from the male-dominated superhero screen universe of DC, Wonder Woman 1984 might definitely be a good pick for you! This was one of those anticipated films that got delayed because of the Covid-19 pandemic. It is a sequel to the first film and the settings shifts from the battlegrounds of the First World War to the hip city of the US in the 1980s.

The film begins by returning to Diana’s childhood (she’s played with appealing pluck by Lilly Aspell), bringing back Connie Nielsen and Robin Wright, respectively, as her mother and queen of the Amazons, Hippolyta, and her mighty warrior aunt and mentor, Antiope.

The main essence of the film is WW Jacobs’s tale, The Monkey’s Paw, which tells us, wishes can come true – but at a terrible price. At the centre of this movie is a mysterious ancient stone that turns up at the Smithsonian workplace. Its powers are initially hidden until the self-conscious, socially awkward, and insecure gemologist Barbara Minerva (Kristen Wiig), who wishes to be more like her new friend Diana. Her surprising transformation begins to unleash the stone’s crooked power.

Meanwhile Diana, who has been ‘pining’ for her late boyfriend Steve Trevor (Chris Pine), unknowingly wishes and brings his soul back in another man’s body. Then enters a failing businessman and TV personality, Maxwell Lord (Pedro Pascal), who is the main villain of this film. He knows about the true power of the stone and wishes to become the stone itself to fulfill his own greed.

From a stunning Themyscira prologue in which young Diana is taught “Nothing good is born from lies” to a scene in which Lord Maxwell stands in a presidential podium and manipulates people around the world like a psychotic narcissist, the cost of “finally having everything you always wanted” starts to make complete sense.  Amidst these, director and co-writer Patty Jenkins’s blending of action and stunts makes the film a sweet and sour journey.

Having said that, the movie has several elements as well that makes it a little bit more on the side of a classic cliché. Take, for example, the moment when Diana finally learns how to fly. Despite this being a very big moment for her character, we see Gadot portraying a precisely choreographed runny-spinny-slidey moves which are immediately identifiable as a classic 80s dance routine. Besides, Cheetah played by Wiig is Wonder Woman’s biggest nemesis in the comics. But we see Wiig portraying this pivotal character with an awkward blend of comedy and action – that just does not mix together. 

Let us now take some moment to discuss the reappearance and disappearance of Chris Pine. In the first film, Steve sacrificed himself for a greater good, which was emotionally quite appealing for the audience. However, in the second film, he again sacrifices himself through someone else’s body, which makes this notion of “self-sacrifice” really repetitive and cheap. Other than that, the final sappy speech given by Wonder Woman was honestly quite unrealistic. I mean, seriously? Every single person in this world who made a wish triggered by their greed, revoked it just because of an unknown woman’s speech? That is really hard to believe.

There are many other unrealistic scenes throughout the film apart from her speech. Did anyone else find the jet sequence a little weird? They fly a fighter jet slowly through a Fourth of July fireworks show. Can you even fly a jet like that at such low speeds? Also, would invisibility cloaking also cloak a jet from radar systems? Again, what was up with those kids playing soccer on Egypt road? They had a really long time to look over and see a giant convoy of trucks and armoured vehicles heading their way but still they kept ignoring the loud firing sounds and somehow Wonder Woman saves the day.

To finish it off, all these elements together make this a movie that tries to achieve too much in too little time, while also somehow not focusing enough on the elements that will make it tick for the audience. Here is to a hope that the recently announced third film will be more realistic and fun to watch!

 


Tasnia is a proud Slytherin who loves binging on poetry and graphic novels in her free time. She is also a part of TDA Editorial Team.

 

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