music friday
19 years

film fatales #103: wonder woman 1984 (patty jenkins, 2020)

I liked the first Wonder Woman movie, especially Gal Gadot, and I was happy that Patty Jenkins was getting some attention. After directing Charlize Theron in her Oscar-winning performance in Monster, Jenkins worked in television for fourteen years before she got a chance at a second feature, which was Wonder Woman. Wonder Woman 1984 has both Jenkins and Gadot, and I was excited to see the sequel. Still, I'm a child of the critics, and so the mixed reaction to the film led me to lower my expectations considerably. Thus, I am happy to say that Wonder Woman 1984 does not stink.

But honestly, I hoped for much more. Gadot is just as good this time around, and Kristen Wiig (Welcome to Me) is excellent. The effects-laden battle at the end between Diana and Barbara is impressive enough. But, ironically for a movie with this title, there wasn't enough wonder in what we were seeing. The plot was relatively straightforward, but I couldn't shake the feeling that there were big holes in that plot. (In fairness, ten minutes after the movie ended, I could barely remember them.)

The method whereby Chris Pine/Steve Trevor returned was hokey, and has inspired some backlash among fans. (I want to know what became of the guy Steve "temporarily" replaced.) Meanwhile, WW84 is noisy enough to keep the audience awake, and the music by Hans Zimmer is good (has he reached the point where we call him "legendary"?). But awake or not, I felt like the movie was endless, and I have no idea why it need 151 minutes to tell its story. (But stay until the end, or at least until the extra scene about a minute into the credits ... it's a fun one.) Wonder Woman 1984 easily meets lowered expectations, but that's all it does.

(Letterboxd list of Film Fatales movies.)


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