WONDER WOMAN 1984 (2020) Reviews and overview

 

Wonder Woman 1984 is a 2020 American fantasy action feature film and a sequel to the 2017 superhero film Wonder Woman. This new adventure finds her facing two foes: Max Lord and The Cheetah.

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Directed by Patty Jenkins from a screenplay co-written with Dave Callaham and Geoff Johns, based on the character created by William Moulton Marston, the movie stars Gal Gadot as Diana Prince, also known as “Wonder Woman”, plus Chris Pine, Pedro Pascal, Kristen Wiig, Connie Nielsen, Gabriella Wilde, Kristoffer Polaha, Lyon Beckwith, Natasha Rothwell, Oakley Bull and Robin Wright.

Reviews:

“Jenkins has said that she would have liked the film to be 15 minutes longer. Some viewers might have liked it to be 15 minutes shorter. But, for most of the running time, they will be happy to be in Wonder Woman’s uplifting company. In its old-fashioned, uncynical way, WW84 is one of the most enjoyable blockbusters to be released since 1984.” BBC

“The film could have benefited from a narrower focus, a clearer motivation for our baddie, and a better connection to the real world. That being said, the four stars are a delight to watch. There is the usual trumpeting of good vs evil, and plenty of well-choreographed stunts to make Wonder Woman 1984 a solid DC adaptation.” Digital Spy

“What’s most clear in Wonder Woman 1984 is that Patty Jenkins truly recognises the power of the imagery she’s committing to the screen: what it means to see a young girl be an action hero; the resonance of a power-hungry businessman broadcasting on White House comms; the majesty of Diana ascending skyward in the pursuit of changing the world for the better. These moments are so potent that it already feels like they have a life beyond the screen.” Empire

“There’s the right amount of everything coming together to make a damn good final product, which is all you could ask for. It doesn’t feel as groundbreaking as the first film, and that’s because this character broke all the damn ground. Now, it’s just Patty Jenkins and the team around this film to continue making their type of movie.” Flickering Myth

“Cutting-edge special effects aside, this is a blockbuster that might have been made in the decade it’s set in, taking its time to establish story and characters after the one-two punch of those opening action sequences. The palette is warm and the cutting is clean; and the set-pieces, when they do arrive, prove you don’t need post-Michael Bay migraine-edits to whip up huge excitement.” Games Radar

” …I wish that Wiig could have been given more properly funny lines but undermining the star’s seriousness is apparently not on – even though jokes are allowed in Marvel Cinematic Universe movies. This is an epically long and epically brash film from director and co-writer Patty Jenkins, but Gadot has a queenly self-possession and she imposes her authority on it.” The Guardian

“The ambitions of Wonder Woman 1984 may be just outside its grasp, but it seldom feels predestined or predictable — a preciously rare commodity in the genre. As its characters awaken to their powers, turning from recognizable people to monsters, the film keeps changing shape, enlarging as it goes. Jenkins’ pop cinema craft is limber and lucid. Pascal’s performance, more sweet than sinister, is scintillatingly over the top.” Independent (UK)

“Both Wiig and Pascal are allowed to go exuberantly over-the-top in a movie that, at two and a half hours and with extended jaunts between Egypt and Washington, D.C., can seem as excessive and unwieldy as the decade it’s satirizing. But aesthetically and conceptually, Wonder Woman 1984 holds together. The ’80s decor (courtesy of production designer Aline Bonetto) is by turns cheeky and earnest, celebratory and satirical.” Los Angeles Times

” …it’s a film devoid of big-screen spectacle, one that resembles an expensive TV show rather than a tentpole blockbuster. Combine its lack of visual storytelling with its needlessly complicated plotting and you have a Wonder Woman movie that offers much to wonder about but little to wonder at.” The Movie Waffler

” …a script that’s simultaneously overstuffed and undernourished, long on incident, short on action, and ultimately, dangerously naive, muddled in its approach to the ‘80s Cold War power politics, shortsighted in centering a fictional, comic-book character as Middle East savior, and deliberately refusing to acknowledge, let alone examine, the troubling ethical and moral complications of Steve’s body-possessing return.” Screen Anarchy

Wonder Woman 1984 works better when it’s focused on just a handful of characters. The film offers a distinctly female perspective on how 20th-century gender dynamics shift when women assume a little extra confidence and strength since disrespectful men are constantly hitting on and harassing Barbara and Diana. The key exception is Chris Pine’s gallant pilot character, Steve, who’s there to follow Diana’s lead — and also to marvel at such ’80s innovations as futon couches, Easy Cheese and the space shuttle.” Variety

“Sadly, all that glittered in the franchise’s first outing is gone in Wonder Woman 1984. The disappointing sequel highlights not only the dire state of the live-action superhero genre in film, but the dire state of Hollywood filmmaking as a whole… The plot grows more tangled and confusing by the minute, as the film’s central relationships are overshadowed by unnecessary globetrotting, flashy role reversals, and poor world building.” Vulture

“The film’s wickedly pungent social satire must occasionally step aside for superheroics, of course. And while the reteaming of Gal Gadot and director Patty Jenkins provides the expected thrills and excitement, this sequel shares the significant flaw of its predecessor: Both films graft an unwieldy and effects-heavy finale onto a movie that had managed to create relatable characters and situations, even when both are larger than life.” The Wrap

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Release:

Wonder Woman 1984 received a simultaneous theatrical and HBO Max release in the States from Christmas Day. Outside of the U.S. however, we’ll have to make do with braving the cinema – assuming we can find one open – as we now have the dates for the international rollout, which begins from December 16th.

Here are the dates, via CBM:

Thursday, January 7 – Ukraine, Uruguay

Friday, January 8 – Philippines

Thursday, January 14 – Azerbaijan, CIS Others, Czech Republic, Kazakhstan, Russia

Friday, January 15 – Romania, Turkey

Thursday, January 21 – Chile, Peru

Friday, January 22 – Poland

Thursday, January 28 – Italy

Related:

WONDER WOMAN: BLOODLINES (2019) Reviews and overview

YouTube reviews: