Why I’m disappointed in Wonder Woman 1984

I fell for the hype, I admit it. The colors, the costumes, the idea of it being set in the 80s, but then… I watched it. Oh my what a disappointment.

____ edit 12.29.2020

I found the answer to my disappointment. Earlier this year I had watched Birds of Prey and I… loved it (???) I was very confused by that feeling. All I could think of was “Why didn’t I hate it like the internet said?” (ugh, so stupid, thinking back). Well, I suppose I am emerged in very male-dominated forums.

This article by E.E.W. Christman “Why the internet hates ‘Birds of Prey” laid it all out.

Read that, then come here to read my thoughts on WW84!

____

The whole experience can be summed up in: “I feel like I’m watching an inspirational TedTalk but I’m in the wrong room” (as per my husband). For me is: “A stretched out National Treasure that needed to be more like National Treasure.”

The official summary of the movie reads:

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.

That’s all there but that doesn’t seem like the movie I watched. I watched a drawn out movie that tried to be feminist but pitted women against each other, the hero can’t have power and true love at once, and there’s some dangerous Middle Eastern stereotypes thrown there too.

Anyway, let’s break it down:

  1. The movie open with Diana in Themyscira in an Olympic-like competition. I don’t really know what that adds to the movie besides being a cool opening scene.
Lilly Aspell in Wonder Woman 1984 (2020) – IMDB

2. The mall robbery was my favorite. I feel that the tone in those scenes is exactly what this movie should have been: funny, campy, and paying homage to the super hero movies from the 80s. The fighting had an interesting edit, almost retro, that was very compelling. The over-the-top 80’s setting was perfect to really push toward something more fun. But as soon that’s over we don’t see that again until Steve is trying on new looks.

Lauren Hashian Wtf GIF by swerk

[spoilers] 3. The whole wish thing didn’t seem to have the effect it should have had. For Diana it takes her power so she can have Steve back. Steve “possesses ” someone’s body (see gif above) and she’s cool with it.

Confused Britney Spears GIF

But of course she can’t have both (rolls eyes). It also didn’t occur to her that bringing back the dead is not something good gods do. I don’t know, by then she had already discovered that the magic came from a powerful god, but it never occurred to get that this was all messed up, she was just having the time of her life with Steve… I’m very weirded out by that…

Also, still about the wish, Cheetah… So underused… What she wishes for takes away her humanity, but I don’t think I saw much of that when they stablish her character. I saw more a person who felt invisible so she wanted power, I don’t know, that is human indeed but everything had to be told to the audience…

Her dying didn’t have much weight, because we never really stablish a friendship. Cheetah and Diana go out to dinner because Diana felt pity of the other lady (?????) That’s how I read that at least…

Kristen Wiig's Cheetah costume in Wonder Woman 1984 trailer looks  Purr-fect! Have a look
I liked her characterization though…

4. [more spoilers, whatever…] The villain was pretty straight forward. A mad man, who wants power, and will do anything for it. But, he will be saved by the sight of his son wondering through rubble and become good again… Even though he only complained about the kid… I didn’t feel all of that paternal love there though. It made me really sad.

The themes got really heavy, which for me, after a year like 2020 was not welcomed. I really needed that campy and funny film. But all I got was a reminder of how the world is ending, and how “I renounce my wish” won’t make everything come back to “normal.” Having the movie end with a Christmas scenes just added salt to my wound. I couldn’t see family and friends this holiday season like many people, but here we are, watching others be happy. It felt like a slap in the face: Hey! Look at us mingling at close proximity without a pandemic while you watch this from your couch, through HBOMax (which was JUST made available to RokuTVs wth?!) far away from your family.

5. I know I already talked about the ending, but I wanna go back to some of the themes here. My main disappointment with this movie is how much they missed the mark on the strong independent woman. I wanted that so bad! They had the money, the cast, the producers, everything, but then they come out with the cheesiest, non-nuanced scenes and dialogue. What for? Yes, I wanted Wonder Woman to be a feminist icon, judge me! I had high hopes, but it fell short of it by miles.

6. Tonal changes. As I mentioned throughout, the campy comedy this set out to be at the beginning = we stan that! But then it just becomes super serious like a batman movie (ugh) and it leaves behind the 80s thing completely. If you told me that, in the movie, it starts in 1984 but ends in 2004 I’d believe you.

That’s 2020 Gen Zs view of the 80s

7. Gal Gadot – she’s beautiful, every outfit is amazing, her walking is graceful, she fills a room with her presence, you can’t not look at her. But she can’t deliver comedy and that made me sad. The over the top stuff, yes, but more subtle, not so much… that’s why I keep bringing back the how the campy vibes should have been the guiding force of this movie. This could work with a “Death Becomes Her” vibe. I’d watch that.

So cheeky and light hearted. I wanted to see that movie!

8. There’s no 80’s music… Steve didn’t need to be there, he taught her how to fly… She’s Diana, why… idk

home alone smh GIF

There’s so much.. I’ll stop here, if you think of anything leave a comment.

I doubt anyone will ever read this. Peace out!

Published by Vitoria, no C

Instructional Assistant Professor at Illinois State University BFA in Graphic Design and New Art Media from the University of North Dakota MFA in Graphic Design from Iowa State University

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