Wonder Woman 1984 ★★

This sequel to 2017's Wonder Woman is more ambitious and more sizable than the first in almost every way, including a story loaded with oversized plot contrivances and a narrative that puerilely all hinges on a magic rock. It's the ninth instalment in the DC Extended Universe, and it almost perfectly exemplifies that bigger doesn't always mean better. It reunites director Patty Jenkins and stars Gal Gadot in the principal role of Diana Prince, the Amazonian superhero Wonder Woman. 

The story sees the founding member of the Justice League performing noble acts of courage while incognito before facing off against two all-new adversaries in the form of The Cheetah and Max Lord - the latter being, in all honesty, much more a caricature rather than a character. As the title makes clear, the story emerges during the era of Reaganomics, the Cold War, the United States invasion of Grenada and the US involvement in the Civil War in Salvador, not to mention the disturbing unprecedented growth of the conservative movement known as the New Right. Still, this is a comic book movie, so the film's depiction of a world stumbling towards nuclear destruction and general anarchy is depicted in exceptionally asinine detail. 

As it laughably revolves around a wishing stone that has invested Lord with incredible powers, the often dry script has an overabundance of scenes that unfurl as nothing more than campy comedy sandwiched as a threadbare excuse for big-budgeted action sequences. While it is observable how committed Gadot is to her role, the film never once pulls away from the head-splitting numbness of superhero movies being nothing more than a string of scenes which are a decidedly generic spectacle of digitally-augmented set-pieces. The adolescent targeted plot is entirely predictable, and it takes its time building to an uninspired climax. Initially planned for release last year and victim to numerous additional delays due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Wonder Woman 1984 categorically wasn't worth the anticipation.

Paul Elliott liked these reviews