Matthew is in 11th grade. This is his third year in Journalism. He does Debate and is a Eagle Scout. In the future he hopes to attend Liberty University...
Wonder Woman 1984: A Wonderful Disappointment
March 16, 2021
Wonder Woman 1984 made history in December as the first major studio movie to be released simultaneously to theaters and streaming (in this case, on HBO Max). As the sequel to the 2020 box office smash hit Wonder Woman, the DC Comics flick had tremendous build up.
So did Wonder Woman 1984 live up to its hype? No. In fact, I have multiple gripes with this sequel.
The movie is set 40-years later than the action of Wonder Woman as Diana Prince (played by Gal Gadot), also known as Wonder Woman, finds herself taking down businessman-turned-wish-genie Maxwell Lord (The Mandalorian’s Pedro Pascal), and Diana’s gemologist colleague Barbara Minerva (Kirsten Wiig) who ends up becoming a villain.
During the movie, we are introduced to the concept of wishes taking something from you, like a Monkey’s Paw effect. For Diana, her wish of bringing dead lover Steve Trevor (Chris Pine, reprising his role from the first movie) back to life comes at a cost.
I have multiple gripes about this movie. One is the beginning. There’s this scene where Diana is participating in an Amazonian contest. To win, the contestants have to hit flares along the path. During the competition, Diana falls off her horse and has to cut out a section of the course to get back on her horse. Coming to the finish, Diana’s mentor decides to make her lose, then lectures her for cheating.
Now don’t get me wrong, I am all for anti-cheating messages. It’s just that this one makes no sense and is never referenced again throughout the rest of the movie. This scene feels kind of lost on me.
My second gripe about this movie for me is how they handle Steve Trevor’s character. In fact, Steve doesn’t feel like a character– he feels like he’s just there to be Wonder Woman’s lover. He gets one good scene in the entire movie, and that’s during a battle.
My third gripe is that the villains aren’t good as main antagonists. As much as I love the character of Maxwell Lord in theory, he ultimately isn’t a good main villain, but would have been great as a sidekick or associate character for a bigger villain. Same with Barbara, who ends up becoming the Cheetah. Both would be good as sidekicks to a bigger villain.
Even though these two are decent-at-most villains, they do have interesting motivations behind their actions– Lord’s drive to impress a loved one and achieve success, and Barbara’s drive to transcend her feelings of being a social outcast.
My final gripe is the music selection and costumes. For a movie designed to look like and evoke the 1980s Diana’s stylish but modern outfits seem out of place, as do those of many of the other characters. The movie also seems to be lacking any really recognizable 80s music, so if you’re looking to get your 80s fix in this flick, you’ll probably walk away disappointed.
Despite these many criticisms, I still enjoyed some parts of the movie, including the explanation for how Wonder Woman got her invisible jet. I also appreciated the action scenes, which feature excellent choreography and are beautifully shot. That’s all I can say before I start wandering into spoilers.
One thing Wonder Woman 1984 does have is an amazing cast, especially Gadot and Pascal. You can really tell that the cast had fun filming this movie.
Overall, however, Wonder Woman 1984 is still a mess of a movie. There are so many problems with this flick, from the villains being mostly uninteresting, to Steve Trevor not having a real personality, and once the twist is revealed, the story becomes too predictable. I would give this movie a 5.4/10.