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Wonder Woman 1984 (2020), All You Want To Know & Watch About A Great Movie

Aug 24, 2022
Wonder Woman 1984 (2020), All You Want To Know & Watch About A Great Movie

Wonder Woman 1984 (2020), All You Want To Know & Watch About A Great Movie

 

Wonder Woman 1984 (2020)

Diana must contend with a work colleague and businessman, whose desire for extreme wealth sends the world down a path of destruction, after an ancient artifact that grants wishes goes missing.

Wonder Woman 1984 (2020) Trailer

Wonder Woman 1984 (2020) Reviews

When “Wonder Woman” came out in 2017, it was a thrilling breath of fresh air, both within the darker realm of DC Comics adaptations and the larger context of bloated summer blockbusters. Director Patty Jenkins’ film offered equal parts muscle and heart, with a perfect tonal balance between transporting action and gentle humor, dazzling spectacle and charming romance.

Crucially at its center was the impossibly charismatic Gal Gadot, who was more than just a gorgeous and statuesque stunner. She radiated goodness, light, and hope in a way that was infectious, that made you believe in the power of superheroes beyond facile platitudes about doing what’s right and protecting mankind.

Gadot remains a winning and winsome figure in “Wonder Woman 1984,” and she retains her authentic connection with the audience, but the machinery around her has grown larger and unwieldy. Maybe that was inevitable, the urge in crafting a sequel to make everything wilder and brasher, more sprawling and complicated. In the process, though, the quality that made the original film such a delight has been squashed almost entirely.

And yet, the foundation of the script Jenkins co-wrote with Geoff Johns and Dave Callaham, based on William Moulton Marston’s original characters, is a pretty simple one: It’s an indictment of greed, of our entitled desire to have what we want and have it now. The story takes place at the height of Reagan-era conspicuous consumption, hence the title, but the point “WW84” is making about the destructive nature of avarice is certainly relevant today.

Too often, though, the instinct in evoking that period is to wallow in obvious nostalgia—popped collars on pastel Polo shirts, a Centipede game at the arcade, a B. Dalton Bookseller at the brightly-lit, triple-decker mall. There’s even the obligatory trying-on-clothes montage to allow Chris Pine’s resurrected World War I pilot to marvel at the ridiculousness of parachute pants. (Also: breakdancing! What is that all about?) We’ll get to Steve in minute, and to the potentially intriguing idea his return represents.

But what’s also disappointing about the “WW84” screenplay is that it feels like it belongs to a movie that actually came out in the ‘80s. Its plot-driving device would be right at home in a high-concept comedy: an ancient stone that immediately grants you whatever you wish for, resulting in both wacky hijinks and massive catastrophes. It’s a banal notion along the lines of “Weird Science” and “Zapped!,” a cautionary tale in which fantasy fulfillment ultimately doesn’t deliver the satisfaction its characters expect.

Far more compelling is the film’s opening sequence, a flashback to a pivotal moment in the life of young Diana, years before she’d become Wonder Woman. As a girl on the magical island of Themiscyra (played once again by the poised and perfectly cast Lilly Aspell), she competes in an arduous challenge of strength and skill against women twice her age and height.

This whole section soars—the camerawork and editing put us right in the middle of the action, and Hans Zimmer’s score sweeps us along. The memory also efficiently establishes Diana’s fearlessness and ability as well as the important lesson she learns about the nature of truth that will become relevant down the road. It is the film’s high point; nothing else will match it in terms of visual cohesion or emotional impact.

Flash forward to 1984. Diana Prince is now living in Washington D.C. (at The Watergate, amusingly) and working as an archaeologist at the Smithsonian, using her expertise and language skills to study ancient artifacts. Being ageless makes her a glamorous and elegant but lonely figure. (Costume designer Lindy Hemming plays off Gadot’s height and her character’s heritage by placing her in regal, drapey outfits that emphasize her length.)

We see Diana sitting alone at a table at an outdoor cafe, smiling at passers-by, yearning to make a connection. It’s the film’s most quietly moving moment.

So when mousey new co-worker Dr. Barbara Minerva arrives and meekly asks if she’d like to have lunch, Diana doesn’t quite know how to respond because she doesn’t really have friends. But the two soon hit it off, because Barbara is also a misfit in her own way. Kristen Wiig is subtly hilarious in these early scenes as the sweetly goofy, warmhearted researcher.

The chemistry she and Gadot share when they meet for drinks at happy hour, the Washington Monument gleaming behind them in the distance, made me wish they were starring in a mismatched buddy comedy instead. The role allows Wiig to deliver her lines with the sly, self-deprecating deadpan that’s her trademark; it seems effortless but actually requires pinpoint precision.

