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Wonder Woman 1984: A Nineteen-Eighty Bore

Updated: Jan 7, 2021

By: Drew Huddleston

Initially slated to be one of the summer’s biggest hits, Wonder Woman 1984 was delayed, and finally placed on HBOmax, as well as in theaters. After seeing the movie on the streaming service, I can safely say I’m glad the film was put on HBOmax, as it is certainly not worth paying to see.

Right from the beginning, the cracks begin to form, as we watch a young Dianna Prince (Gal Gadot) compete in an amazonian triathlon of sorts, only to be disqualified for cheating. She is told that truth and honesty are the most important values in life, immediately folding the film’s thematic hand.

The film’s plot suffers from what I like to call “Footloose Syndrome,” in which a more light-hearted story is taken way too seriously. The film revolves around an ancient stone that can grant any wish to someone, at the cost of what they hold most dear. When a washed-up businessman (Pedro Pascal) takes possession of the stone, Wonder Woman must stop him from destroying the world with his corrupt desires.

As mentioned, the film takes this concept exceptionally seriously, leading to a tone-deaf first half that awkwardly stumbles from goofy comedy to dark morality. This jumbled tone would have been at least tolerable if the film had been well-paced. Unfortunately, the action is spread so thin, that the film becomes unbearably slow far too often in its excruciating two-and-a-half hour-long running time. Speaking of action, none of the action is remotely interesting, suffering from poor editing and a lack of inspiration.

Despite being buried under a myriad of problems, the strengths stand-out. The biggest thing the movie has going for it are the actors. Gal Gadot gives another solid performance and really grows the Wonder Woman character from the original. Chris Pine is entertaining as always, even if he’s barely in the movie, and Pedro Pascal steals the movie with a commanding, manic performance. Furthermore, Pascal’s character is actually very cleverly written, delivering a villain that deviates from the typical beefy monster super-hero films have begun to call a norm. And despite giving a fine performance, I forgot Kristen Wiig was even in the movie, which can be attributed to the writing.

I maintain my initial claim: Wonder Woman 1984 is not worth paying to see. It’s a big fat mess. I can only recommend it if you have HBOmax and nothing better to do with two-and-a-half-hours.

Grade: C-

Gal Gadot in Wonder Woman 1984

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