Wonder Woman 1984 (2020)

dir. Patty Jenkins

Wonder Woman 1984 (WW84) doesn’t feel like it has anything even slightly to do with 2017’s Wonder Woman. Wonder Woman was a rare success for the DCEU, managing to tell a story with a compelling protagonist, strong emotional stakes, blistering action and just the right level of humour. Fundamentally, it straddled a careful balance between the fantastical world of superheroes and the grounded realm of humanity. WW84, however, ditches any notion of nuance and goes full-throttle into a completely mad mess. Horrible questions are raised, but never answered, when a key character is resurrected using another human’s body as a hapless, helpless vessel. Wonder Woman herself is instantaneously able to wield new powers, like turning things invisible and flying, with no build-up whatsoever. The film’s entire aesthetic is supposed to be ’80s-inspired, yet no one ever dresses the part. Indeed, Wonder Woman is more preoccupied by the frankly ridiculous golden suit of armour she dons for the film’s climax, which proves itself to be as useless as it is over-the-top. The film boasts two villains and yet neither is particularly impactful – while Pedro Pascal is at least enjoyable as a flamboyant businessman, Kristen Wiig’s “awkward unpopular woman” shtick is dialled up to eleven for maximum annoyance in her role as Wonder Woman’s friend-turned-enemy. Basically, neither villain can be taken seriously for any longer than about thirty seconds. Arguably the central conflict is within Wonder Woman herself, and whether she wants to favour the fate of the world or her own selfishness. Obviously this is not exactly a difficult ordeal, especially for our noble hero, and the movie trundles along exactly as any toddler would predict it to. WW84 is an utter disappointment to its predecessor, which rings serious alarm bells for the next planned instalment in the series.

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