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Dec30

Wonder Woman 84 is Boring, Nonsensical, and a waste of your time.

Wonder Woman 84 is a movie whose theme revolves around truth. In every cheesy dialogue scene, the word truth and its value is constantly beaten into the audience’s head. Well the truth is, this movie sucks.

I suppose I should start this review by stating up front that I am not a fan of Wonder Woman. However, I still enjoyed the first film even though it had a disappointing third act. Wonder Woman is one of those heroes whose super powers don’t feel consistent with the mythos. She’s a goddess made of clay, but flies an invisible jet. She has super strength and can take a punch, but needs to use bracelets to deflect bullets.

Despite my hang ups with the character, the first movie was a blast and it was a thrilling to watch a female superhero lead the charge into a battle. None of what made Diana special in the first movie is present in Wonder Woman 84.

In Wonder Woman 84, Diana is a love-struck sap instead of an Amazonian warrior.

The first departure Wonder Woman 84 takes from the preceding movie is in the characterization of Diana. Here you have Wonder Woman, tall, gorgeous, intelligent, super-powered, and utterly pathetic.

Sixty years since Steve Trevor died and the gorgeous Diana Prince has been unable to find a new love of her life. Whenever she sees a plane fly overhead she thinks of her one and only true love, Steve Trevor.

*gag*

In the 1980’s true love was a cute sentiment. A marketing ploy to sell candies, engagement rings, and lavish weddings. In the modern world, stories that talk about the one true love come across as phony and in some ways, harmful in that it brainwashes people to think you can love someone without putting in any work. I think a lot of us can still enjoy a great romance story. However, today’s world recognizes that sometimes you can fall in love with multiple people throughout your life.

Wonder Woman had sixty years to fall in love with another man (or woman if she was curious) and let it play out. If Diana had said, “I have dated so many men, but none of them had what Steve had.” Then her not having gotten over her deceased ex would have made sense. Instead, they make Diana seem pathetic and out of touch with reality. It also doesn’t help that in this universe . . .

All men are a-holes.

One of the recurring themes in Wonder Woman is the fact that all men, with the exception of Steve Trevor, are evil. The villain Maxwell Lord is evil. A drunk man that accosted Barbara aka. Cheetah (Kristen Wig) is evil. And when a noble Amazon woman has to hold off the enemies to save her Amazon sisters, the enemies are all men.

Men are bad and ruin the world, but they’re good to sleep with.

I am not the type of consumer that makes inferences on themes and hidden messages inside of movies. For the most part, I am completely oblivious to the message and have to watch a film several times before I finally see the message.

Wonder Woman 84 makes sure you understood its message loud and clear.

They try to make Maxwell Lord (Pedro Pascal) seem like a villain you can empathize with and give him some redeeming qualities, but the reason Maxwell Lord was such an obsessed prick was because of an abusive father.

Barbara is the only female antagonist that comes between Wonder Woman and her goal and even then the motive doesn’t make sense. I can’t even begin to tell you why Barbara would decide to fight Diana. Which leads me to my next point.

Inconsistent World Building and hundreds of plot holes.

I can’t go into specifics without entering spoiler territory. What I can say is that the main plot device revolves around a stone grants wishes.

And one of the biggest problems with this film is that it doesn’t follow t he rules established when one makes a wish.

The rule is: make a wish lose something important.

The filmmakers only follow this rule when it is convenient for the plot.

Everything surrounding how people can make wishes and the consequences of those wishes is completely inconsistent.

The viewer is always left saying, “How come that character can do that but the other character can’t?”

“How come they can wish for this if they’ve already used their one wish.”

“How come this character can grant a wish when the rule says that character needs someone else to make the wish?”

These plot holes leave the audience feeling robbed of any victories the character’s achieve because they never earn their victories due to plot convenience. You know Wonder Woman is going to win because the script writer says she’s going to win.

Lastly, the theme of Wonder Woman 84 doesn’t actually make sense.

Theme is one of the most critical components of a story. Theme can create emotional impact and tie a story together in ways that are not apparently visible at first glance. In well-written stories, theme has an undercurrent or impact to the tale. Without theme, the scenes and story beats will seem disjointed and disconnected from one another.

Well . . .

Wonder Woman 84 starts off with one of the most pointless action sequences of all-time. Our first scene is Diana participating in a Ninja Warrior competition for Amazons. This excessively long, pointless, boring scene, pretty much sets the stage for what you can expect the rest of the movie to be.

Diana ultimately loses the competition because she cheated and took a shortcut to get ahead of the competitors. When Robin Wright’s character pulls her out of the race, she says that the reason Diana lost was because she didn’t see the “truth” of why she lost.

So then we cut from the competition to Diana stopping petty crimes and a mall heist that leads to a wishing stone.

No, I don’t know what that has to do with the truth either.

The scriptwriters clearly didn’t understand what theme they were going for when they centered the film around the truth.

Now, technically, you could say that this movie is about people believing the “lie” that if they have something it will make them happier. So everyone wishes for what they want in order to achieve happiness. Since Wonder Woman is the only one with the “lasso of truth” I suppose this means she is the only one that could show people the truth?

I don’t know, I am making things up just like this movie. What happens in this movie doesn’t seem to have any relation or connection to what the theme of this movie is. The wishes people make and what the characters want have very little to do with truth.

Yet the movie is keen to remind you that we’re talking about truth. For Diana’s final act she gives a monologue on truth and why everyone needs to learn to accept it.

I wanted to turn off the movie right then and there but I had already made it so far. Diana’s monologue is some of the worst writing I had ever heard in a film and I’ve watched a lot of stinkers. The only movie I haven’t been able to finish in its entirety was The Scorpion King. Wonder Woman 84 came a close second.

And to be honest with you, it pains me to write a negative review about Wonder Woman 84. The world desperately needs more female superheroes and movies that feature them. Unfortunately, Wonder Woman 84 is a huge step backward in the same vein as the disastrous Supergirl film. It’s certainly not as bad as Catwoman, but it’s probably as bad as Superman IV the Quest for Peace.

Is the movie so bad it’s good? Ehh…

Like I said, it’s not Catwoman levels bad but it also wasn’t horrible. Pedro Pascal overacted as the villain Maxwell Lord but he was fun to watch. Gal Gadot was a bit boring this time around as Diana, but Chris Pine was great as Steve Trevor. Kristin Wig as Barbara, Cheetah, was forgettable.

Since I saw this movie through HBO Max, I wasn’t angry that I had watched it. Disappointed sure, but it wasn’t a huge loss. If I had paid a premium to see this movie, you bet your ass this would have been a very different review. So if you already have the HBO Max subscription, sure watch it for free and come to your own conclusions.

But if you have to pay money to see this movie, DO NOT! Skip this movie until you can see it for free or for less than two dollars.

Two out of five stars.


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Wilmar Luna
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