So let me start by saying I love the first Wonder Woman film. I’m also a fan of Wonder Woman as a comic book hero, though admittedly it’s been a while since I read any of her solo stories. That being said, I’m definitely not an expert, so I won’t be critiquing this movie as a comic book nerd, I’ll be critiquing it as a movie nerd. In my opinion, it’s a bad movie. I won’t go as far as to say awful, but I will say it’s on the same level of quality as Thor: Dark World. Remember that one? No? Don’t worry there wasn’t anything great in that, and there isn’t anything great in this movie either. There’s some special effects that look twenty years old, a plot that’s nearly as contrived and convoluted as Spiderman 3, and the movie takes place in a time period that has almost no real relevance to the story. The biggest reasons I can see for this movie being in the 80s is nostalgia humor, references to old conflicts, and so that all this craziness can happen in a world without the rest of the Justice League. Honestly I went into this movie thinking Kristen Wiig as Cheetah would be the worst part but her story should have been the main plot. But the final look for her reminded me of the Cats movie, and that the ending was a major letdown.
I’m sure because it’s a movie about a powerful woman the internet is going to explode with pissed of man-babies and incels, but in that regard the movie did a very good job. While it’s not the focus of the film, there’s very honest portrayals of men’s behavior toward women that is still a problem today and was definitely worse back then. Again, I think that if this movie had only been about Diana and Cheetah it could have been great.
The best part of the movie is the acting. The dialogue is hit or miss, the effects and overall camera work is inconsistent, but all of the main cast act their asses off in this movie. It honestly felt somewhat uncomfortable to get such an animated performance from Pedro Pascal, since I’m used to seeing him as Mando, but it was a very good performance. I just wish the material they’d been given to work with was better. In all honesty it’s such a stark contrast from the first film that it’s hard to believe it had the same writer and director. I’m really glad this premiered on HBO Max, cause if I’d wasted money and risked covid to see this in a theater, I’d be furious.