Sunday, January 31, 2021

"Wonder Woman 1984" (2020) -- Initial Thoughts

Well, I can no longer say that I've never been to any of the new DC movies in the theater, because I went to see this last weekend.  I'd say I liked it about as well as the first Wonder Woman (2017).  I liked it enough to not be sorry I've seen it, but not enough to seek it out for a second viewing.

I don't have a lot of thoughts on this movie, so here are just some reactions and reflections:

  • I liked the sequence near the beginning of the film that took place in a classic '80s mall, mostly because it was filmed at the Landmark Mall in Alexandria, VA.  For six months, we lived only a few minutes from that mall, and I used to take my kids there for a fun lunch at the Chik-Fil-A in the food court.  It is a dead mall now, with only the food court and the Macys still open.  At least, last time I was there, which was about 10 years ago.  They decked it all out for the film to look like it undoubtedly did back in the '80s, of course. I was curious to see if they did that, or if they used it to film some sort of apocalyptic wasteland scene, because it's seriously creepy these days, just hall after hall of empty stores.

  • I liked Pedro Pascal's performance as villain Maxwell Lord.  In fact, I think it was the strongest one in the film.  You know I basically never like villains, and usually detest them.  But Pascal's character was the only one that elicited any emotional response in me -- I was angry at him for how he treated his son for much of the film, but really bought his emotional confliction, and I was so happy and relieved by how his story wound up.

  • I was not happy to see yet another story in which two women cannot have a genuine friendship.  Really tired of the whole "female friendships always devolve into rivalry" thing.

  • Was it just me, or was Diana (Gal Gadot) on exactly the same emotional journey as she was in the first Wonder Woman movie?  (SPOILERS HERE)  In the first movie, she finds love with Steve Trevor (Chris Pine) and then has to let herself lose him in order to save the world.  In this movie, she finds love with Steve Trevor and then has to let herself lose him in order to save the world.  Contrast this with the character growth of even minor characters in the MCU or the X-men franchises, and you'll realize comic book movies don't have to have static characters.  (END SPOILERS)

All in all, it was a fun two hours, with a draggy half an hour added to it of extra-long fight scenes that just kept going and going.  All of the new DC movies I've seen so far (which is, admittedly, only 3) have suffered from the delusion that more = better, especially when it comes to action scenes.

But Gal Gadot, Chris Pine, and Pedro Pascal were entertaining and enjoyable, so I don't feel like I wasted my money, at least.

8 comments:

  1. A lot of the YouTube reviewers I like to follow had the same concerns--that Wonder Woman wasn't allowed to evolve/grow as a character beyond the last movie, and that she wasn't allowed to have a genuine relationship with another woman (or really with anybody beyond Steve Trevor??)

    I loved the first movie, and I'm kiiiiiiind of curious to see this one, but also not.

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    1. Katie, okay! Glad to know I wasn't the only one who was bothered by her arc being basically the same.

      I think people who enjoyed the first one would also enjoy this, because it's similar? I do know some people were weirded out by the way that Steve Trevor came back, though.

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  2. Have not seen it. I may watch it to see if our opinions differ.
    www.rsrue.blogspot.com

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    1. R's Rue, definitely one that I think will play better for some than for others, so making up your own mind is a good idea!

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  3. I really liked the first movie, so I do want to see this one. I've heard it's not as good as the first one, but usually sequels aren't as good, so it's not that surprising.
    *sigh* I can't stand it when all female friendships in fiction turn into rivalry. Not only is it annoying, but it's also kind of sexist.

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    1. McKayla, I think people who liked the first one will also enjoy this one. You're right, sequels rarely equal their predecessors.

      I think all-female-friendships-turn-to-rivalry is VERY sexist, if it's within the same story where male friendships don't. Now, they do still have all the Amazons cheering each other on at the beginning, so you can't say this movie says all female friendships will be toxic. But it had the potential to create a really cool friendship, and didn't.

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  4. I know it's not as good as the first, but I'm still going to watch it as soon as I can mainly for Pedro. XD

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    1. Skye, if you're mostly there for Pedro Pascal (full disclosure: *I* was mostly there for Pedro Pascal), then you will not have a bad time at this movie :-)

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