In the style of Billy Mack’s ‘Christmas is all around’, I give you my very own holiday rendition!
Corona is still around us, You can feel it in your bones. Coughing and not tasting, But still glued to your phones! There are no blockbusters in any cinema, So on Christmas, start streaming won’t ya?
Alright that might not be my best attempt at butchering a song, but who cares, we are all still in lockdown and one of my favourite hobbies, going to the movies to watch big blockbuster movies as fans, is something that won’t be coming back any time soon. One of the big blockbusters, Wonder Woman 1984, got pushed back, hoping that theatres would be open again with Christmas. Sadly, in the Netherlands at least, this was not the case. Warner Bros. decided that a streaming release should suffice in current times. Coming the first day of Christmas, I slipped on some nice pyjamas, grabbed some snacks and started this year’s Christmas movie: Wonder Woman part deux.
At the time of writing the director Patty Jenkins is getting a lot of flack due to how poor the movie was. But after pondering a few days about it and reading various reviews online, I came to the conclusion that the movie isn’t that bad. Don’t get me wrong it has some major flaws, which I’ll discuss, but overall I believe most of the viewers are being a bit too harsh.
Now lets start with the good stuff:
- The story of Wonder Woman 1984 is delightful. Wait, it isn’t a true Christmas movie, let me rephrase that. It is decent. I’m not saying good, great or awesome, it’s decent. Overall it tells a story of a good guy (read: good girl) fighting an evil bad guy (and girl!). This is the standard of any action (superhero) movie.
- The fights were great to see, especially the White House scene.
- I really like the evil bad guy (Maxwell Lord) and evil bad girl (Barbara Minerva) and found the execution of their story arches quite original.
- And I loved how they reintroduced Chris Pine’s character Steve Trevor into the story, even though you know… he didn’t quite make it in the first movie.
However there are two (big) flaws:
- Wonder Woman as a character is a beast. I’m not fully versed in the DC lore, but how she currently is depicted, she feels like a female Superman. Having such a strong hero makes it difficult to write a story. Because if nothing can kill you and you are everywhere, what story do you tell? In many of the Superman movies and series, they often weakened the hero with for example kryptonite, or by stealing his powers. Although comically accurate, I always find that a cheap way of writing. For me this is also the reason why I didn’t really like Thor, before Taika reinvented the portrayal of the character. Just taking away powers from a hero, so you can give it back later on, is not original, it has been done to death and when poorly executed won’t add much to character building.
- The second flaw, builds on the first one. Now after the hero regains his/her power, what do you do? Go to the enemy and kick butt right? This however doesn’t really happen. The fight versus Minerva is over in minutes and the fight versus Maxwell, is… well… not actually a fight. I think some small tweaks could have made a huge difference, but this means I got to talk spoilers.
Last chance to avoid spoilers!
Mid-film Diana realises that everyone has to renounce their wish to restore everything. However she already does that after she got hurt during the White House scene. I would change it to her loosing that fight, but not being hurt that much. The audience has to see though that she now is mortal.
You then go to the final fight where she has to use the golden armor to fight Minerva, because she is mortal. Suiting up should be an extra scene. She then beats her, but it costs her almost everything. With the help of Steve she gets to Maxwell and together they can “pause” his actions. It is at this point that she is left with no other option to let Steve go again and give her final speech to the world, reverting every wish. Cutting the speech a little shorter with some catchy line about taking shortcuts would also make the final “fight” more memorable. Think “I am Iron Man” or “Hey may have been your father, boy, but he wasn’t your daddy”.
For me these subtle changes would make the sacrifice of both Diana and Steve so much more powerful.
Is the movie terrible with its (as of writing) 5.6 rating on IMDb? No absolutely not, but it isn’t special, original and therefore memorable. So for a one time watch it is worth your time, especially if you like or are invested in the DC Universe.