Wow, it has been a long time since I’ve written a movie review. It’s not that I haven’t watched anything, because I totally have. I just haven’t been extremely motivated during these times. Now, having a new DC movie out is kind of making the world seem a little more normal, even if the movie itself is completely mediocre.
In this sequel to the beloved 2017 first installment, Gal Gadot is back as our hero Diana Prince/Wonder Woman 66 years later. It seems like since Stranger Things became a huge success, every film or series is trying to capitalize on the 80’s nostalgia train. Some of the set pieces (specifically the mall in the beginning of the film) look amazingly detailed but they make me wonder why this movie had to be set in the 1980’s other than to trigger that Gen X/Millennial-cusp nostalgia. It feels cheap and honestly annoyed me, because we have now skipped over half of a century of what seems to have been a very interesting life Diana has had.
Another annoying thing about this movie is that Steve Trevor is back. It’s in the trailer so I’m not spoiling anything, but the way in which he returns is weird AF. I was wondering how they were going to make it work, and make it work they did not. It’s sad that they felt like they had to bring him back, because I felt like the way he left in the first one was so emotional, and shoe-horning him in here felt like the writers didn’t believe that Wonder Woman could hold a movie on her own without a love interest. Chris Pine himself is still good, but most of the time I just kept thinking about the specifics of how he was there and asking myself “why?”.
Bad characters being played well really is a theme in 1984. Gal Gadot is great as Wonder Woman, but her powers have somehow become lame? She’s basically just a fancy version of Pedro Pascal’s Whiskey character in Kingsman: The Golden Circle now, as all she does now is swing her lasso around. Speaking of Pedro Pascal, his villain of Maxwell Lord is one of the craziest villains I think I’ve ever seen. His evil plot actually made me laugh out loud. Pascal is charming as usual, but all of his relationships are so forced. At one moment we are supposed to care about his relationship with his son, and the next he is becoming a weird love interest for Kristen Wiig’s character, Barbara. I really liked Wiig’s portrayal of Barbara, even though it was on of the most tropey tropes to have ever troped, but once she becomes Cheetah it totally lost me.
This movie isn’t all bad, and I feel like there are places that it really started to go somewhere good. I found the film pretty fast-paced and as previously stated, the acting was really great. Where this movie faulters is the writing, which is unfortunately the most important part. It still has that big blockbuster feel, even though I’m watching it at home, which is really nice to have in a COVID-centered world. I’d recommend checking it out if you want to get back in the mood for big films, but I would prepare to be disappointed if you are looking to recapture any of the magic of the first film.
See my review of the first Wonder Woman here