No one who read comic books growing up thought that in a universe that also included Superman and Batman movie franchises, it would indeed be Wonder Woman, who delivered the best experience on the big screen. Yet, in 2017, it was director Patty Jenkins and star, Gal Gadot, that did just that with a tremendous first outing.
Now, Diana Prince is back with Wonder Woman 1984, after a long delay that concluded in controversy. Still, it’s despite of it’s nucleus, which also includes Chris Pine, it’s a bad story and some bizarre new additions that don’t allow it to live up to it’s first outing.
When a magical artifact starts wreaking havoc in the world back in 1984, it’s time for our heroine to once again spring into action.
If it sounds weird, it is, and some decisions down the stretch really hurt the film
But let’s talk about what works first.
In addition to the chemistry between Gadot and the resurrected Pine, who are the heart and soul of the film. They both remain really easy to root for, and the sequel doesn’t stray from the path which made the first one so enjoyable in that regard. And Jenkins completely nails the world of the mid 80s and uses the environment to propel the story and give us a funny subplot with Pine’s “man out of time” shtick.
It’s everything else that kind of goes wrong.
Pedro Pascale’s (The Mandalorian) Max Lord, the villain in this film is just ridiculous and his “powers” are just foolish. We’ve also got Kristen Wiig’s bookworm turned apex predator nemesis to Wonder Woman and that also doesn’t work. Both of these characters completely fall apart in the final stretch of the film. It’s cringey and we get awfully close to “Batman and Robin” territory on a couple of occasions. There are a lot of things we don’t need here and it’s about a half hour too long.
In the end it could have been better. It’s not a blaring disappointment. It’s just nowhere near as enjoyable as the first.
If there is some hope here it’s that the franchise is far from broken. Gal Gadot is still our Wonder Woman and that leaves some hope moving forward.
Wonder Woman 1984
Rated: PG 13
Running Time: 2 hours 31 minutes