But watching her stretch and develop into a villainous figure as the film progresses has its own joys. It’s a huge change of pace for the comedian, and she rises to the occasion both physically and emotionally.

You see, Barbara gets her hands on a mysterious stone that comes into the lab, which she and Diana determine is the kind that grants one wish to the bearer. Diana wishes she could once again be with her love, Pine’s Steve Trevor, now deceased for seven decades. Barbara wishes she could be more like Diana: confident, strong, sexy. But then—get this—a whole ‘nother person enters the lab under the guise of being a benefactor, when he actually wants the stone for his own nefarious purposes.

He’s Pedro Pascal as fluffy-haired TV con man Maxwell Lord, a fake oil tycoon promising prosperity to the masses. Crafting a wealthy façade and living beyond his means, Maxwell Lord is an archetype of the era. But beyond his shameless hunger for power and respect, there isn’t much to this character, and Pascal’s portrayal grows increasingly cartoonish. A sensitive performer, he’s afforded the opportunity to show more range beneath his Beskar steel helmet and armor on “The Mandalorian.”

The bulk of the overlong “WW84” running time is devoted to the chaos that ensues when wish fulfillment runs amok. The script meanders awkwardly between all three of these characters as they either explore their newfound powers or the consequences of their choices. Along the way, the rules for wishing on the stone keep changing in whatever way is convenient to keep the plot chugging along.

But some genuinely thrilling moments emerge along to the way to the generically shiny, noisy climax, including a heart-pounding chase across the Egyptian desert that allows Diana to reveal both her resourcefulness and her kindness. And Barbara’s transformation from unassuming scientist to ass-kicking seductress is a pleasure to behold, mainly because the evolution of her clothes and hair are so great and she seems to be having the most fun of anyone on screen.

(The same cannot be said for Gadot and Pine this time, whose connection is weirdly inert despite the potential poignancy of being reunited with your one true love.) Sure, Barbara eventually turns into the comic book villainess Cheetah and resembles a refugee from “Cats,” but until then, her arc is the most interesting element of the film.

At the end of this Dumpster fire of a year, though, “Wonder Woman 1984” does deliver a welcome escape, as well as a much-needed message of hope. We’ll take such diversions where we can get them these days, either spread out at a theater or from the safety of your couch at home. It’s fine. Sometimes, it even soars. But it could have been wondrous.

 

  • Christy Lemire – Roger Ebert
  • Christy Lemire is a longtime film critic who has written for RogerEbert.com since 2013. Before that, she was the film critic for The Associated Press for nearly 15 years and co-hosted the public television series “Ebert Presents At the Movies” opposite Ignatiy Vishnevetsky, with Roger Ebert serving as managing editor.

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Wonder Woman 1984 (2020) Credits

Wonder Woman 1984 movie poster

Wonder Woman 1984 (2020)

Rated PG-13 for sequences of action and violence.

151 minutes

Cast

Gal Gadot as Diana Prince / Wonder Woman

Chris Pine as Steve Trevor

Kristen Wiig as Barbara Ann Minerva / Cheetah

Pedro Pascal as Maxwell Lord

Connie Nielsen as Queen Hippolyta

Robin Wright as Antiope

Director

  • Patty Jenkins

Writer (based on characters from DC Wonder Woman created by)

  • William Moulton Marston

Writer (story by)

  • Geoff Johns
  • Patty Jenkins

Writer

  • Patty Jenkins
  • Geoff Johns
  • Dave Callaham

Cinematographer

  • Matthew Jensen

Editor

  • Richard Pearson

Composer

  • Hans Zimmer

 

Wonder Woman 1984 (2020) Plot

As a young child, Diana participates in an athletic competition on Themyscira against adult Amazons. After being knocked off her horse while looking back at her opponents, Diana takes a shortcut and remounts, but misses a checkpoint. Antiope removes her from the race for cheating, explaining anything worthwhile must be obtained honestly, while her mother Hippolyta advises her to be patient in her pursuit of glory and honor.

In 1984, Diana is working at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., while secretly performing heroic deeds as Wonder Woman. New museum employee Barbara Ann Minerva, a shy geologist and cryptozoologist, has trouble getting noticed by her co-workers, but quickly finds a friend in Diana.

After the FBI asks the museum to identify stolen antiquities from a robbery that Wonder Woman recently foiled, Barbara and Diana notice one of the artifacts, later identified as the Dreamstone, has a Latin inscription claiming to grant the holder one wish. Neither openly takes the inscription seriously, but Barbara wishes to become like Diana and unintentionally acquires the same superpowers, while Diana yearns for her deceased lover Steve Trevor.

