WARNING: SPOILER ALERTS AHEAD!
The whole 1980s aesthetic
Terrible. Disgusting. Heinous. *insert vomit emoji* If you’re going to make a film set in the 1980s, MAKE IT LOOK LIKE IT’S SET IN THE 1980s. It just honestly should not be that hard, considering people who worked on Wonder Woman 1984 surely lived through that period of time. If not, there’s a dense catalogue of visual material (e.g. best movie of the 80s: Heathers) of what the 1980s actually looked like. Instead, WW84 served up a dish that looked scarily similar to what the 80s thought we would look like NOW, in Back To the Future II. Gross.
The references to Trump
There’s no denying that the creators behind WW84 were trying to not-so-subtly draw comparisons between their villain, powerful businessman and entrepreneur Max Lord, and our villain (‘our’ being all of humanity in 2020), Donald Trump. From the ridiculous suits and the blonde mess upon his head, to the thirst for ultimate power and his unhinged stubbornness in obtaining it, to the final moments before his demise in which we see Max Lord literally positioned in front of a White House press podium background, the similarities are uncanny. And frankly, they don’t work. It kind of just felt like another chance for Hollywood to show off how liberal they think they are by taking one final shot at a man we no longer care to waste our shots on.
The, and I’m sorry Gal Gadot but, the acting
Gal Gadot is a QUEEN. This is a fact. But I’m afraid being an absolute queen IRL (save for misguided attempts at uniting us all in a global pandemic by leading horribly off-key and emotionally soul-destroying videos of celebrities singing Imagine by John Lennon) does not always translate to being a queen on the screen. It’s nothing that a few acting lessons couldn’t fix, let’s be honest. And I hope for her sake, and for the sake of Ms. Wonder Woman herself, that Gal manages to fit in some lessons between now and the next sequel, as long as no more acapella videos get in the way.
The misguided attempts at seeming politically-versed
The way that WW84 brushed over the whole religious and political tensions of stolen land in the Middle East was incredibly unsettling. Attempting to explain and unpack (and solve?) a history that is both extremely complex and difficult, and to try and do so in a superhero movie about a magic rock and power-hungry Americans is just silly.
The fact that this film truly feels like it’s from 1984, and not in the way it hopes to
I fully understand that I, as a young female feminist, am not the prime target audience for this film. But girrrllllll, this film had as many chances as Pedro Pascal had wishes to abandon tiresome cliches and instead nod to a re-interpreted (dare I say, feminist?) version of who Wonder Woman is and what her story could be, and yet, as per usual, it didn’t. I didn’t expect any revolutionary takes on female superheroes or ground-breaking, trail-blazing progressive storylines, but I mean, c'mon guys, it’s 2020. Not, as this film would have you believe from its stereotypical tropes of gender roles, 1984. Yawn.
The God-awful CGI
I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not an especially die-hard superhero movie fanatic. But I am a film fanatic, and better yet, a cinema fanatic. Watching a movie on the big screen in a dark room amongst a bunch of strangers that all laugh and cry in unison is a pretty spectacular time, if you ask me, and the sorts of movies that look best projected up there in all their pixelated glory are those movies that are loud and crazy and bright and colourful and include a few moments that allow us lay-people in our plush seats, popcorn bucket in hand, to laugh and cry along with. For all of these reasons, Wonder Woman 1984 in theory is the ideal movie to watch in cinema. But for a blockbuster Hollywood studio movie with a budget of $200 million (Two.Hundred.Million.Dollars…!) the CGI is BAD. Like, SO BAD. As if the plot of the film wasn’t already completely and utterly beyond the scope of believability (the story follows a magic rock that grants people wishes...?), the terrible visual effects brought me well out of the world of the film. If you’re gonna make a superhero movie in this day and age, the LEAST you can do, even if you don’t care about a emotionally satisfying story, is make it look good. But alas, our gal Ms. Wonder Woman has yet again been failed by the Hollywood hacks.