Wonderfully mediocre

Wonder Woman 1984 fails to live up to the hype


Owen Parker, Lifestyle Editor

Wonder Woman 1984 (WW84) was one of the most anticipated movies of the year, in 2020 mostly because of the love and acclaim that the first Wonder Woman received, and it was also highly anticipated because it is one of the few comic-book movies to feature a female director and female lead, which many fans were excited about.

Wonder Woman’s success was practically written in the stars, but, sadly, it was more akin to a meteoric crash. 

Although WW84 has some major problems with the story, the direction of the film, the length of the film, etc, those problems alone are not the sole factors in 84’s failure among fans.  What doomed the movie happened before it was even released, it was actually the release date itself. 

Wonder Woman 1984 was originally supposed to be released all the way back in November 2019, then, for unknown reasons, it was pushed back to December 2019. But when the day finally came for the release, fans were met with not with a movie, but a new trailer instead. 

Although some fans were upset, most were quelled with the new June 5, 2020 release date, but like so many other movies in 2020, that day never came. 

WW84, from its original November 2019 release to its final Christmas release in 2020, had a total of six date changes. This regretfully caused nearly every fan to overhype the film to near astronomical levels because the first movie was entertaining and well done and because it was one of the few comic-book movies released last year. 

WW84’s six release dates weren’t the only things that bright the film down, however. 

The first time I watched WW84 was with my family on Christmas day I remember how into it I was at first. One of the first scenes takes place in a mall where Wonder Woman stops a group of robbers from stealing some valuables and, after watching the amazing and brightly colored 1980’s theme superhero fight, I instantly was hooked. 

The mall scene, with its flashy and mooth action, reminded me of the first Wonder Woman film that had spectacular and adrenaline-pumping action which was coupled with sincere and dramatic moments. But after this one single scene, the quality and fun of the film fell quicker than Batman without a grappling hook. 

The mall scene and the climax of the film are the only times where the audience gets to see Wonder Woman in action as a superhero. Unfortunately, every other time we see Diana she is either talking to Steve Trevor, another character in the film, or driving a vehicle.

The distinct lack of action in the film is disappointing for obvious reasons but more so because, like stated earlier, it was one of the only superhero movies to be released in 2020.

To have the film only feature the main character being a hero for about 20 mins total, in an almost three hour film, is extremely disappointing and it is something that really brought WW84 down. 

The lack of action isn’t the only thing that contributes to the film’s mediocrity. In films such as Marvel’s Endgame, a long runtime is expected so that the massive story being told could come to a satisfying conclusion, but this is far from the case in WW84.

The first Wonder Woman film had a total runtime of two hours and 29 minutes. That may sound long, but seeing as the film serves as the introduction to the character, this run time makes sense. This is unlike WW84’s long runtime of 2 hours and 35 minutes which feels unjustified.

The story that WW84 told was not so deep or meaningful that it needed a longer runtime than the original to tell. In fact, after watching the film again I saw many times where some parts of the movie could have been cut while still leaving the story intact.

All in all, my family and I, along with many others I have talked to, seemed to get bored at times during the film for no other reason than the extremely long run time. In the end, the runtime which was only trying to help the film, ended up hurting it.  

Interestingly even with the added fluff, WW84’s story makes little sense. However because the film is still relatively new, I won’t go into the confusing story as to not spoil it for anyone who hasn’t seen it yet. 

Although there is a lot wrong with WW84, it’s not all bad. The casting for this movie was incredible and the phenomenal acting was reflective of that.

Gal Gadot returns, in triumph, as Diana Prince/Wonder Woman, and her acting, like in the first film, was incredible. SNL’s Kirsten Wigg as the villain Cheetah was also interesting to watch, but at times it felt like her character was developing too quickly which made her motives and actions feel less in character.

The person who really steals the show, however, isn’t Gal or Kirsten but Pedro Pascal as Maxwell Lord. Maxwell is consistently interesting and fun to watch as Pedro really acts his heart out to make the character feel real and grounded in a story rooted deep in fiction. His motives, given the context, are desperate and believable and Pedro’s fantastic acting expertly humanizes Maxwell as the antagonist of the film. 

There is a lot wrong with WW84 from the confusing and contrived story to an ever-changing release date but the acting is fun and consistent throughout the extended runtime of the film which makes it, at least, watchable.  

I give Wonder Woman 1984 a five out of ten. At first, it’s fun to watch and the acting is incredibly good, but the distinct lack of action and confusing story make this new installment in the DC movie franchise mediocre at best.