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‘Wonder Woman 1984’ Review: A Lot of Wasted Potential

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So, I watched Wonder Woman 1984, and to sum it up, I feel quite sad. It isn’t a great movie by any means. In fact, you can categorize it as a bad movie. But, what really hurts the most is that it had a lot of potential to be a really good film. But, due to some really poor decisions by the studios and the writing, all of it went to waste. Here’s why!

Luckily, because of Warner Bros.’s brave decision, we all got to see Wonder Woman 1984 from the comforts of our sofa. Now, of course, the experience of watching it in the cinemas is different from watching it on HBO Max. However, I doubt that the experience could turn WW84 into a great film. It had the right ideas at its core, but its execution was so poor that it couldn’t capitalize on it. We’ll start our review by first talking about the plot.

Wonder Woman 1984: Review

Wonder Woman 1984 Review: A Lot of Wasted Potential
Warner Bros. ©

Plot

The story of WW84 revolves around our protagonist, Diana Prince (Gal Gadot) coping with life seven decades after the original Wonder Woman and the death of her boyfriend, Steve Trevor (Chris Pine). Apparently, she was really smitten by him to an extent that she couldn’t fathom being with another man. Then one day, at her workplace, she stumbles upon Barbara (Kristen Wiig), who is given a mysterious artifact which grants everyone a wish. However, that wish comes at a cost for everyone.

*Spoilers ahead*

Barbara wishes to become more like Diana, whereas Diana wishes for Steve to come back. But, both these wishes come at a huge cost for our characters, which I won’t be diving very deep into. Then, to make matters worse, the artifact gets in the hands of Maxwell Lord (Pedro Pascal), who is a struggling oil-baron. He then wishes to BECOME the stone and thus getting the power to grant everyone their wish and taking something in return. He uses everyone’s greed quite masterfully. In the process, he becomes the most powerful oil baron in the world, and brings humanity close to annihilation! And in order to stop him, Diana Prince has to make the ultimate sacrifice to stop him. That is the premise of Wonder Woman 1984, and it’s an incredible one. By all means, this movie should do well on all critical reviews, but that’s not the case. And here’s why.

First problem: Plot holes

I have no idea what the writers were smoking, but the number of plot holes in Wonder Woman 1984 was enormous. Just to give you an idea, Diana told Steve that he won’t be able to travel to other countries because he does not have a passport. However, that shouldn’t be the case. Steve was alive in another human being’s own body. He wasn’t back as Steve himself, which means he should have had the guy’s passport on him at all times.

And then, they happened to find a fully functional fighter jet in the Smithsonian with enough fuel to take them from Washington to Cairo without refueling. I’m lost for words at this point. I have no idea what the logistics are for such a flight but I’m pretty sure it’s in the realm of impossibility.

*Major Spoilers*

Another problem lied at the end of Wonder Woman 1984, when Max Lord found his way to his son from the middle of nowhere within a space of 2 minutes with the use of a Presidential chopper, even though he had already renounced his wishes and had no sway over the President anymore. It’s these kinds of things that just make the movie hard to digest.

The acting – mediocre

I hope I’m not being controversial over here, but whenever I see Gal Gadot on screen, it looks like she’s holding something back. Her performances just feel incomplete and it doesn’t feel natural to the situation. And then, it felt to me that there were a few political statements made during the film. Yes, I’m talking about the scene where she saves the Arab kids from Max Lord’s security protocol. And I don’t know, call me old fashioned but I’d like such controversial topics away from a superhero film.

Bad editing

There’s one thing that this movie got horribly wrong, and that was the editing. And with the very first scene, I knew that there was something wrong with the film. In the opening sequence, we saw a young Diana compete in a literal circus with Amazonians for a good 10 minutes. And you know why? So that we could establish, for the 10th time, that Diana was really good at everything and that cheating is bad. That scene was so painfully long and could have been dealt with in just a minute. But no, somehow we forgot to establish in the first movie.

Final verdict – this disappointment hurt

By now, we’re used to DC disappointing us year after year. And sadly, Wonder Woman 1984 continues that tradition. But, this one hurt me in particular because this movie had the makings of a great superhero film. A superhero forced to fight without their powers? Our hero having to make the ultimate sacrifice to save the world? No super-strong villain and instead a hero motivated by greed and wrecks humankind because of the inherent greed and selfishness in all of us? Inject that in my veins.

Yet, WW84 still got it wrong somehow. They needed a bit more time to work on it and fine-tune the flaws. But, despite the COVID-19 pandemic giving everyone a long break to do what needed to be done, they still got it wrong. There was a good movie there somewhere, but we just couldn’t see past the bad stuff. And that is why I’ll be giving the movie a 5/10. It could have been so much better. And other reviewers seem to agree too, with IMDB giving it a measly 5.5/10, Rotten Tomatoes a 61%, and Metacritic a 60%.

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