WW84 entices viewers but falls short of expectations

Wonder Woman 1984 continues the story line of Dianna and Steve from the 2017 film as the race to protect humanity from the threat of the Dreamstone.

Image Courtesy IMBD

Wonder Woman 1984 continues the story line of Dianna and Steve from the 2017 film as the race to protect humanity from the threat of the Dreamstone.

Story by Trent Hogland, Reporter

Going to the movies has always been one of my favorite activities to do with friends and family. Because of the pandemic, I haven’t been able to go to the theater nearly as much as usual. In fact, If you were lucky enough to see a blockbuster on the big screen after March of last year, you’re pretty much in the minority. Not just because of the COVID restrictions, but also because of the lack of good movies that have been out due to the industries being on hold for a period of time, meaning no filmmaking for a lot of big name companies. Cinemas needed a way to keep making money and stay in business, this led to re-runs of old films, some mediocre movies playing, etc. So as you can imagine, I was thrilled when I saw the sequel to one of my favorite films in 2017, was going to be released during the holidays, “Wonder Woman 1984.” 

I was extremely impressed with the first one, maybe because I didn’t have high expectations, having not seen anything Wonder Woman related, but it had me on the edge of my seat the majority of the movie. I knew right away it would be a classic, Chris Pine and Gal Gadot seemed to work very well together, and you could tell there was chemistry between the actors. The movie was unexpectedly hilarious, especially with the humor of Pine, and the dynamic between his character, Steve Trevor, and Wonder Woman. Him having no understanding of the island of Themyscira filled with combat trained, immortal like girls he ran into after being shipwrecked. And her struggling to relate or adapt to his lifestyle in the real world, where the war was taking place. It’s safe to say I enjoyed it, it also wouldn’t be a stretch to say I had pretty high expectations for the second one. Unfortunately, I was not impressed with “Wonder Woman ‘84.” 

The plot of the movie shows Diana living an undercover life decades after the end of World War I. She continues to miss her former lover Steve Trevor, but has distracted herself with a nice career working as an anthropologist, and beats up criminal jerks in her spare time. Throughout the show she becomes friends with Barbara Minerva, a nice but insecure and timid colleague who wants to be more like Diana, who seems confident and powerful. Soon, the two happen to be working on a mythical, self-explanatory object called the Dreamstone, which later turns Barbara into the strong woman she has always inspired to be mainly by changing her outfit and removing her glasses. But that’s beside the point. This gave her super strength, and turned her into the villain. This Dreamstone, closely resembling the infamous monkey’s paw, also gave Diana her wish of having Steve back, which was really accidental. This allowed him to return to the movie, somewhat, and be able to spend time with Diana again, which did not last as long as I thought it would or needed to. 

The movie was too long and too dull. Sitting in there for 151 minutes I realized how badly they messed up on this one. It was way too simplistic for  DC fans and the be careful what you wish for message seemed like it was intended for my niece and nephew. I think my disappointment here stems from the film’s cheesiness and dragged out messages. In “Wonder Woman 1984,” they don’t find a way to make Diana resonate in the modern age. What is her whole deal? What has she been doing for the past 70 years? Does she just save kids in malls now? In the first one she had a functional and practical responsibility of saving the world during the War, in this one I struggled to truly understand what it was she did or was going to do. Again, the vague optimism running through the heart of this movie just didn’t do much for me. 

I also wished for a more dramatic ending. In the comics, the conflict between Wonder Woman and Maxwell Lord ended with her snapping his neck. I of course didn’t actually expect this, but I did anticipate a more powerful and intense conquer than just people throughout the world taking their wish back through a TV screen. I recently watched a couple episodes of the classic 70’s “Wonder Woman” starring Lynda Carter. For its time, it really was a great show. In comparison to “WW ‘84,” I appreciated that Diana was always doing something, whether it was fighting spies and bank robbers, or using her golden lasso to pry the truth out of bad guys. It made me realize that’s what was missing for the sequel, it needed more scenes with Gal Gadot being a superhero, beating her enemy, not just trying to win bad guys over with her nice words. 

Maybe I am being too critical. I really do like Gal Gadot, Chris Pine and the directors of the show. You can tell by the first one that they are talented and know how to make a great movie. I just wished for more in the second one. With that being said, it wasn’t necessarily all bad, I thought it was funny to see Steve in the 80’s, trying to figure out this new life, almost like a fish out of water. The irony of her showing him what to wear, how to act, and different things in the world, compared to the first one when they go shopping for her to find a suitable outfit, was hilarious. I think the more Steve would have been in it, the funnier it would have been. There were good things about this movie, but again overall I was disappointed. Saying that, I am ready for the possible third making of the movie franchise, which was hinted at the end of “WW ‘84.” Because Gal Gadot is an incredible actress, who I think can bounce back from this film.