There are two sides to Wonder Woman: the fighter and the lover. If it’s predecessor showcased the fighter, then its safe to say Wonder Woman 1984 did a hell of a job of trying to not only showcase the loving, sentimental side to Diana but to further humanize the Demi-gods perspectives. Needless to say though, this film was.....I can’t menace words: at best, I was disappointed. At worst, I felt betrayed.
Now let’s clear the air first before you start sending hate mail: I don’t regret watching this movie; I don’t HATE it. There’s actually a lot that I liked about it or learned to appreciate upon second viewing. The acting is very convincing, the chemistry they share with each other is remarkable (more specifically Gal Gadot and Chris Pine), cinematography and editing pose no issue, the first couple of minutes had just the right amount of cheese and corniness in the tone to not be considered too much of a divergence from its predecessor, production design looks very wondrous, it’s cheerfully lit and colorful, I was entertained by its SOME of it’s action sequences, I was taken aback by some heartfelt and thrilling sequences and as done to death as the message is, the way the film gives off and portrays the indictment of greed, of our entitled desire to have what we want and have it now and the destructive nature avarice passes down even to this very day showcases that it’s heart is in the right place. It doubles down on trying to find optimism in positions where it seems like there is none and I applaud that.
The problem however, is the execution of it all. I get that you wanted your film to be as 80’s inspired as possible as far as the nostalgia trips, the production design locales, an occasional trying on clothes montage and the cheesiness and corniness that was supposed to come with an 80’s film but you weren’t supposed to actually MAKE an 80’s film with everything going on. Yes, it tries to broaden out its own foundation and make the atmosphere as wild as possible but, in doing so, loses its identity in the process.
Outside of Maxwell’s inevitable comparisons to a certain real-life jackass, there isn’t a whole lot to his character, the action sequences don’t reach any of the thrilling spectacles of the previous film, the world we’re interacting with feels disenchanted, CGI is actually worse than the previous film, Cheetah was completely shoehorned in just to have a physical final battle, the script meanders regarding the rules surrounding the MacGuffin or watching everything go wrong at once as result of juggling too many stories simultaneously (not to mention the multiple gaps of logic within the story), most of the films best qualities are almost strictly prohibited to the opening at Theymscria and the visual cohesion or emotional impact that the film wants you to have in certain moments is never found or repeated again.
Why is this film the way that it is? What happened here? Was it troubled development? How frantic was the production schedule behind this? Did Patty Jenkins lose passion for the character? Again, I applaud Patty and everyone else for trying to up the stakes but their means of doing so was via subtraction: Grace, intrigue, design, core mechanics, appeal, almost everything that made its predecessor emphatic and beloved feels lesser here and it highlights not only the dire state of the live-action superhero genre in film, but the dire state of Hollywood filmmaking as a whole. I don’t regret watching this movie in the slightest but to anyone who loves the first movie or even think it’s ok, I can’t, in good faith, recommend this to anybody.