The Reel Review
This long-awaited sequel to 2017’s inspiring and heartfelt DC Comics fantasy Wonder Woman is set in 1984, where our superhero (Gal Gadot) is trying to stop a shady TV conman from destroying the world after he gets his hands on a mythical, all powerful, wish-granting relic that has mysteriously hindered her superpowers.
What made 2017’s Wonder Woman so much fun was a charming, clever story of female empowerment that lent a much needed earnestness and epicness that had been lacking in recent DC comic book films. Strangely, this sequel is just the opposite – a return to the sad screenwriting land of silly scripts with hokey-looking CGI, lame jokes and an endless array of uninspired clichés. Jenkins, who co-wrote the film with Geoff Johns (Aquaman) and Dave Callahan (Zombieland: Double Tap), just has SO MUCH going on in Wonder Woman 84. The film feels overproduced, like it was written by a committee with very different visions of what it should be.
Gal Gadot gives it her all, but even her admirable effort is unable to salvage this two and a half hour saga that overstays its welcome by at least 45 minutes. There are some really clever, heartfelt moments – just not enough of them. And the film’s message, that what you want may not necessarily be what you need, is a good one. But the miscasting of Kristen Wiig and Pedro Pascal (The Mandalorian) as the villains Cheetah and Max Lord creates a confusing cartoonish vibe that muddles that message. Wonder Woman deserves better than this. At least there is a nice surprise in the end credits.
• Gal Gadot was paid $10 million for Wonder Woman 84. She was paid $300,000 for 2017’s Wonder Woman.
• Director Patty Jenkins says she chose 1984 as the setting because she views it as “the height of Western civilization and society” and wanted to see how Wonder Woman would handle the villains of that era.
• Kristen Wiig won the part of Cheetah after Emma Stone declined it.