“Wonder Woman: 1984” was one of the most anticipated movies of 2020 throughout pandemic shutdowns. However, it’s ultimate fate will be as another forgotten flop.
The film, directed by Patty Jenkins, stars Israeli model Gal Gadot once again as the title character this time fighting crime in 1984 Washington D.C. She is joined by Kristen Wiig as Barbara Ann Minerva, a quirky and underappreciated geologist who wishes for a more exciting life and Pedro Pascal as Maxwell Lord, a get-rich-quick charlatan who is after a mysterious artifact to help him achieve all of his avaricious goals. Chris Pine also reprises his role from the first film, Steve Trevor, due to some magical hijinks. Wonder Woman comes into conflict with Lord and Minerva due to the monkey’s paw-like nature of the Wishing Stone that comes into the Smithsonian’s possession where Diana works. The world quickly begins to descend into chaos as more and more people have their wishes granted. It’s up to Wonder Woman to save the world from the likes of the greedy Maxwell Lord.
It just has to be said plainly and honestly: the movie is kind of a mess and it really has no excuse to be. Patty Jenkins would have you believe that the film’s poor audience and critical reception has to do with restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic but this simply isn’t true. The film was delayed three times from its original release date of July 2020. The film was already completed at this point, so you might ask why the delay? Jenkins wanted to delay the film because she wanted it to be available in movie theatres rather than just on streaming services like HBO Max. In many interviews, Jenkins would ask forgiveness from fans because the movie had to be experienced on the big screen but what many people don’t know is that Jenkins has a personal stake in the movie being in theatres or not and it doesn’t have to do with her pay from the film itself. Jenkins has stock in several movie theatre companies so despite the best advice to just release the film sooner to a larger streaming audience, she insisted on pushing the film to theatres to a lackluster reception. That being said, the film completely slaughtered at the box office because of how much it was hyped up despite its shortcomings.
The film’s main point of concern is simply plot. The plot doesn’t hold up to one bit of scrutiny. During the movie, Maxwell Lord absorbs the wishing power from the Wishing Stone but at the cost of his health every time he grants a wish. This could obviously be solved by asking someone to wish for his incredible health to a degree that it wouldn’t matter the negative effect. Alas, Mr. Lord does not take this opportunity. On top of that, the film suffers from boring dialogue and trying to replicate the feeling of a comic book inside a movie but failing miserably.
Ultimately, it doesn’t even come close to the first Wonder Woman film, a total slam dunk. Jenkins is a good director but clearly for single shots only. “Wonder Woman: 1984” receives a C-minus rating.