WW84 Takes On A New Decade
Wonder Woman 1984 finally hit HBO Max after being delayed for over a year. However, fans are debating whether or not it’s actually worth the wait. So … is WW84 good or bad? Here’s what we think.
Wonder Woman 1984 finds Diana Prince decades after the events of the previous film. She now works at the Smithsonian Museum in Washington D.C. and fights crime on the side.
It’s at the Smithsonian where we see Diana meet Dr. Barbara Minerva, played by Kristen Wiig. We meet Dr. Minerva, an awkward but likable colleague of Diana’s, as she is tasked by the FBI to help in an investigation.
They need her expertise to help identify some stolen artifacts which are now in the museum’s care. Among these ancient artifacts is a mysterious rock called the Dream Stone. (DC wants to be Marvel sooo bad!)
Apparently, the Dream Stone can grant anyone’s wish, sort of like a genie. That’s why it has caught the attention of the eccentric businessman, Maxwell Lord, played by The Mandalorian’s Pedro Pascal.
Lord schemes to steal the stone and to use it to help himself gain success and power in the world — no matter how badly he may mess things up.
Now, Wonder Woman must stop Lord, with help from Dr. Minerva, from sending the world into chaos as a result of his rapid wish-making.
It comes as no surprise Gal Gadot is awesome as Wonder Woman once again. She’s strong, smart and shown to be an amazing role model for young women everywhere. In fact, she’s makes for a better Superman than Henry Cavill‘s actual portrayal of Superman in the DCEU! But we’re not ready for that conversation yet …
Kristen Wiig starts off great as Dr. Minerva, but her portrayal slowly turns into a cartoonish villain. You’ll almost immediately see that her character is pretty much Michelle Pfeiffer‘s Catwoman from 1992’s Batman Returns.
The action sequences, although very few, are as exciting as the first film, but you can’t help but notice the effects were extremely … awful. The fight scene that takes place at the mall in the beginning of the movie shows off Wonder Woman’s crimefighting skills, but the laughable movements make it feel like you’re watching a cartoon.
I believe director Patty Jenkins was trying to go for a campy vibe with WW84, but it’s such an abrupt shift from the tone of the first film.
So, that’s about it for the good stuff.
I really liked the idea of the Dream Stone, but the execution is sloppy. Once again, DC missed an opportunity to use an interesting element of a movie to connect it to the rest of the DC Extended Universe.
The stone’s magical abilities could have easily been used to flesh out some of the DCEU’s mystical aspects. If you can recall 2016’s Suicide Squad, we already saw some pretty cool characters with mystical origins such as Enchantress, Diablo and even Katana. Hell, even Shazam!
It wouldn’t be too farfetched to have a backdoor explanation about some of the universe’s magical elements.
Aside from the existence of the Dream Stone, the plot itself is a hot mess. It’s bloated and doesn’t make sense most of the time when you really think about it.
There are times when absurd things would happen just so the narrative could move along. This is expected in these types of films but you cant help but laugh at some of the ridiculous scenarios.
For example — Maxwell Lord needs a way to grant wishes on a large scale but he doesn’t know how he reach that many people. Coincidentally, as he is leaving the Oval Office after manipulating the President, he spots some mass broadcasting plans just … sitting there. Yeah …
Speaking of the President … out of all the things in the world he could wish for — a fact emphasized by Lord himself — he absurdly wishes for the United States to have more nukes than Russia. WHAT!?
The Really Bad
Another cringe-worthy moment was one that Patty Jenkins probably thought would be an iconic, badass scene — the introduction of the Invisible Jet.
Backing up to the mystical aspects of this universe — Wonder Woman now just has magic powers herself. No explanation. She just has them.
Diana uses this to her advantage when stealing a jet from the Smithsonian … yeah, that happened. She conjures up a magical invisible shield with her hands and uses it to hide the jet from airport security. A little too on-the-nose for me.
Why couldn’t they just have her flying in a jet that has some advanced cloaking technology or something? I don’t even care enough to pick it apart to be honest.
That’s not even it when it comes to random abilities Wonder Woman just has now.
We also learned Diana’s Lasso of Truth has all kinds of extra abilities. She explains that not only can if force the truth, it can make people see the truth … or something? Again, this isn’t even really explained.
On top of that, the Lasso can now just hold onto lightning bolts for her to swing from. Jenkins wants Wonder Woman to be Thor soooooo bad.
However, this ability is short-lived because we soon learn she can also fly.
If I’m being honest, I’m willing to accept with this one because this is already a world where Superman soars through the air. I just need to know why we she doesn’t ever fly in Batman v. Superman or Justice League. It’s just so sloppily done.
The Extremely Bad
Then there’s Cheetah …
After Dr Minerva helps Diana for most of the movie, she ends up switching to the bad guy’s team for no other reason than the fact she doesn’t want Maxwell Lord to be stopped because she wants to hold onto her newfound sexiness.
Her final transformation completely ruined her character arc. If the horrendous CGI wasn’t enough, the showdown between her and Wonder Woman lasted about 60-seconds.
Back to the Dream Stone …
The overall power of the stone is so confusing, you end up just trying to find any logic. Things are just happening all over the place because Lord is just granting the wishes of thousands of people.
There doesn’t seem to be any rules to the wish-granting so people are asking for anything and everything, but we’re given no explanation as to how this even works.
For example, Steve Trevor (Chris Pine) is brought back to life by Diana’s (vague) wish, but instead of just appearing, he returns in the body of a random guy. They don’t even seem to question how bizarre that is. They just brush past it! What about the guy? What happens to his soul?
You might try to explain this by saying all wishes come with some sort of caveat. But remember, there are no rules in this movie!
The film tries to allude to the idea that once wishes are made, they are granted through what appears to be pure coincidence. But when an Egyptian oil tycoon wishes for his ancestral land to be returned to his family, a giant wall erupts from the ground, surrounding Cairo.
In fact, most of the wishes being granted create world-changing events. Did Jenkins forget this movie is set in an already established universe?
Then the film ends by having the wishes granted by the Dream Stone undone, but again we are given little explanation on how that works. It appears as if time reversed … or something? Do people not remember anything that happened in the hectic few days of the film? We just don’t know.
Unfortunately, the only good things about Wonder Woman 1984 are the actors, but not the characters they play. Maxwell Lord’s entire arc is ridiculous and illogical, despite Pedro Pascal’s charm. Cheetah’s entire narrative was too focused on her getting to wear new clothes and her showdown with Wonder Woman was extremely underwhelming.
The movie also spends too much time on Trevor’s adjustment to the ‘future.’ At least in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, they were able to make jokes without taking away from the story. WW84 spends a good chunk of time trying to fulfill as many corny 80s tropes possible. There’s even a ‘getting dressed’ montage. Ugh.
I’ll leave you with this final observation: There was literally no point to having this movie set in the 1980s. It added absolutely nothing to the film.