Towards the end of Wonder Woman 1984, Diana Prince (Gal Gadot) desperately shouts “why are you doing this?” at the villain cackling maniacally down at her. It feels twistedly cathartic to hear this as an audience member. Characters’ motivations are blurry, plot is only tossed around half-heartedly, bad guys want to take over the world… just because. The frustrating story makes for a film that is somehow both predictable and convoluted.

Gadot does get to shine as a genuinely delightful action star at certain points. She glares into the camera, plants her feet, and bares her metal cuffs with a focusedness that is undeniably thrilling to watch. And there are just as many leaps, kicks, and spins as the first film, but something about the garish 80’s colour palette makes the action feel blurry and hurried.

When Diana is introduced in this sequel, she is lonely, committed to work and without any friends. It’s startling that this character, who was raised in a community of women, has failed to make one female friend in sixty years. But this is the drab version of Diana we are offered – a warrior reduced to a widow.

As with any superhero film, there are moments of visual audacity that are engaging. Still, these moments of movie magic disintegrate when confronted with the corrosive cynicism of a film that boasts a female protagonist and yet feels thoroughly uninterested in her inner world.

Wonder Woman 1984 has many opportunities to be a charming sequel with a capable main cast, an electrifying score and an emboldening (if basic) message, yet it is unwieldy and shallow. Its total disinterest in Diana and what makes her beloved holds the film back from being anywhere close to great.



CAST: Gal Gadot, Chris Pine, Kristen Wiig, Pedro Pascal

DIRECTOR: Patty Jenkins

WRITERS: Patty Jenkins, Geoff Johns, David Callaham

SYNOPSIS: Diana Prince is living in Washington D.C. in 1984, when she and her colleague, Barbara Minerva, discover a mysterious artefact.