The amazing thing about the era of filmmaking that ended with “Wonder Woman 1984” is that a script so painfully dumb and joyless could get past dozens of producers and suits at WB without anyone pumping the brakes before a firehose of wasted funding was sprayed over the project. I think the most entertaining thing about Wonder Woman 1984 is looking back at the press tour where the filmmakers pretended to be creative geniuses who had learned *so much* from the failings of the vastly superior original Wonder Woman film, “especially its climactic showdown”.
“The studio forced us to wrap the first movie up with a loud, cartoony CGI smackdown!” they cried… and now they’ve delivered a sequel that ends with an even more cartoony and pointless CGI smackdown, followed by another half hour of Wonder Woman explaining why cheating and selfishness are bad.
How did Warner Bros. follow a surprisingly popular, breezy, entertaining movie that had begun the turnaround for the flagging zillion-dollar DCEU franchise and decide the sequel should be a first-grade morality lesson with the logic of a Care Bears cartoon and longer than a Tolkien epic? Presumably it’s because everyone involved decided they had something Very Important to Say about the hellish 80’s Decade of Greed that would be Highly Relevant for modern audiences, even though many people involved in the production are likely far too young to even remember the 80s.
Nope. They were all too busy congratulating each other for being insightful, stunning, and brave to notice that the script they crapped-out was dumber than a rock, boring as hell, bloated beyond belief, and nonsensical even by the lowest standards of comic book movies. I heard someone say WW84 was meant as a tribute to Richard Donner’s Superman movies.
Not even close.
However, it’s very much in the spirit of the Richard Lester Superman films though, especially Superman IV, right down to giving Wonder Woman nonsensical new powers on par with Superman’s rebuilding-the-great-wall-vision. Superheroes recently had a renaissance because the films were made by people with genuine affection for the source material and some insight into their cultural impact. Likewise with the boom of 80s nostalgia from people who love and understand the 80s, like Stranger Things. That boom is over.
There could have been all sorts of fun stories to tell about Wonder Woman’s life in the shadows from WW1 to the modern day. And yet all they could come up with was a silly, preachy, plodding mess that steals subplots like those found in Tim Burton’s Catwoman and does them even WORSE? And again, I go back to the press tour comments. The very worst thing here is that the writers were clearly determined to “improve” on the first movie’s climax by having Wonder Woman save the day through wisdom, empathy, and strength of character instead of muscle…
…and THIS is the best they could come up with?
And don’t get me started on the warped morality of sleeping with a Steve Trevor body double. Now that a 3rd installment has been confirmed, and this sequel is a box office failure of epic proportions, let’s hope part 3 is more like the first movie. If not, then we should destroy it before they shoot a single frame.
Originally published here.