I had the privilege to watch Wonder Woman 1984 just before Christmas and the second lockdown. Personally I went in with a lot of expectations and anticipation after the highly successful first instalment. I was sure this one would be the same. For a start Gal Gadot has proved herself as perfect for the role and I was intrigued to see how Kirsten Wiig would play out as a villain. Yet I was disappointed and so was the rest of my family.
I’m not sure if it just hit the wrong tone with all of us or I just didn’t understand the comical and cringey undertones. At no point did I think the film stood firmly in the reality of the 80’s and instead it presented a much more unrealistic and farfetched perspective. In fact the whole way through it I was questioning far too many plot points and thought, why are they doing this?, far too much.
I do understand that the whole storyline would be hard to grasp realistically with it having references to Aladdin’s Genie in its ‘make a wish’ plot. But compared to DC’s other films there was no point where I felt truly immersed in their reality. At no point did it come across as remotely believable. I think in some ways I wished they continued the historical aspects of the previous film, where the 80’s culture was highlighted and appreciated rather than viewed as a setting for the events in a more stylised way.
Kirsten Wiig, in my opinion, was not served anything that could showcase her talent and her place within DC’s wall of fame. I do not mean this in the sense of acting, I think she did the best with what she was given. However, having a character wanting to change her life based on surface level vanity while reinforcing stereotypes of glasses equaling unattractiveness, wearing heels and being the upmost popular to look and be beautiful just hit the wrong note. Whether it was meant satirically or not. In that sense the storyline hindered the whole positive reinforcement of Wonder Woman. Yes it may suggest that she did not need to change her surface because in doing so she lost her personality but it did leave you questioning whether the whole thing was necessary to begin with?
Furthermore her costume department let her down. The grungy look did not do her character justice and instead it looked chucked together quickly to make do. I had so much hope and faith in this film, Kirsten is a beautiful woman as it is, was there any need to add these ‘frills’ to suggest she wasn’t?
To top all of this off, isn’t Wonder Woman about building women up and empowering them? As a woman I did not leave thinking that in the slightest.
Of course the visuals exceeded themselves again, especially in the beginning. The journey through Diana’s childhood was the best part of the film. It was this sense of nostalgia and action that I felt was severely missing through the rest of the storyline.
To reference the other villain in the film, Maxwell Lord. Well I just don’t have words. It was just silly. I know the 80’s have deep roots in this style of acting and maybe they wanted to stick to this. But when Diana moves through centuries and at no point appreciates or calls out the eccentric nature of his attitude it leaves you feeling deflated. I don’t think this was necessarily helped by the fact they went from dealing with Nazis and the World War period to the overly lively and colourful 80’s. It’s hard to gage what tone they want to take.
When you go watch a film that is highly anticipated it’s hard not to be slightly disappointed. So usually I try to look at it as a standalone picture; whether it would be successful in its own right and interest the audience with its storyline. Unfortunately I don’t think I can say Wonder Woman 1984 achieved that. Of course this is just my opinion, I’d love to hear your perspective on it!
Like anything at the moment I’m trying to look positively and I hope that the next part of the series will be better. For Wonder Woman holds such an important place in many peoples lives.
You can watch Wonder Woman 1984 at home now, check out where here.
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