This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
theshire’s review published on Letterboxd:
This review may contain spoilers.
Full disclosure, for the sake of transparency I have to start this review by letting people know I absolutely despise Gal Gadot who is of course the lead in this movie. Sure she has very questionable past remarks but she is also a terrible actress who doesn't help Hollywood get rid of its bad reputation when it comes to vapidness and the industry's tendency of putting many other factors before one's ability (or lack there of) to actually act. An eye pleaser for the crowd in many ways certainly as she undeniably looks the part (she quite resembles Diana Prince from the comics) but a painful experience for those of us who still put talent above aesthetic.
That being said this isn't what this review needs to be about, the real question is whether I thought the movie was any good and the answer is quite simple actually : I did not.
Wonder Woman 1984 is a movie which brings about one specific question ...Why? Exactly, so many things about this movie make very little to no sense at all. Of course, I could start by enumerating the good parts of the film but it would fit in one sentence or less. The reality is that I only liked the opening scene with the amazonians and the childhood version of Diana. It was a good "amuse-bouche" that leaves the audience wanting for more. More of the amazonians lore, more of Baby Diana, more of Robin Wright, more of Themyscira. Unfortunately we quickly wake up from this idyllic setting and are thrown back forward into the "future", that time frame being the 80's or simply put our first "why".
I mean wasn't the first wonder woman already set in another time loop. Didn't we already go through the whole "nostalgia" for origins purposes? I understand the period movie for the first installment as a comprehensive storytelling demanded it but this time ? I have to be perplexed about the point of it. Was it a strictly aesthetic choice? Because just like everything else in this movie, it felt very vain, almost caricatural. The score didn't help make sense of it, our second "why". The talent of Hans Zimmer is not to be questioned but I can't help but wonder why the score was so classic if it was for a movie who attempts to use the 80's colorfulness and eccentricity to lighten the "dceu tone". The score ends up being a bit like Steve Trevor in this movie "out of place". Making use of the 80's except for the score ? Odd or should I say, why?
Now that Steve Trevor is mentioned, we have to discuss how silly his presence throughout the movie was. I guess I would like to know "why"? It doesn't help making the main character more engaging than to bring up her ex side kick/lover who died in the previous installment by usurping a random's body. Actually it doesn't help the female lead of a comic book movie to have her male dead boyfriend be the sole drive to her heroics. Wait no, in fact it doesn't help women all over the world that it takes an amazonian - goddess her long lost love to make an appearance so that we can fake interest for 2 hours and a half about what hardships she will face this time. It's a sad commentary on the overall writing of this movie but it'd also a sad commentary on how women are still perceived. Making her story about the boy she once happened to love and who she " shall never forget" is so cheesy it ends up being offensively misogynistic. Trust me I don't like hating on Chris Pine but his character had no business being all over this film and Diana had no business being hung up on him. It's not about erasing a character who played an important part in the first installment and Diana's story, it's actually about building up on it and developing the main character which this film completely forgets to do. Deliberately or not, Patty Jenkins omits Diana the Wonder Woman in a Wonder woman movie so much so it ends up feeling like a side chapter with very little to no importance in the bigger picture.
So yeah sorry but even "The best chris" can't make the "fish out of water" & "freaky friday ish" plot devices work in 2020 wait I meant 80's.....(still makes no sense why the movie wasn't set in the present btw).
To top it off on the nonsense, the supposed main villain actually ended up being a side kick to a pretty stale antagonist. Which brings me to my last "why". What was the reason of adding Cheetah to this movie ? She served no real purposes, her character isn't necessarily badly portrayed but the portrayal was so unsubstantial to the story that it could have been taken off entirely and the movie would have been exactly the same, just as terrible. Pedro Pascal does a decent job at making Maxwell believable but that's not saying much as the weakness of the writing still shines through his portrayal. His motivations are supposed to make the audience empathise with him but I rather was left wondering why didn't they cast a better child actor to play his son, the acting was so lifeless the attempted tear jerker scenes left my eyeballs so dry I could have used some of the eye drops they gave Gal Gadot when she squeezed real hard to have that ONE tear fall down her cheek in that rather stiff peace making speech Diana delivered in the big final conclusion. Ugh there was another "why" I suppose.
So yeah, I guess this was pretty mediocre. I wanted so bad to be a contrarian, the amount of negative reviews is not good vibes ! But let's be real, I am not that good of a liar.