Wonder Woman 1984, the sequel to the smash hit from 2017 is now playing in cinemas and also on HBO Max in the United States. The film was initially supposed to arrive in cinemas in mid-2020; however the health crisis disrupted those plans.
However, Warner Bros. chose to release the film this year anyway, which makes the superhero sequel the biggest film release of the year (go figure). The studio also controversially released the film on HBO Max in the U.S., much to the dismay of cinema operators there.
But now with the film out, I have to admit, streaming is quite possibly the best option for this disappointing film. Compared to the first Wonder Woman film, which had quite a lot going for it, Wonder Woman 1984 suffers from lazy story-telling.
The film catches up with Diana Prince (Gal Gadot), decades after the first film in Washington where she works a day time job at the Smithsonian and also crime fighting on the side. Soon a discovery of a mysterious artefact slowly disrupts life for those who come in contact with it, especially for those who accidentally wish for things.
Diana soon discovers that the emergence of her old flame, Steve Trevor (Chris Pine) the direct result of the artefact. Similarly, Maxwell Lord (Pedro Pascal), a shady businessman, discovers the artefact and makes full use of it to fuel his greed and power. Barbara Minerva (Kristen Wiig), a fellow Smithsonian researcher, also inadvertently gets super powers after she wishes to emulate Diana.
But the wishes do come at a price. Diana soon grows weaker, whilst Barbara becomes stronger and develops more sinister traits whilst Lord becomes increasingly maniacal. That basically sums up the plot line of Wonder Woman 1984, which is basically Wonder Woman meets Aladdin, minus a magical blue genie.
The weak plot aside, the film also plays very much into fan service, which segues from the overall storyline. There’s an ‘invisible jet’ sequence, which is conveniently created in a by the way sort of moment. And then there is the Wonder Woman flight sequence, where she garners the ability to fly.
These naturally are naturally addressed in both the cartoons and comic books of course. But strangely enough, we haven’t seen the character fly in previous films such as Batman v Superman and Justice League.
Therein lies the problem with Wonder Woman 1984, it’s a film that is neither here or there. Hampered by a weak plot, it struggles to find an identity for itself. As the story plods on, the sequel can’t make up its mind if it should stay on the path it forged in the original film and Justice League or break away completely on its own.
Still, there are some plus points to the film. Gadot still kicks it as Wonder Woman, and the effects are great. But her and Pascal’s portrayal of Lord aside, everything else falls by the wayside. Pine’s reappearance as Steve Trevor is merely out of convenience whilst the development of Cheetah, a main Wonder Woman villain largely underwhelms.
Wonder Woman 1984 may have had big shoes to fill compared to the original but like most sequels, it fails to do so. It just has too many gaping plot holes, silly premises and a glaring continuity problem. Word of the wise, despite it being pegged as one of the bigger blockbusters of the year, Wonder Woman 1984 doesn’t have a lot going for it to warrant a viewing on the big screen in my opinion.
Popcorn Rating: Bland.