It has been a wild year for the movie industry. So much so that we now look forward to some of our favorite movies premiering on streaming services now. I would say that it’s weird, but it isn’t as weird as you may think or as many would make you believe. I think back to a bunch of the big budget movies that have released over the last few years on Netflix or Hulu. The only different thing I feel is that this is the first major blockbuster to really do it outside of maybe Mulan, but even that was a different situation entirely. Wonder Woman 84 is a movie that many of us were looking forward to and also disappointed at not being able to see it in theatres. Well, we can, some of us, but with everything going on it just seems safer to watch it at home. Was it worth the wait though?
The easiest way I can explain this movie to someone is saying that it feels like a movie that Sam Raimi would have directed back in time instead of Spider-Man. This is a very cheesy movie that feels very different and out of time for what we expect out of superhero movies now. On the surface though, it’s not really a knock against it because it could have felt fresh and like a fun little throwback to the early days of comic book movies. Unfortunately it just doesn’t work with the intention they had when making it.
I was very surprised with some of the reviews coming out about the movie. Some people loving it and others not liking it at all and it kind of threw me for a loop at trying to figure out why it could be so divisive when the first film was good and for the most part loved. You could say that I went into this movie a little skeptical of what to expect. It doesn’t take long at all for me to start to understand that this movie is actually a bit of a mess with confusing tone changes and other decisions made overall.
I immediately was thrown off by another flashback of Diana as a child with the other Amazons. It was just an opening scene and it does serve a small purpose, mostly just a line and lesson to be taught, but the whole scene was just too long and I really just didn’t care. It seemed more like just a reason to use all of the top talent in those Amazon roles again rather than actually having a great purpose for the movie. It is however followed up by another opening scene of sorts that should have been the opening scene from the get go.
I’m talking specifically about these scenes because they do pose some of the biggest issues I had from the very start. This opening scene was fun and we get to have some pretty fun action, but the problem is more of a tonal issue. It really does feel like a scene that was directed in one of the Sam Raimi Spider-Man movies. It’s very cheesy with cheesy characters and cheesy dialogue that could have worked, but just falls flat. It’s hard to like the scene when the action is good and fun, but muddled down by this cheese fest of choices.
They don’t let up though from this point forward. The rest of the movie continuously jumps back and forth between cheese and the tone from the original movie and that mixture just doesn’t work well at all as a whole movie. Every character is given next level cheese factor with super cheese dialogue that makes me so confused at what exactly I’m watching. Fortunately though, the actors all embrace what’s going on and do the best they can with the material they have.
Gal Gadot picks up right where she left off with her character Diana by being pretty much the same as she was before, but just not that compelling. She doesn’t even feel like she’s important or really cares to be doing what she’s doing. She’s just there. Kristen Wigg plays a character of a character and I don’t like it, but whatever, she is having fun and you can tell. Then you have Pedro Pascal who is also on a whole other level of cheese, but ends up being the best and worst part of the movie.
He is incredibly fun to watch as this villain that just seeks power and money all for the sake of impressing his son, but is so silly that I just don’t know whether to like him or not. I mean he’s bad of course, but he almost acts like he’s in his own fantasy in a world where nothing he does is actually happening. The only saving grace to this character is that Pascal seems to be having a hell of a time playing his character. Too bad he wasn’t actually intimidating.
This brings me to the villain problem of this movie. Pascal is the main villain I guess with Cheetah being the secondary villain. The problem here though is that Pascal never actually feels like a main villain. I mean yeah he ends up being the reason why nukes are being launched from Russia and the U.S. and that sounds all scary and evil, but I was never worried or really cared about that. It’s fine I guess as long as the secondary villain can live up to the hype right? Well yeah, if Cheetah had actually been what I was expecting her to be in this movie.
Cheetah, the actual Cheetah is only in the final fight and it isn’t that long of a fight and it’s a nighttime so it’s not so easy to see or enjoy the fight as much as we could be enjoying it. I went into this movie thinking that this was going to be a villain character that would be a strong foe from start to finish, but she only becomes relevant towards the end of this overly long movie. And of course having a guy that can grant any wish isn’t going to work as a great foe for this Amazonian goddess so what the hell is this movie even?
Oh wait, that’s right, it was another reason for Diana to have time with the best part of the original movie, her relationship with Steve Trevor. They couldn’t physically bring him back to the dead so rather he is brought back by a wish and his soul I guess is inserted in another man’s body. Diana only sees him though not the other guy which really makes no sense other than to just allow us to see Chris Pine as Steve again which is fine I guess, but it just doesn’t work for me. On top of that, Steve really served no purpose in this movie other than for Diana to talk to him and show him around the world like he did for her in this first movie. It just doesn’t work.
Finally we get to the action which I touched on throughout this review already, but really it’s just sad. Cheetah doesn’t show up till the end which is disappointing for a 2 ½ hour movie, and Pascal just grants wishes which causes wind to blow around that ends up being the biggest challenge for Diana. Wind. Dumb. Big Dumb. Where is her sword and shield? Why was Cheetah not utilized better and more throughout the film? Why was a genie used as the main antagonist? None of this makes any sense to me.
This leaves me with the final declaration that this movie is nothing short of a massive disappointment and follow up to the great first film. This is Iron Man 2 or Thor: The Dark World level bad. The problem is that this movie had an opportunity to be good and you can see some points where there are great elements, but it just didn’t work. This also has me worried about Patty Jenkins moving forward on a Star Wars movie and as the director of Wonder Woman 3. This is probably the biggest disappointment of the year for me. I just cannot recommend this to anyone because it just isn’t worth the time. Go watch Soul on Disney+ instead because it has more story and character than this did.
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