Wonder Woman 84 Review From An Honest Fan

HBO Max

The movie opens with a flashback to young Diana (our future heroine) competing in an Olympic style contest against her fellow Amazonian warriors. Even though these other warriors are easily twice the age and size of Diana, she refuses to let them best her. It’s an exciting sequence, which I won’t spoil the outcome of. Suffice to say Diana learns that you don’t really win by cutting corners. This is a theme that plays throughout the movie, although at times the film itself seems to forget that message.

Sadly, that’s not all it forgets – like what made the first one so successful. Unlike its predecessor, WW84 is so overly cheesy and so barely cobbled together that it’s hard to believe the same people made it.

This time around the plot is motivated by a rather ridiculous macguffin called a wishing stone. A stone that keeps adding new rules so often you might as well give up on trying to make sense of it.

It’s not long before this stone conveniently finds its way into Diana’s orbit when she stops a team of burglars trying to lift it from a secret black market antiquity shop during the movie’s first act. Said shop is located in, I kid you not, a Washington DC shopping mall. Because what better place to hide priceless artifacts than a mall? But, hey, it’s the 80s and malls were in vogue.

Also Check Out: WW84 Reuses Hans Zimmer Score From BvS

Speaking of priceless relics, if you enjoyed the over the top antics of the diamond heist scene in the 1997 masterpiece of cringe called Batman and Robin, you’ll love what’s in store for you here. For the rest of us, I thought we were past that campy style of comic book movies – 80s setting or not. I honestly thought at first I was watching some kind of a parody, like a movie within the movie. The change in tone from the opening flashback was that jarring.

Unfortunately, the tone doesn’t improve. If anything it jumps around more times than Diana pulls out her lasso – which is a lot. And regarding this lasso, don’t expect the fight scenes it’s in to be anything more than generic time fillers. If you left during one and came back later during another, you might think someone had paused the movie in your absence.

Another problem is the film tries to substitute wow moments for plausibility, like, “hey, let’s have them steal a jet and fly it through some fireworks” because the director thought it would look cool. True, this is a comic book adaptation, where logic isn’t always a priority, but at least the first one did a much better job of masking that.

Not all is lost, though. Going back to the wishing stone, it’s safe to say there’s a villain out to get it, for, you know, diabolical purposes. Pedro Pascal plays said villain and thankfully is actually a blast to watch. A breath of fresh air in an otherwise hot air balloon, despite being saddled with such killer dialogue as telling another character he will “rue the day” he ever crossed him.

Chris Pine is also fantastic as the (spoiler alert) returning hero pilot from the first Wonder Woman. This time out, he finds himself the fish out of water to Diana’s guide. Expect a few laughs as he navigates the wonders of the 80s – art, technology, fashion… they all get lampooned.

I truly wish these saving graces were enough to keep the movie from being so terrible. Unfortunately, WW84 continues a downward trend for the DCU. If the wishing stone were actually real, I would gladly use it to help Warner Bros. salvage this franchise.

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George Nada

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