Director: Patty Jenkins
Starring: Gal Gadot, Kristen Wiig, Pedro Pascal, Chris Pine
Gal Gadot’s fish-out-of-water likeability worked wonders in Wonder Woman in 2017; it failed in almost every way in Wonder Woman 1984 in 2020. The sequel was released on Christmas Day, it was the movie event of the pandemic, we loved the original, things were finally going to get better for us, and then it happened; Patty Jenkins & Co. delivered one of the worst modern super hero films we’ve had the misfortune of seeing. WW84 is on par with Aquaman when it comes to silliness, bad writing, bad acting, and general low-bar cinema, but failed in one area where that movie succeeded, making it even harder to swallow than your average, goofy, comic-book action flick; the action. And with bad action combined with bad acting, there was very little audiences could do other than cover there faces for two and a half hours and pray that the end would be quick & painless.
It’s been many years since Wonder Woman saved the world, but Diana Prince hasn’t aged a day. It’s 1984, she works in a museum in Washington D.C., she eats alone every meal, she thinks about the man she loved all that time ago, and she sometimes helps catching the crook or grabbing the endangered pedestrian. It’s a quiet life, but it’s about to get more exciting, when a curious magical artifact comes to the museum, and a new employee named Barbara Minerva arrives at the same time. Apparently it grants wishes; Barbara uses hers to gain power, but Diana uses hers for something much closer to the heart. Meanwhile, an unstable and unsuccessful entrepreneur named Maxwell Lord searches for the magic item, planning to use it for his own financial gain. But it will bring more trouble than he bargained for, and Diana will need to save us all once more, before we destroy ourselves with our heartless greed.
The end wasn’t painless, I’m sorry to report, it was worse than the rest of the film, so don’t get your hopes up thinking that the weak sauce you’re watching might have a kick at the end; it simply doesn’t. WW84 is an awful, awful movie from start to finish, with poor planning and terrible execution around every corner. Really quickly, let me list the good qualities, because there were some: the music, Chris Pine’s pseudo-cameo, both Wiig’s & Pascal’s character development, the fireworks scene, and Gal Gadot’s perfect heroic presence. Now on to the bad, which was far more plentiful. First off, Gadot’s acting was horrendous, like the worst you’ll ever see, cornerstoned by a crying scene and capped off with a straight talk to the audience through the camera, both of which were hideously and amateurishly delivered. She looks the part, we liked her the first time because she was so wide-eyed, but this time the film asked her to be an actress, and she clearly isn’t one. She’s a model, a goddess among us, a lovable human, whatever you want to say, but not a professional talent worth watching.
She was the biggest problem, but in no way was she alone. I hate complaining about this, but the film was too long, and not because I can’t sit still for that amount of time, but because I shouldn’t be asked to if the content doesn’t fill the bill. You could have edited this movie, cut out 45 minutes, and made it better, it wouldn’t have been that hard, and it’s a huge problem that the team involved didn’t see that. There was a scene were Diana went flying on lightning for god knows how long, only to stop at her apartment back where she started to pick up a new super suit, like she forgot about it or something and had to run back home. Dumb decisions like that peppered the plot, and caused it to stumble over and over again. Her acting, her dialogue, a confusing human villain, a terrible CGI villain, a message that was so juvenile that at first you can’t believe that that was the real point of a film for adults; just no. And then, the icing of the cake; the action was abysmal. Gadot’s face was so tortureously over-dramatic, the effects so hideous, the choreography so weak; it looked like it was actually made in the 80s and they forgot to update it to today’s standards. WW84 is bad enough when you compare it to its own original, but, god, what if you held it up next to a good action and/or comic book and/or fantasy movie, it would look indescribably bad, and, really, it is.
My rating: ☆ ☆