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Wonder Woman 1984 Spoiler Free Review

Look, I know Gal Gadot is a dope Wonder Woman. Her depiction of the character is one of DC’s cinematic universe's very few saving graces. I was able to watch Wonder Woman 1984 which came out on HBO’s streaming service “HBOMax” and in select theatres on December 25th, 2020. I’m not going to trash this movie because it’s not a bad movie but I’m not going to praise it either because it wasn’t that good. It does things well in some regards like illustrating Wonder Woman’s characterization, her values, and how those values affect the people who come into contact with her and her alter persona, Diana Prince. This  is beautifully captured in Gadot’s performance.

But the movie was very bright and over the top for me. Bright color schemes, a toned down level of violence, and a very predictable and safe storyline. Nothing was endeavored here, it was very cut and dry. All business. The premise is given to you and you start reciting story beats as they occur on screen. I’m not saying that it intellectually needed to be a movie on par with the level of psychoanalysis that exists in movies like the Joker but this has the feel of that CW brand of writing that’s cool for a TV show but doesn’t really stand out for the second outing of an iconic character like Wonder Woman. 

And I don’t know if it’s the director’s fault. I like Patty Jenkins’ work. I just had higher hopes for a script coming from her and Geoff Johns. But I digress. Story alone wasn’t also an issue. The CGI felt 1997ish and not in a nostalgic way. The 80s esthetic is pretty cool at first but soon it started to feel less like it’s a person’s experience of the 80s and more like someone who read about the 80s and was hand fisting as many time appropriate pop culture references as possible. Some of it was funny though and I have to also shout out Chris Pine’s portrayal of Steve Trevor. I like the chemistry between him and Gadot and it’s beautiful and it might have been the coolest thing of the movie for me. Nothing about their relationship felt forced except the means to which the character ends up there. Watch it and see, no spoilers.

I think another thing they get wrong with the CGI is her lasso. I wanted to like it more than I did and I did not like it here. Reminded me of the animation used to show off Medusa’s hair in that god awful adaption of Marvel’s Inhumans. You might end up digging it but I was not impressed. The one thing I will say is that if you like Easter Eggs,then you’re going to love this movie. I’m not here to spoil nothing but the comic throwbacks were super dope.

I really can’t stress the predictability of this movie enough.Villains could be telegraphed and therefore were boring. Christin Wiig is alright as Barbara Minerva aka the Cheetah but we barely empathize with this woman. Maybe she wasn’t for me to empathize with as I’m not a 6 foot tall blonde white woman. Or maybe there is some merit to the idea that it takes a certain kind of comedian to be able to crossover into being a great actor. I think she was good for what she was given and I don’t think that’s fair to her. I’m glad she’ll have an opportunity to reprise the roll. I do hope Jenkins can capitalize on Wiig’s charisma and attention to details that she does manage to get through in this performance. The moments are just so brief you’re left unsure if she’s got depth or is she just a one note sub boss, serving as the final test for the hero before they go to face the big bad evil person. 

 Pedro Pascal as Maxwell Lord was completely underutilized. He is excellent as Din Djarin in the Mandalorian. He is the Star Wars universe’s messiah right now and I couldn’t be happier with that entire series. As cool as he was in every scene he was in, he really had the weakest character. His motivations were understandable but it’s here we see Jenkins and Johns leaning too hard into the simplicity of the story. Lord’s had some of the most heartfelt moments but you can’t help but feel as though it’s all been done before, thousands of times with this franchise.

All and all, for me this was a bit of a step down from what they did with the first Wonder Woman movie and seeing her presence in BVS. Considering the disarray that currently is that cinematic universe it’s understandable why Jenkins did as much as she did to make WW84 very much it’s own separate thing. I just feel like whatever your take of the DCEU right now, WW84 should have pushed the margin a little more. This didn’t feel like the case with WW84. I do hope the 3rd movie does a better job for the character, and (I can’t believe I’m saying this) something a little closer to what Snyder established as far as the tone he was trying to set. 

Of course you realize these are just my opinions and if you disagree with a y of my views you are welcome to. If you enjoyed the movie then I’m happy for you. I’ll be doing a video review with spoilers this week so look for me and Tech Boy on the In the Lenses. Thanks as always for stopping by the Nerd’s List.

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