If audiences are being honest with themselves, the failures of Wonder Woman 1984 should have been seen coming years ago. 2017’s Wonder Woman was a hit for the poorly reviewed DC Extended Universe (DCEU) but the film itself was barely worthy of strong praise. While Wonder Woman wasn’t a bad film, it wasn’t a great movie either with bad effects and a baffling poor ending which dragged down the quality of the film.
One thing 2017’s Wonder Woman had that WW84 did not was a different set of writers. Zack Snyder, Allan Heinberg, and Jason Fuchs did not write the Wonder Woman sequel, this time around we have Geoff Johns, Dave Callaham, and Patty Jenkins at the helm, and the complete drop off in quality shows like a woman entering her 9th month.
60 years following the events of the first film. Diana (Gal Gadot) works at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C. studying artifacts as her daytime cover from the real world. Following a botched robbery at a mall, she discovers that a ‘Dreamstone’ has been stolen as part of a smuggling ring that seeks black market antiquities. The dreamstone can grant any wish requested by the user, however, the side effect is that the stone must take something from you in order to grant it.
When rich oil Businessman Max Lord (Pedro Pascal) discovers this, he decides to fight the loophole and becomes the grantor of wishes himself. Max quickly finds himself falling down the rabbit hole in order to balance his wishes and his attempts to save himself end up bringing the entire planet to the brink of destruction.
Wonder Woman 84 is an absolute mess of a film led by a complete lack of leadership starting from the top. Patty Jenkins serves this film as the Director, Writer, and Producer of this bloated mess chuck full of filler and no action. The cinematic death sentence for a superhero film is a runtime of 2 hours and 30 minutes that moves with the pace of a dying man crawling on broken glass.
The pacing issues are due to Patty Jenkins’s unwillingness to edit her film down to remove scenes irrelevant to the plot. The film opens with not one but two opening segments with a little relevance to the plot. When Warner Bros wanted Patty to cut one of the two openings, she refused.
Jenkins explained during an interview with JoBlo:
“We have two openings in our movie and we would talk about it with the studio all the time and they would say, you’ve got to cut the mall and the Eighties, or you’ve got to cut the Amazon. I was like, we can’t, we can’t cut either.”
Jenkins’ decision to shoehorn characters from the first movie who have no bearing on the story creates an incoherent narrative that never establishes its message to the audience. Despite being a producer on the project, Zack Synder’s prior influence is removed giving the film a clean slate but no direction. As you wander for hours what you are watching on screen, you are left with a plate full of Awful CGI, Misandry, and a heavy dose of plot induced stupidity.
Ever since Hollywood was exposed for letting old Hollywood executives have sex with actresses for film roles, sometimes against their will, female screenwriters have taken out their anger on audiences especially male ones as if the guy waiting in line for nachos was in the room with Weinstein.
Audiences are plagued with a recent wave of films with hostile views towards men, WW84 is no different. Every man on screen not named Chris Pine is portrayed as a misogynist or predator of some kind. Women are constantly cat called and straight-up assaulted by random men whose purpose is to cement the idea that women are victims in a male-dominated society.
Even when women are given carte blanche to do whatever they want in a movie, they think they can stop thinking about men. Characters make really dumb decisions just for the sake of advancing the plot such as wishing for more nukes to win the Cold War instead of…winning the cold war.
Kristen Wiig and Pedro Pascal are fine in the film as actors but the characters are so poorly written, the film would have been better off writing one of them out entirely.
Wonder Woman 1984 signals the death of a genre that badly needs to die at this point…the superhero genre.