When the first Wonder Woman film was released back in 2017 it felt like the rejuvenating breath of fresh air the so-called DC Extended Universe needed and, even if it wasn’t perfect, it was a sign things were changing for the, up to that point, challenged alternative to Marvel’s world beating MCU.
So, while seeing Wonder Woman 1984 in the cinema was made more of a challenge than usual thanks to events in 2020, I was looking forward to catching it now it’s available at home and slid the Blu-Ray into the player with a sense of hope.
As the film opened on a flashback scene of a young Diana in a Themyscira that looked like something from an at best average video game and with a very heavy handed moral, my hopes began to slide and really they never came back.
The general plot then jumps to 1984, for no particular reason other than a few jokes about fashion, and we find Diana (Gal Godot) ‘secretly’ active as Wonder Woman in Washington DC when an ancient maguffin stone is found that grants wishes to whoever touches it.
So, Diana, her suspiciously new work colleague, Barbara Minerva (Kristen Wiig) and apparent international business and oil mogul Maxwell Lorenzano (Pedro Pascal, doing his best 80’s Trump) all make their wishes setting of a chain of events that drives the rest of the film.
Unfortunately once we get to that point things are already feeling overlong and this really doesn’t change as it goes on with a lot going on but, it feels, not a lot actually happening and even when it does it not making a lot of sense.
This features a few action sequences that seem entirely void of any feeling of real danger (despite the outward appearance) and a climax that relies on just a bit too much physics defying comic book logic to work in a satisfying way, while on the way there it just feels like too much of a ‘throw it at the wall and see what sticks’ approach.
One thing that, while maybe a little heavy handed, did feel like the film trying to genuinely make a valid point was in how both the female leads were constantly fighting off unwanted male attention but other than this providing something of a motive for supervillainy it didn’t reach much of a conclusion.
Added to which one troubling moment seemed to very easily forgive domestic abuse, which rather undercut any kind of feminist message the film might have been aiming for.
Ultimately then, Wonder Woman 1984, or WW84 as it’s called on screen, feels rather like Aquaman, Suicide Squad and the Birds Of Prey/Harley Quinn mash-up in having some good ideas but them being over-encumbered and lost in the midst of a lot of other stuff that brings the overall film down in everything but length.