My main issue with the motion picture is it feels like an episode of the original Wonder Woman television show with Lynda Carter—at least, in terms of one-off plotlines. Without going into specifics, Max Lord is given what amounts to be an infinite number of wishes, and the world goes screwy because of it. The result is a huge lesson of humanity to be learned to save the day, which is fine if this were a television series and more episodes were to come, but it isn’t.
These DC movies are larger-than-life cinematic events for all intents and purposes, and I’ve never felt that singular morality tales like this work on the big screen. This criticism is not to say that Wonder Woman 1984 is not necessarily what I want in a big superhero movie, especially one that’s two-and-a-half hours long.
“…Wiig gives a fantastic performance as Barbara Minerva and plays it straight…”
Let me illustrate what I mean using the Star Trek films as an example. It’s widely held that the even-numbered movies are better than the odd ones. That’s because the odd numbers are essentially Star Trek episodes. The original Wonder Woman is like The Wrath of Khan, and Wonder Woman 1984 is like The Final Frontier (where the crew goes to the center of the galaxy to find God). For you Next Gen-fans, the original WW is like First Contact, and WW84 is essential Insurrection.
There are also a few missteps. While I liked Steve’s role in the film, the whole Steve Trevor discovering what life is like in the 80s was a massive comedic dud. There are a million comedy writers in Hollywood that could have made this so much funnier; instead, it went for cheap parachute-pants jokes (all of which are in the trailer). Without saying anything, the ending was just a little too hokey for my taste. I’m not going to get into the Why-Marvel-Is-Better debate, but they are, and they handled resolving a global catastrophe so much better in Infinity War and End Game.
Wonder Woman is not a horrible film and gets a very mediocre good from me. I liked it for what it is, but the expectation of something bigger and better was not met, and honestly, that is what I prefer in big-budget movies. I think this will be the general reaction, and this review illustrates why, especially if you were expecting something as spectacular as the first Wonder Woman.
"…feels like an episode of the original Wonder Woman television show..."