Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Movie Review: Wonder Woman 1984

Some movie theaters are finally open! Some movies that have languished for a year or so are finally seeing the light of day! Check your local listings to see if any near you are open, and consider doing a dinner and a movie (or breakfast and a movie) to get back a bit of normalcy not seen since 2019 or so.

My brother-in-law mentioned going to see Wonder Woman 1984 (sequel to Wonder Woman, released in 2017) and that clued me in that there's a local theater that is open. We went to see it on MLK Jr. Day and here's my review:

No spoilers: This is a sequel and as is common with those, I feel it did not live up to the full potential of the original (granted, I REALLY liked the first one, see my review here, so it was a high bar to measure against). It was a good movie, but I saw some flaws. Mainly I feel it lacked cohesiveness - I think it stayed in the editing phase for too long. Looking it up, I think the release was only delayed from November to December, but the last phase of production probably took longer due to CoVid delays. The movie had a good central theme (truth triumphing over lies) but there was a point in the movie where I leaned over to my husband and asked 'what is going on?' because I was not following. I feel there was too much of a delay between introducing a plot device and explaining said plot device which allowed for confusion to set in. There were a few points in the movie where I was confused and that, I did not like. Some of the scenes didn't really connect to each other, and it just didn't flow at points. 

Overall, my rating is: it was ok. Not amazing and not bad, just ok. I'm glad I saw it, and I would recommend seeing it. 

A main character in the movie is Pedro Pascal, and he also plays the main character in the Mandalorian. I am amazed that he played both of these characters because they are TOTALLY DIFFERENT and he did an excellent job with both. He has done other things too but I know him from these two places.

Note: this is a given for all movies but especially superhero ones, STAY FOR THE CREDITS! Those people worked hard and you should sit there and read their names. And there's a cool scene which was just awesome. But support all the workers and read the many names that go into making such a big movie!

Minor spoilers? I guess it depends on what you think of as spoilers. Stop reading if you really don't want any clues about anything in the movie.

It was refreshing but a bit odd to have a superhero movie with just one superhero. I kept expecting Batman or Superman to show up but then had to remember that we were in the 80's so yeah they wouldn't be around yet.
As for the confusion in the movie, there is an extended opening scene that is not directly connected to the overall movie (it connects to the theme, so there's that, but it spent a chunk of cinema time doing so). I felt they didn't tie it together as smoothly as some movies do. 

Major spoilers ahead, discussion of plot points/devices that confused me:

The major device in this movie was a stone that granted wishes - the Dreamstone. I get that they didn't reveal the negative aspect of it right away as that would have just been too clear, but it took a while for the negative aspect to come to light and then a bit longer for me to get what it meant. Did not like that confusion.
Another point in the movie is that Diana's wish (to have her boyfriend come back) brings back Steve Trevor but he's inhabiting a random guy's body? And I think to everyone else he looks like the other guy but to Diana he looks like Steve? The movie wasn't clear on this and didn't explain. 
The thing with the Dreamstone is that it could grant one wish to a person, but Barbara/Cheetah got two wishes. It seems the human Dreamstone just decided to give her a bonus wish? How does that even work with the negative aspect? 
I feel like the ending for Barbara was too sudden - I would have liked them to show her and Diana reconnecting (maybe Diana showing her how to have confidence and just be herself) or Barbara going off to search for a way to reclaim her power, but instead they just showed Cheetah revert to Barbara and then we didn't see her again. 
I did like how the solution to the whole problem was to get the main villain to see the error of his ways and renounce his actions. Diana didn't really fight him, just used the lasso of truth to show the truth to him and the world and had people realize that truth was better than lies. That's a good theme to remember. 

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