Wonder Woman 1984 is a superhero action-adventure drama based on the DC character of the same name. Directed by Patty Jenkins and starring Gal Gadot as the titular character, Wonder Woman 1984 is the sequel to the successful 2017 eponymous film.
Wonder Woman 1984 is a strange creature. Originally slated for release in December 2019 before being bumped up to November, it was then postponed to June 2020 and then the global pandemic turned the world upside down. This ultimately led to the Christmas Day release both in cinemas (worldwide) and WarnerMedia’s streaming platform HBO Max (in the USA).
The release confusion is a reflection of the chaos engulfing WarnerMedia as a whole as the company attempts to consolidate its operations in the wake of its acquisition by AT & T. There is a sense of Wonder Woman 1984 being a displaced movie and even its uneven narrative is indicative of this.
For the first two-thirds of Wonder Woman 1984, the film is a shambling mess. The plot revolves around a macguffin – an ancient artefact that grants wishes which seduces corrupt businessman Max Lord (Pedro Pascal) and scientist Barbara Minerva (Kristen Wiig) into villainous acts that ultimately threaten the survival of the world.
Now, it would be easy to just stop the review here and dismiss the movie for this one flaw. There is no explanation whatsoever regarding this artefact, it conveniently appears and gets into the hands of our key characters. There is some suggestion that Lord has been actively pursuing the artefact but no explanation how or why that is the case either.
Presumably, Jenkins expected the audience to simply stop thinking and accept the artefact at face value. This is poor writing in the extreme and demands the viewer to shut down all logic in the face of these fantastical premises. From there, the illogical nature of the plot only gets worse, then is no connection from one event to another and one needs to totally suspend disbelief in order to keep watching even though the screenplay has failed to work for it whatsoever.
That all said, the final act of the movie – taken at face value – carries the viewer on a wave of emotion and thematic power. Only if one accepts that major flaw of course. It’s a pity because the acting is potent and the action sequences are gorgeous to behold. The message between choosing between truth and lies is powerful especially during these compromising times.
So, in the final analysis, Wonder Woman 1984 is not a total lost cause. The strong denouement somewhat redeems the plain awfulness that came before but only just. There is potential in Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman and hopeful the threequel will fulfil the promise of that wondrous debut.
… still there’s more …