Film Reviews, News & Competitions

 
 


Wonder Woman 1984

 
 
Film Information
 

Plot: When a magical wishing stone bestows people's greatest desires Wonder Woman must set aside her own needs to save the world.
Release Date: 22nd March 2021
Format: DVD | Blu-ray
Director(s): Patty Jenkins
Cast: Gal Gadot, Kristen Wiig, Chris Pine, Pedro Pascal
BBFC Certificate: 12
Running Time: 151 mins
Review By: Alex Moss
Genre: , ,
 
Film Rating
 
 
 
 
 
2/ 5


 

Bottom Line


A plot that is all over the place, pacing that drags and worst of all a sense of missed opportunity. WW84 gets so much wrong and yet, when it gets it right you cannot help but feel empowered by the majesty that is Gadot as Wonder Woman. Here’s hoping the next Diana outing gives us the film we deserve of this great character.


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Posted March 20, 2021 by

 
Film Review
 
 

2017’s Wonder Woman was a breath of fresh air to the superhero genre for so many reasons. First and foremost we got a female superhero, one that didn’t rely on her male counterparts to get the job done but actively led them into battle. Secondly, it moved the DC universe away from the brooding aesthetic they had been trying to, and failing to replicate, with any success since Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy ended.

So it was with great excitement that Wonder Woman 1984, or WW84, strode not into cinemas but straight onto streaming services due to the COVID lockdowns across the globe. Having Diana Prince beamed straight into our homes should have been just the lift we needed. And yet.

Jumping forward sixty plus years from the first film the story opens with a garish nod to all things 1980s. Big hair, leotards, leg warmers, shopping malls and excess. That last one being the primary focal point of the film as Diana (Gal Gadot) meets dowdy Barbara (Kristen Wiig) and the two spark up a friendship. Barabara, working at the Smithsonian Museum with Diana, discovers a magic rock that grants people their greatest wish. Before long Barbara is finding she’s developing all kinds of super-strength, failing businessman Maxwell Lord (Pedro Pascal) is sniffing around the rock and Diana’s long-dead boyfriend Steve (Chris Pine) is miraculously back from the grave.

If it sounds like there is a lot going on in that plot breakdown, that’s because there is. Too much. And at nearly two and a half hours WW84 struggles to cram all that story into its running time. It is essentially the Spider-Man 3 syndrom, too many villains, too many storylines and as a result everything becomes a bit of a jumbled mess. Some scenes drag for no good reason, others are over far too quickly.

What makes it all the more frustrating is all the ingredients from the first film are there but lost within the garbage fire of a story. Gal Gadot continues to be DC’s Most Valuable Player, embodying Diana with enough energy to single-handedly blow Marvel out of the water if given the right narrative to really flex her muscles. Pine remains entertaining, this time becoming the fish-out-of-water Diana was in the first film. And the action sequences are always big and glossy affairs befitting the 80s setting.

But where WW84 really works, as did the first film, is when director Patty Jenkins really celebrates Diana’s powers. From the opening sequence of Diana as a child giving  her much older warriors a run for their money through to her soaring through the sky, the sun kissing her armour, this is pure wish fulfilment. And yet the story tells us to be careful what we wish for. There is just something jarring about what the film wants to do and the message it’s selling.

It is in these bright, punch-the-air moments of pure cinematic joy that you wish the story wasn’t essentially giving joy and then taking it away. This film should have been Wonder Woman’s coming out to the world story, a narrative that starts with her still hiding in the shadows before becoming the hero the world needs and loves. A modern day update of Richard Donner’s 1978 Superman if you will. But, of course, DC had already burned that bridge by introducing Wonder Woman back in 2016’s Batman Vs Superman: Dawn Of Justice.

A plot that is all over the place, pacing that drags and worst of all a sense of missed opportunity. WW84 gets so much wrong and yet, when it gets it right you cannot help but feel empowered by the majesty that is Gadot as Wonder Woman. Here’s hoping the next Diana outing gives us the film we deserve of this great character. 


Alex Moss Editor

 
Alex Moss’ obsession with film began the moment he witnessed the Alien burst forth from John Hurt’s stomach. It was perhaps ill-advised to witness this aged 6 but much like the beast within Hurt, he became infected by a parasite called ‘Movies’. Rarely away from his computer or a big screen, as he muses on Cinematic Deities, Alex is “more machine now than man. His mind is twisted and evil”. Email: alex.moss@filmjuice.com


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