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I have not seen the first Wonder Woman film since its release, and while I liked it all right, I didn’t think it was great or anything. I was hoping that Wonder Woman 1984 would surpass the first film in quality, but unfortunately, it does not. This superhero sequel feels mostly lifeless and like it’s simply going through the motions — the script is exceedingly average with little excitement. In a film of this nature you want to feel like you’re seeing something epic and mind blowing, and while there are a few cool scenes that are intense, for the most part that epic feeling is nowhere to be found here.
Gal Gadot returns as Wonder Woman, and she’s basically the exact same person she was in the first film. I’m a bit mixed on Gadot, to be honest. I don’t think she’s a bad actress, but I also can’t say I’m blown away by her. She lives up to this middling expectation in Wonder Woman 1984. Also reprising his role from the original is Chris Pine, who I am a fan of. Pine does a nice job here, provides some heartfelt moments and he looks very good doing it, so that’s a plus!
New to this franchise are Kristen Wiig and Pedro Pascal, who play our villains. Kristen Wiig is easily the best thing about Wonder Woman 1984. Wiig is a known talent, but one thing we’ve never seen from her is a villainous performance in a superhero film. I was very impressed with her electric performance as the mousy unpopular girl who becomes a menacing vengeful woman; she is for sure the most exciting aspect of the entire movie. As for Pascal, I have to admit that I wasn’t a big fan. Pascal really goes over the top, and while that’s usually welcome in a hero film, I just found it grating after a while and I didn’t buy the film’s effort to try to humanize him.
Without giving too much away, suffice to say that the film attempts to give Pascal a redemption of sorts and it feels super jarring and hokey. The script is unfortunately average and tame; there just isn’t much life to it. That epic feeling we’re all supposed to feel in superhero films just never arrived for me while watching this. I didn’t even feel very much from Gadot and Pine being reunited, and that should resonate a lot more than it actually does here.
There is one scene with the two of them that does actually resonate, but other than that it just feels sort of meh. I do want to applaud one scene in particular that I thought was well done, and that’s Kristen Wiig’s turning point where she harnesses her rage against a man who has wronged her. That was the one scene where I actually felt engaged. I felt like the film was owning itself in that scene… but then it gets meh again.
The action scenes are fine I guess, though there’s nothing here action wise that we haven’t seen done better in a lot of other films. There are one or two individual shots that are cool to see but I saw much better action and visuals in Aquaman, just to name an example.
I have to call out a really poor choice towards the end when it comes to action and visuals. They took the best thing this film had going for it, Kristen Wiig’s villain, and turned her into some weird looking thing straight out of Cats… and I did not appreciate it. I just do not understand that choice; not only is it a downgrade from how she was prior, but it doesn’t even look that good visually. It’s really not a good thing to take the best thing in your film and suddenly change it into something weird right at the end.
Unfortunately, Wonder Woman 1984 lacks that epic feel that we all yearn for from superhero films. While Kristen Wiig is great and there are a couple nice scenes, overall I’d have to say this is one to skip.
A real life battle between heroes and villains
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