Warner Brothers has really failed on the front of bringing people joy in 2020. Besides the necessary cancellations of most film releases due to COVID, their lackluster TENET fell short of being the great sci-fi mind-bending thriller that Christopher Nolan had promised, and their fallout with nearly every director under their portfolio due to the controversial HBO MAX deal cannot be oversighted. Within the decision was the choice to release the long-awaited Wonder Woman sequel in both theaters and HBO MAX on Christmas Day. I don’t know why I expected this to remotely be the Christmas Gift that WB pitched it as, because in the spirit of 2020, Wonder Woman 1984 was absolute hot trash. The movie was a literally painful experience, and ends the year with perhaps the worst superhero film I’ve ever seen. Spoilers ahead, but I don’t care and neither should you.
The first problem is the title itself. WW1984, along with its marketing, will have you believe that this movie capitalizes on 80s nostalgia. In truth, the only “80’s” thing in the whole film is the second sequence, which involves a corny robbery in a mall. That’s it. The film could’ve literally taken place during any other period of time, which makes me question why they even decided to place it in the 80s besides for creating a marketing ploy.
The plot residing in the year 1984 brings up the second glaring issue. The core conflict for Diana Prince’s character is the extreme feeling of loss she still holds onto for her first (and only) love, Steve Trevor….who died in 1918 during the events of the first film. I understand that realism is out the window when it comes to superhero movies, but even in those circumstances, I find it very hard to grasp the concept that the stereotypically beautiful, intelligent, kind, and courageous character that is Wonder Woman was completely incapable of finding love again during a span of over 66 years, especially since the girl didn’t even know men existed prior to the two cumulative weeks or so that she even knew Trevor. Such a character flaw is only a sampling of the bombastic problems that arise from Wonder Woman 1984‘s half-baked plot.
Let’s talk villains. There’s two of them and they both suck. The primary architect of nefarious doings is not “Cheetah” as the trailers imply, but instead, that title goes to “Max Lord” Lorenzano, played by Pedro Pascal. He’s a failure of a “get rich quick” oil merchant fraud, who gets his hands on an evil ancient stone that grants whatever wish you want. He wishes that he’d inherit the powers of the stone, and that’s where the chaos begins. When I say chaos, I don’t mean that in a riveting way. The amount of absurd nonsense that results from his new powers quickly made me lose braincells. I write this paragraph with the pain of knowing that I lost IQ points from seeing the zaniness that followed. Stuff goes flying around for no reason, people are beating each other up, giant walls pop out of the desert, ICBMs launch from downtown DC and Moscow, its the cinematic equivalent of the bubblegum wall in Seattle, where apparently the film’s creators just vomited ideas onto the storyboard and just went with all of them.
The second villain is Barbara Ann Minerva, a geeky, dorky museum curator who initially examines the evil spooky bad-guy stone. I freaking hate this trope: the “turn evil because I’m a dork and everyone hates me” thing is so overdone and devoid of imagination that not even Kristen Wig’s surprisingly half-decent acting could win me over. Long story short, she ends up hating Wonder Woman and turns into a Cheetah-person, how that happens doesn’t matter, the point is that she’s literally only in the film to start fights. My knowledge of Cheetah’s uselessness made me completely uninterested in any of those fight sequences, even if they had been well choreographed.
Laziness and lack of creative vision exude from every aspect of the film. The script is absolute garbage, carrying a weight of cringiness that made me want to shut the movie off every two minutes. The CGI is atrocious, at times being well outdone by YouTube vids from Freddie Wong and Corridor Digital from a decade ago. Most egregiously though was a fact pointed out to me after I saw the film: this movie condones rape. Wonder Woman accidentally wishes for Steve Trevor to return when she gets her hands on the stone. Trevor returns, (although he has a persona which might as well be replaced by Larry from Veggie Tales), but in the body of another man. Of course they have sex….but this is all to say that the intercourse occurs while Trevor inhabits the consciousness of the man who’s body he’d stolen. So…I’m really not sure how thoroughly the movie’s creators thought about that….
To answer the initial question: YES! I would rather pass a kidney stone than re-watch this movie. I’ve never HAD a kidney stone, but I cannot imagine it cannot be any worse than this schlock. Happy New Year everybody. 3.3/10