Score : 68/100
Watchable Minutes: Wonder Woman 1984 (WW84) goes on for far too long. Out of the 2 hour and 35 minute run time, there’s only maybe about 1 hour and 45 minutes of worthwhile content. The whole opening sequence and much of the middle could have been left out with no real impact to the overall movie.
Trailer Comparison : I remember watching the initial trailer way back in 2019 and being relatively excited to see WW84 but after watching the movie, I feel like I got bait and switched. The final trailer, with its deep, fast paced music and the shot of Wonder Woman lassoing lightning, was way cooler than the final product. If the movie matched the trailer in tone, it would have been much better.
Movie or Film : Every comic book movie I’ve seen is a movie. None of them ever really cross the threshold into films territory. WW84 is no exception. It’s a thrice rescheduled blockbuster that takes advantage of the 80s renaissance that has overstayed its welcome. There’s no real message here, regardless of how preachy the third act tried to be.
- Run time : 155 Minutes
- Studio : Warner Brothers
- Director : Patty Jenkins
- Where to Watch : HBO MAX
Residing in Washington D.C., Diana Prince spends her time working at the Smithsonian and covertly fighting crime. When an ancient artifact surfaces at the museum after being recovered at a robbery, a TV personality named Max Lord arrives under the guise of philanthropy and steals the artifact. Lord begins to wreak havoc by granting the wishes of everyone he comes into contact with, but at great cost. Wonder Woman must face a seemingly unstoppable enemy while suffering from the price of her own wish.
Wonder Woman 1984 suffers from an extremely bloated run time. That’s my primary issue with it. WW84 has an extremely long opening sequence that doesn’t really make sense. It’s an ancient triathlon of sorts and a ten year old Diana is competing against seasoned warrior Amazons, which doesn’t seem fair to anybody because she absolutely smashes her way through the entire course. That whole sequence takes about 45 minutes and could have easily been reduced to about 20-25. The second and third act could have benefited from some more aggressive editing as well, which contributes to the lower overall score. I think the writing was a mess, which is jarring considering the first movie was such a breath of fresh air in the genre. It’s overly dramatic and preachy during the final act of the movie. Aside from that, there’s no difficulty following the timeline. The character development is pretty lacking as well. It’s overly simplistic and doesn’t challenge or subvert my expectations in the slightest.
The highlight in the acting department is Pedro Pascal. He goes ALL IN on Max Lord and it looks like he had a blast playing the character. Max Lord’s motivation is to provide a better life for his son than what he had growing up. I think it’s worth noting that Max Lord is given a backstory that implicitly, but effectively, comments on single fatherhood, an attempt at advocacy in cinema that usually falls flat, but succeeds in this movie. Despite all the praise and admiration I have for Pedro Pascal, a movie is only as good as a villain. So, while he does a great job acting, I have to say that the actual villainy falls incredibly short. Gal Gadot and Chris Pine had good chemistry, but just seemed to fall back on the charisma they brought in the original movie. There was nothing new for them. Kristin Wiig was… interesting in her role as Barbara Minerva. I don’t know who I would have cast in that role, but she probably did as good a job as anybody could have with the script. The character is super generic and didn’t really make a splash or huge impact on the story.
Patty Jenkins returns to the directors chair for WW84. She does a fine job with Wonder Woman but WW84 just doesn’t feel right. It was like one step forward and two steps back. I think she’s one of the most competent directors involved with the DCEU and I want to see her take on more projects with the franchise. WW84 is only her second major directorial project so maybe I can chalk it up to a sophomore slump. I really hope that’s all this was, because she’s already been announced to direct a third Wonder Woman and a Star Wars anthology movie. I want both of them to succeed because we need some fresh ideas in both the DCEU and Star Wars universes, and I think she’s a great candidate for the job.
The score for WW84 is underwhelming and boring, which is a shame considering that Hans Zimmer (The Dark Knight Trilogy) was brought on board. The Wonder Woman theme, however, is wild and sounds awesome. It’s a huge departure from all the other main themes in the genre and it absolutely nails it, but that accomplishment belongs to the original composer.
The visuals in WW84 are incredibly off putting. There’s bad CGI and then there’s bad CGI. It’s astonishing that with all three delays, nobody went back and spent some more time polishing these scenes. It really could have made a difference. But since that didn’t happen, I can only assume this movie would have looked equally bad on the big screen. I don’t think I lost anything by watching this in my living room. The practical shots looked ok and the 80s were alive and well with the set design. The wardrobe department definitely knew what they were doing and didn’t push things too far.
I feel underwhelmed with WW84 and I think part of the blame belongs to the larger DCEU. WW84 has to play in the universe that the Justice League created and it certainly shows. This movie wasn’t allowed to do anything ground breaking or world impacting because according to Justice League, Wonder Woman doesn’t have a presence until she’s “discovered” by Batman. This movie could have definitely benefited from another draft or two and some more risks with the plot. I don’t hate it but I definitely don’t love it. I expected something more from a sequel with this talented cast and crew. Like I said, it felt like one step forward, two steps back. Let’s see if they can bring it back around in the third one.
If you like this, check out :
- Batman (1989)
- The Dark Knight Trilogy
- Man of Steel