I find myself falling somewhere in the middle on Wonder Woman 1984. There was good in the film but I also think some of the choices could have been stronger and basically it needed a tighter script.
I try to organize my 5 points on Wonder Woman that are sticking in my head below and judge the movie on it’s merit and not potential.
SPOILERS! SPOILERS! SPOILERS!
This is a tough one because I love Chris Pine and Steve Trevor. Gadot and Pine continue to have excellent chemistry and one scene with them in particular was the most emotional well-played part of the movie. But I also would have loved to see Diana on her own.
It’s a bit much to think she’s been mourning him 70+ years out in the world and that’s her wish not to see her home again but him.
I also hate body swap/thefts where people actually have sex and theres like no thought to the body and this one was particularly bad because it’s not even like the guy was dying or they played it like that. Nope just some poor schmuck got highjacked and then his body used for sex and put in danger throughout the film. Look it’s a personal pet peeve I’d ask how people would feel if it had been a woman whose body was taken over but there was a YA book not long ago that did that and I was the only one that seemed bothered so…
Verdict: Steve/Pine only adds to this movie but it’s still repetitious as all hell. I hope Wonder Woman is done with him at this point. No Flashpoint save. Hell I don’t even want to see a look alike grandson now.
The 80’s Time Period
You set a movie in the 80’s you kind of expect great music and this has to have one of the most boring soundtracks (and scores) I’ve seen in a while.
It’s also my theory now for me that 80’s nostalgia works best with children because to me it added nothing to the movie- except maybe the nukes but I found the ending pretty bombastic anyway. If you had set it earlier maybe Etta could have passed and Diana would have had a jolt and realized she was alone and Steve been more reasonable.
Or set it late 90’s early 2000’s where the rise of personal cellphones could play into Max’s story.
Verdict: Nope on the 80’s. I wish they had pretty much gone with any other decade.
Barbara/Diana and the Wishes
I wish they had tightened up and spent more time on. Gal Gadot and Kristen Wiig are both great. The actresses and their characters personalities play off each other well.
And I must say the execution of the consequence of Diana’s wish was my favorite parts and Wiig totally killed a scene where Barbara teaches a lesson to a guy that’s been harassing her character. I also loved the fight at the White House. If I was trading I would double down on that stuff and a lot of the “bigger picture” stuff could go.
I mean they only knew each other for a day and a half before it went to hell. But also I think their wishes were the most sympathetic and understandable. Diana and Barbara felt like a character tragedy in a big old colorful comic book movie so there were some tone issues as well.
Verdict: A plus but the movie needed more of them and their relationship.
*I have to be honest here to when Diana asks Barbara if it’s worth it for what she lost all I could think was other than the tail and the fur it seems like a fair trade.
Maxwell Lord/The Wishing Stone
Unpopular opinion but this was the buggiest part for me and I say that as someone who really likes Pascal but it seems like they didn’t know what to do with him.
He’s presented as a tv huckster/oil man whose in debt and trouble. In that way fine the epitome of 80’s greed, short cuts and the ideas the movie was talking about so why did they have to stick in these flashes at the end of an abusive father/ being bullied at school? And it really was just flashes.
The wishing stone was a little over the top to considering Jenkins very much has been talking about how she didn’t want to do the last third of the first movie. I wish they had kept it more personal. Plus it seemed like the rules where changing when they needed it to- granted Maxwell actually says, “I make the rules…”
But then again wouldn’t some of the wishes supersede the others? And what about kids? Why not embrace the whimsy? You’d have the same kind of chaos but slightly more fun if someone (me) wished to turn the Pacific into one giant ice cream sundae or all California’s mountains into slip and slides (appropriately 80s) it seemed like everything was meant to lead to Russia and the US firing the nukes and I just felt like…
I’ve seen this before.
One benefit was how Diana talked Maxwell down and appealed to people’s better judgements a nice bit of character for her.
But I did think it was kind of funny after this whole big villain thing (and what was that blue light supposed to be anyway?) Max is just like, “My son!!!” and goes running out. Also and this is no knock to Pascal but I did not care about him and his kid. Like I would have let it go but I couldn’t help compare it to how much Steve and Diana got to me (or Pascal and Grogu only a week ago).
Verdict: Max and the Wishing Stone needed some work. Jenkin’s went big here and it just didn’t work for me.
I want more Amazons. I enjoyed the whole opening sequence and the kid playing young Diana (Lily Aspell) is awesome but it’s a shame because the whole purpose of it and bringing back Robin Wright and Connie Nielsen is to IMPART The LESSON and nothing more.
You literally could have put that scene anywhere in the movie and it wouldn’t have changed anything.
I remember one of the comics Hades (or someone going to Hades) does bring back Steve how awesome would it have been to have Robin Wright for the whole movie in the world with Diana? She would have put Lord in his place pretty fast.
Or have that and Asteria appear in the movie and not a mid-credits scene fun as that was?
My wish list for a Wonder Woman 3: More Amazons! Bring back Allen Heinberg (because you have one successful movie and apparently the first thing to go is the writer?), also better more consistent CGI, let Wonder Woman stand on her own, stronger villain, basically… better script.
Also as an aside regardless of streaming wars or actual reasons I am grateful I got to watch it. Even if I put aside the potential for what could have been I still fall somewhere in the middle on this one. I can see why people loved it. But it was a let down for me.