Screen-Jems Film Review: “Wonder Woman 1984”

Disappointingly Lacking Wonder in More Places Than One.

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Margaret Jemian, Staff Writer

Well, folks, DC Comics has done it again! Wonder Woman 1984, the highly anticipated sequel to Wonder Woman (2017), released on HBO Max over winter break, and as action-packed and comic book-accurate as it was, reviews were mixed. 

In my opinion, it was a disappointing waste of a good two and a half hours.

Now don’t get me wrong, the stories that DC presents to its viewers entertain millions of people, myself included. I grew up loving the 1970s Wonder Woman television series, and saying that I adored the 2017 movie would be an understatement. 

When I first heard that a sequel to the 2017 hit was being produced, I jumped for joy, and when the trailer was first released, the expectations I held tripled in size. My strong urge to enjoy WW84, however, didn’t prove to be strong enough; there was so much that I could not overlook.

The sequel brought a very comic book-y feel, contrary to the original, which was surprising considering that Patty Jenkins directed both.

My issues with this not-so-super sequel pretty much start from the get-go. The never-ending problem of continuity plagues the screen, starting only twenty minutes in when Barbara Minerva (Kristen Wiig’s character) drops some papers on the floor and subsequently stuffs them back into her briefcase. 

This was not only distracting but sloppy, as the papers that had been freshly picked up from the floor and haphazardly thrown back into her briefcase were changing their orientation every other shot.

Similarly, the CGI was nothing short of, well, adequate, which is all I would expect from any DC movie. It was reminiscent of that of an under-budgeted film, despite the budget on this one being $200 million.

But when Wiig’s character transformed into her comic book-alter ego, Cheetah, that’s when the laughs really began to roll in. Quite frankly, the CGI reminded me of the hit 2019 box office flop, Cats. It wasn’t a pretty sight.

The biggest issue I had with this cheesy movie can be kicked off with one important question: was it necessary to bring back Steve Trevor? 

Absolutely not. 

My thought is that the only reason he was “brought back from the dead” was to be cinematic clickbait for the viewers. He was featured in the initial trailer (which speaks to my claim), despite having what I would barely call a supporting role in the movie; an accurate comparison of his role would be to Obi-Wan in Return of the Jedi

Now, as much as I detest this film, I must recognize the performances of both Kristen Wiig as Barbara Minerva and Pedro Pascal as Maxwell Lord. Both antagonists dawned their fantastical personas out of pure desperation to gain popularity, fame, and respect, and it was incredibly intriguing to witness the toxicity of their want and greed intensify. 

And in regards to performances, anyone who knows of the original Wonder Woman television series surely appreciated the cameo by Lynda Carter at the very end. That was a nice touch. 

Overall, the expectation I had for this film was far greater than the disappointing reality I left with, and unfortunately, that may have ruined my future with DC Comics’ movies. But if I’m being honest, I can live with that.