Thursday, December 9, 2021

A Good But Not Great Opening to 2021

Wonder Woman 1984
Reel Reviews


2021 has begun, which means we’ll be seeing a fresh new selection of theatrical releases that viewers will hopefully be able to enjoy in their local cinemaIn some select areas, certain theaters have already reopened, though not without making changes for the sake of public health and safety. So, to starts things off strong, let’s take a look at the theatrical release of the new DC film to star their greatest superheroine: “Wonder Woman 1984.” 

Set in the 1980s, the story follows Diana Prince (Gal Gadot) investigating stolen relics that could prove too dangerous should they fall into the wrong hands. Unfortunately, when an ancient artifact capable of granting wishes falls into the hands of business tycoon Maxwell Lord (Pedro Pascal) and the unwanted and underappreciated Dr. Barbara Minerva (Kristen Wiig), their personal desires will not only endanger those around them, but even the world. The film also stars Chris Pine, Robin Wright and Connie Nielsen. 

The last time I did a review for a theatrical release was back in March 2020, so believe me when I say it was a joy to see an actual superhero film on the big screen—while still following CDC procedures of course. My only regret is that while I found “Wonder Woman 1984” to be a decent superhero flick, it wasn’t the blockbuster I had hoped it would be. 

This is a film that, for me, falls under the category of “It’s good, but it could have been better.” The acting and action are all decent, though I think some of the child actors could have done betteralso liked that the film is the first cinematic introduction of the classic DC villain known as Cheetah, because as a villain whose gimmick is she’s a halfhuman halfcheetah, trying to adapt such a concept into a modern film is not easy. 

All in all, I feel like the film worked on paper, but in execution, I have two main problems with it. The film is two and a half hours long, and a lot of that time is eaten up by the villains and the subplots. I’m watching this film to see Wonder Woman, because when she’s onscreen fighting bad guys, its awesome! However, because we have two villains, the film feels like it has to take time to build them up for the story. The concept can work if handled well, like in the other DC film “Aquaman,” but it didn’t work here. If the story just focused on one main villain and just made Cheetah more of a side rival character, then it wouldn’t have eaten up so much time. 

My final issue with “Wonder Woman 1984” is that it’s a bit too PC (Politically Correct). There’s nothing wrong with being PC, in fact I encourage it, but “Wonder Woman 1984” takes it too far that the movie just feels too clean and by the book to the point where it becomes almost corny. This is only speculation, but my theory is this may be due to the fact that the original “Wonder Woman” that debuted in 2017 may have been considered too dark for viewers as it dealt with death, war crimes, and the tragedies of World War I. So, I think the director was trying to take the sequel in a lighter tone by setting it in the 80s, a time period known for colorful tacky fashion, walkman, and mullet haircuts. Which, if that was the director’s intentions, I can’t fault the attempt, but that doesn’t mean I won’t critique it. 

“Wonder Woman 1984” is rated PG-13 for sequences of action and violence. Though its flawed, I am happy to see the adventures of DC’s Wonder Woman continue, and I remain hopeful that the next installment will be better. While I and other adult viewers may have issues with the film, younger viewers may get more enjoyment out of it. However, if you still have concerns about public theaters, I’m happy to announce there exists an alternative as the movie has also been released on HBO Max. Soif you have a subscription or were thinking of making one, you can watch the film from the safety of your homes. For now, given current events, unless you’re really curious about this film, I would just wait until it becomes rentable. Which is why the final score for “Wonder Woman 1984” is a 7.5 out of 10. 



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