He is resurrected in another man’s body; the two are reunited at a Smithsonian gala. Failing businessman Maxwell “Max Lord” Lorenzano steals the Dreamstone, hoping to use its power to save his nearly bankrupt oil company. His wish is to “become” the stone and gain its wish-granting powers; whenever he grants someone else’s desire, he is able to take what he wants from the wisher, resulting in worldwide chaos, destruction and instability.

Diana discovers that the Dreamstone was created by Dolos/Mendacius, The God of Lies, also known as the Duke of Deception. It grants a user’s wish, but exacts an equally strong toll unless they renounce the wish or destroy the stone. Although Diana’s powers and Barbara’s humanity begin to diminish, neither is willing to renounce their wish. Max visits the U.S President at the White House, who wishes for more nuclear missiles to cow the Soviets, which brings the world to the brink of nuclear war.

Max also learns of a new and secret satellite system that can broadcast to anyone in the world; since his powers are causing his body to deteriorate, he plans to grant wishes globally to steal strength and life force from the viewers and regain his health. Diana and Steve confront him, but Barbara betrays Diana and knocks her down, escaping with Max on Marine One.

Steve convinces Diana to renounce her wish and let him go, restoring her to full strength. Donning the armor of Asteria, greatest of all Amazon warriors, Diana flies to the satellite headquarters and again battles Barbara, who has transformed into a humanoid cheetah after wishing to become an apex predator. After a brutal fight that ends in a lake, Diana electrocutes Barbara, then pulls her out of the water.

She confronts Max and uses her Lasso of Truth to communicate with the world through him, persuading everyone to renounce their wish. She then shows Max visions of his own unhappy childhood and of his son, Alistair, who is frantically searching for his father amid the chaos. Max renounces his wish and reunites with Alistair, and Barbara returns to normal.

Sometime later in the winter, Diana meets the man whose body Steve possessed. Meanwhile, Asteria is revealed to be secretly living among humans.

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Wonder Woman 1984 (2020) Box office

Wonder Woman 1984 grossed $46.8 million in the United States and Canada and $122.8 million in other territories, for a worldwide total of $169.6 million.[5] In January 2021, The Hollywood Reporter wrote that the film would likely lose the studio “north of $100 million.”[147]

In the United States and Canada, the film was released alongside News of the WorldPromising Young Woman and Pinocchio and was projected to gross around $10 million from 2,150 theaters in its opening weekend.[148] It ended up debuting to $16.7 million, finishing above expectations and with the best total of the COVID-19 pandemic, but 87% less than the first film’s opening weekend.

Over 10,000 private screenings of the film were held, accounting for about $2 million (12%) of the opening weekend total.[150] It fell 67% in its second weekend, grossing $5.5 million.[151] In its third weekend the film fell another 45% to $3 million, with Deadline Hollywood saying it “continued to emulate the legs of a horror movie”.[145] The film grossed $2.6 million in its fourth weekend, finishing second behind newcomer The Marksman.[152]

Internationally, the film was expected to debut to around $60 million from 32 countries.[153] In China, the film had a disappointing first-day opening, only grossing $4.6 million, compared to the local film The Rescue, which grossed $8.9 million its first day.

Global projections were subsequently lowered to $35–40 million and the film went on to debut to $38.2 million, including $5 million from IMAX screens. China was the largest opening with $18.8 million, followed by Taiwan ($3.6 million), Thailand ($2 million), Brazil ($1.7 million), Japan ($1.6 million), Mexico ($1.6 million), Singapore ($1.3 million), the United Kingdom ($1.2 million) and Spain ($1.1 million).

In its second weekend of international release, the film made $19.4 million from 40 countries. Its largest markets were Australia ($4.5 million) and Japan ($2.5 million), while China’s running total reached $23.9 million.

 

Wonder Woman 1984 (2020) Critical reception

Slate called Wonder Woman 1984s critical response “lukewarm”,[157] while Newsweek described it as “mixed”.[158] The Washington Post reported that the response changed from “early praise to precipitous decline”.[159] Critics praised the film’s “escapist qualities” and Jenkins’ take on the 1980s, but many commentators found it “overindulgent or cliché”.

On the review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, 58% of 440 reviews are positive, with an average rating of 6/10. The website’s critical consensus reads, “Wonder Woman 1984 struggles with sequel overload, but still offers enough vibrant escapism to satisfy fans of the franchise and its classic central character.”[162] Upon the initial drop of the review embargo, the film achieved a 90% positive review score; this score gradually dropped until it ended up at 59% after the release.

Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, assigned the film a score of 60 out of 100, based on 57 critics, indicating “mixed or average reviews”.[165] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of “B+” on an A+ to F scale (lower than the “A” received by its predecessor), while PostTrak reported 78% of those gave the film a positive score, with 67% saying they would definitely recommend it.

