I am a strong believer that superhero movies don’t need to be “high cinema,” and that Martin Scorscese was right when he called them the amusement parks of movies. I also don’t believe that’s a bad thing. I think superhero movies should be fun! Comic books are a fun medium! Comic book movies provide a lighthearted and fun way to address serious issues in the same way comics themselves do. That being said, while Wonder Woman 1984 is a fun and colorful trip through 80s fashion, the plot seemed confused, and, at times, exhausted with itself.
I will, as I almost always do, be starting with my positives. Which there are plenty of, and it’s hard to go into what I dislike without discussing spoilers, so this review will be mostly positive! Yay!
I thought Kristen Wiig as Barbara Minevra was so surprisingly enjoyable. I wasn’t expecting much, as I think of her primarily as an entirely comedic actress, but I was pleasantly surprised. Barbara is my favorite Wonder Woman character, and I think she’s so fun, and Kristen brought a lot of the comic book magic to her role. Also, she plays “in love with Diana Prince” very very well. That being said, my enjoyment of her was depleted throughout the film, as well as the voice in my head reminding me of her erased disability, which is disappointing, especially when it’s her original motivator.
Pedro Pascal’s Max Lord is such a mixed bag for me. To start, his hair and makeup made him SO SO SO ugly. It’s unforgivable, and I will be holding a grudge about it for my entire life. That being said, he gave an incredible performance, especially towards the start of the film. He was a terrifyingly human villain, and a recognizable antagonist. A smarmy man who relies on his charm to get what he wants, and what he wants is to be so rich he can control the world. Yeah. I’ve seen it before, and I am creeped out every time.
I have promised my darling friend John that I will not spend this entire review talking about how hot I find Chris Pine. But I do. I do love Chris Pine and think he’s very hot. Steve Trevor is a favorite of mine, and Chris’ Steve is so kind and bright and fun. Seeing Diana and Steve together after the end of the first Wonder Woman movie is so delightful, and their chemistry is so good. Also, the role reversal of Diana teaching Steve about the world is so charming. Chris Pine plays a delighted idiot VERY well. His plot was kind and slightly heartbreaking, as Steve Trevor should always be. My favorite scene in the entire movie is the clothing montage, which made me so so so happy.
Speaking of, the costuming in this movie is INCREDIBLE. Diana’s outfits are elegant and flattering, Steve looks both out of place and appropriate, Barbara’s outfits, both pre and post wish, are so fun and fitting of her character, and Max Lord looks absolutely smarmy. Diana looks so professional and truly beautiful in all of her outfits. Barbara’s outfits at the beginning are fun, and throughout the film change with her character. Much like her character though, I liked her costumes much more at the beginning. Also, the background actors always looked great, the hair and costuming on them was admirable.
As stated before, it’s hard to talk about what I disliked about this film without getting into spoilers, so I’ll touch on them. Firstly, the CGI felt messy, and was a massive step down from the first movie and almost every other superhero movie released since the MCU’s first phase. Diana’s powers weren’t impressive, and instead looked clunky and unbelievable. Which, granted, she is a woman using a lasso to launch herself at planes, so believability is questionable already, but I’d at least like it to look good. Gal Godot’s acting always leaves me wanting, and while I think she is a great Wonder Woman, I don’t think she’s a great Diana. Often, as well, when Diana was trying very hard to be likable, or create a moment for a GIF, it felt forced, which was sad. The character development throughout is lacking, as the characters felt inconsistent, and less true to who they were at the beginning of the film as it carried on. My other issues lie in the confused plot, and how it seemed to not know where it was going every so often.
The cast is good, the costumes are nice, and while the CGI visuals were often lacking, it’s still enjoyable, especially when watched with friends. Despite my issues with the plot, I really did enjoy myself while watching Wonder Woman 1984, which is as much as you can ask from a movie.
*Featured Image: Warner Bros.