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WW84: The Kind of Story We Need Right Now, or Not Enough to Make the Cut?

Updated: Mar 26, 2021

by Caroline Renas

When the first Wonder Woman film came out in 2017, audiences around the world, myself included, were dazzled by Patty Jenkins’ blockbuster, the first woman-led superhero film in over a decade. The film was a breath of fresh air - a piece that didn’t entirely center around a woman superhero’s relationships, didn’t oversexualize her, and inspired thousands of women around the world due to the strength, intelligence and wonder of Gal Gadot’s titular role.

So naturally, after waiting the two postponements due to a delayed filming schedule and the pandemic, my family and I were extremely excited to sit down in front of the TV on December 25th, and experience Wonder Woman 1984.

In the 155 minute run time, my family and I spent at least half of the movie aimlessly scrolling through our phones, as another awkwardly-campy “action packed” scene went by.

The 2017 Wonder Woman had raised everyone’s expectations for the 2020 sequel. The 2017 film felt fresh and unique, delivering well-done fight scenes and interesting characters, and yes, some corny CGI (but isn’t that a staple to almost every superhero movie?).

Meanwhile, Wonder Woman 1984 felt unoriginal, and even the scenes that were partially new concepts for superhero movies felt awkwardly put together. Almost every scene had a sense of campiness to it - and while campiness can be fun in bits and pieces, watching two-and-a-half hours of stereotypical 1980s tropes (fanny packs, neon colors, big hair) alongside sub-par stunt work and poor CGI (I couldn’t help but have flashbacks to the visual effects of the 2019 film Cats upon seeing Kristen Wiig’s Cheetah), becomes exhaustingly boring. Even though they weren’t perfectly executed, I did appreciate the subtle nods to the original Wonder Woman cartoons and TV show - the invisible jet, the original villains, and Lynda Carter’s cameo.

As I mentioned before, the movie was exhaustingly boring to get through - I had to keep on trying to keep my eyes open on the chance of a major scene coming up. While the 2017 Wonder Woman movie delivered multiple important battle scenes, there were only two major battle scenes in 1984, and even then they were boring to watch. The movie spent the majority of its time trying to expand Gal Gadot’s narrow acting range through semi-emotional scenes. The movie’s constant attempt to involve life lessons, poorly crafted comedy and, for some reason, politics, left the majority of the film feeling like a lethargic experience. Having the main conflict of the film set around a mystical crystal that grants anyone’s wish felt almost Disney-like, and too over the top, even for the original cartoons. Having known that Wonder Woman’s love interest, Steve Trevor, passed away in the original film, and having seen his character teased in the Wonder Woman 1984 trailers, I was extremely intrigued to see how his character could still be alive. Instead, we were met with a weak storyline that he was Wonder Woman’s wish, who was just perceived as the ally archetype for her character, and, at least in my opinion, perceived as just a filler and hook for the film to add some form of drama to it.

I cannot completely be mad at this film. While I was bored by the movie, it felt nice that the world had a major pop culture event to anticipate in the month leading up to it. I still think this was a poorly executed movie and is one that I won’t be rewatching any time soon, yet I do think the movie could’ve been- to some extent - a more enjoyable experience if it had been on the big screen in a dark movie theater, instead of at home on a small screen, with the distractions of phones and outdoor noises surrounding.

With one more Wonder Woman film in the making at the moment, I am keeping an open mind, hoping for improvement in the final edition. But, I can say that Wonder Woman 1984 was a perfect example of a franchise where the original remains superior to any following versions.


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