Kate Erbland of IndieWire gave the film a “B” and wrote “Wonder Woman 1984 is all about playing with magic and wishes and desires, only to see them lead to horrible ramifications, instant gratification and the revelation that lying is never without consequence. Those are some big swings and not every single one lands, but the ones that do are both joyous and genuinely worth pondering.”

Adam Graham of The Detroit News gave the film a “C” and wrote that “the result is far from wondrous, a reminder of the limitations of the superhero genre and the ways its escapist trappings sacrifice key storytelling elements (narrative, characters, dialogue) for empty spectacle.”

Writing for the Chicago Sun-Times, Richard Roeper gave the film three-and-a-half out of four stars, saying, “To be sure, we get a classic comic book movie storyline about a megalomaniacal madman intent on taking over the world, but there’s often a relatively light tone to the proceedings. This is a throwback piece of pure pop entertainment.”[168]

Manohla Dargis of The New York Times, wrote that “Patty Jenkins is behind the camera again, but this time without the confidence. Certainly some of the problems can be pinned on the uninterestingly janky script, a mess of goofy jokes, storytelling clichés and dubious politics.”

Alonso Duralde of TheWrap said: “Even if the notion of wishes — making them and then takesies-backsies — isn’t quite a cinematic enough concept to support Wonder Woman’s final face-off with Lord, Wonder Woman 1984 still brings a freshness and a wit that’s often lacking in these gargantuan costumed-hero sagas.”[170] Writing for The Guardian, Peter Bradshaw gave the film 3 out of 5 stars and stated, “Gadot is terrifically imposing, while Kristen Wiig is the scene-stealing antagonist in Patty Jenkins’ epically brash sequel.”

Mick LaSalle of the San Francisco Chronicle praised Gadot, saying, “Her performance here has dignity and earned emotion” and called her the best thing about the film and “She was the best thing in the first installment, too, but that was an excellent movie. This one isn’t.” LaSalle concludes “Often, it’s a beautiful-looking film — but it’s beauty without substance.”[27] In her review for RogerEbert.com, Christy Lemire wrote, “The quality that made the original film such a delight has been squashed almost entirely.”

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Wonder Woman 1984 (2020) Accolades

Award Ceremony Date Category Recipient(s) Result
Hollywood Music in Media Awards January 27, 2021 Best Original Score in a Sci-Fi/ Fantasy Film Hans Zimmer Nominated
Hollywood Critics Association Awards March 5, 2021 Best Blockbuster Wonder Woman 1984 Nominated
Best Stunts Nominated
Critics’ Choice Movie Awards March 7, 2021 Best Visual Effects Nominated
Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards March 13, 2021 Favorite Movie Won
Favorite Movie Actor Chris Pine Nominated
Favorite Movie Actress Gal Gadot Nominated
Set Decorators Society of America Awards March 31, 2021 Best Achievement in Décor/Design of a Science Fiction or Fantasy Feature Film Anna Lynch-Robinson and Aline Bonetto Nominated
Make-Up Artists & Hair Stylists Guild Awards April 3, 2021 Best Special Make-Up Effects in a Feature-Length Motion Picture Jan Sewell & Mark Coulier Nominated
Screen Actors Guild Awards April 4, 2021 Outstanding Performance by a Stunt Ensemble in a Motion Picture Wonder Woman 1984 Won
Art Directors Guild Awards April 10, 2021 Excellence in Production Design for a Fantasy Film Aline Bonetto Nominated
Costume Designers Guild Awards April 13, 2021 Excellence in Fantasy Film Lindy Hemming Nominated
Motion Picture Sound Editors Awards April 16, 2021 Outstanding Achievement in Sound Editing – Sound Effects & Foley for Feature Film Jimmy Boyle, Richard King, Michael Babcock, Jeff Sawyer, Rowan Watson, Lily Blazewicz, Kevin Penney, Peter Burgess, Zoe Freed Nominated
Outstanding Achievement in Sound Editing – Feature Underscore Gerard McCann, Ryan Rubin, Michael Connell, Timeri Duplat, Chris Barrett, Adam Miller, Alfredo Pasquel Nominated
Golden Raspberry Awards April 24, 2021 Worst Remake, Rip-off or Sequel Wonder Woman 1984 Nominated
Worst Supporting Actress Kristen Wiig Nominated
MTV Movie & TV Awards May 16, 2021 Best Hero Gal Gadot Nominated

Wonder Woman 1984 (2020) Movie Info

Diana Prince lives quietly among mortals in the vibrant, sleek 1980s — an era of excess driven by the pursuit of having it all. Though she’s come into her full powers, she maintains a low profile by curating ancient artifacts, and only performing heroic acts incognito. But soon, Diana will have to muster all of her strength, wisdom and courage as she finds herself squaring off against Maxwell Lord and the Cheetah, a villainess who possesses superhuman strength and agility.

 

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