December 26

5-question film review: Wonder Woman 1984

Why did you go see this film?

I thought 2017’s Wonder Woman was all right (actually Very Good compared to most of the recent DC fodder) and I wanted a little escapism these holidays.

What was the best thing about it?

The opening segment with young Diana competing in the Amazon’s athletic competition was thrilling to watch with a lesson well learnt by the end of it.

There were a lot of small jokes done really well: Steve’s ‘man out of time’ confusion as a 1910s pilot trying to adjust to the 1980s; coffee cup anecdote; “I wish to be famous”.

I kept seeing Maxwell Lord as an Hispanic Alex P Keaton? I guess that was deliberate?

What was the worst thing about it?

Really hard to choose but on a film level, I’m going to go with no chemistry between anyone who really needed chemistry to sell the story. I’ve always detested the romance between Diana and Steve and, as a lot of the plot hinges on this relationship, their lack of chemistry is rather grating.

I would also say Maxwell lacks chemistry with his son Alistair, and there are massive parts of the climax that rely on that relationship that just fall flat.

The most chemistry I see is between Diana and Barbara and we don’t get enough of them together – their fight scene as Wonder Woman and Cheetah seemed unnecessary by the time we get to that.

On a cultural level, it was problematic. A lot of the cultural tropes used to show the antagonists in Maxwell’s journey were lazy and stereotyped and just downright offensive.

I’ve also heard from the pro-Palestine community that Wonder Woman saving children in one action sequence was particularly on the nose considering Gal Gadot’s pro-Zionist stance but I don’t know enough about the context of that to elaborate further, please seek out a more nuanced take by better informed critics.

Who would you recommend go see it?

If you like something flashy with no substance, be my guest. You will probably see it because you’re curious about the reaction or not see it because you are boycotting Gadot.

If this film was a piece of clothing, what would it be?

Parachute pants: 1980s in flavour but effectively useless for slowing a plummet to earth.

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