Wonder Woman 1984: The Age of Streaming Dawns Amidst Pandemic Workarounds

Recently the new Wonder Woman movie by DC comics. The movie so far has been rated very well and is getting positive feedback. 

It was supposed to be the “summer of wonder.” At least, that was the tagline in Wonder Woman 1984’s pre-COVID trailers. But then the virus struck, and lockdowns  put the upcoming summer movie lineup in limbo. 

 

At last, half a year after its original release date, Wonder Woman 1984 debuted on Christmas Day, releasing both in theaters and on HBO Max. Serving as the sequel to 2017’s wildly popular Wonder Woman, Patty Jenkins is back. She’s accomplished directing the fourth female led superhero film of the modern age, behind the originals, 2019’s Captain Marvel, and 2020’s Birds of Prey

Gal Gadot returns as Diana Prince with Chris Pine as Steve Trevor, along with newcomers Kristen Wiig as the Cheetah and Pedro Pascal as villain Maxwell Lord, all of whom have delightful on-screen chemistry. 

Wonder Woman 1984 swaps the original gritty World War I setting for the bright, disco inspired ‘80s. While this makes for some gorgeous cinematography, the setting does throw a wrench in the DC Extended Universe’s continuity in regard to the film’s climax. No spoilers here, but the gravity of the events taking place feel intense enough that there being no reference to them in DC films set after 1984 is odd.

 

Digging a bit deeper, this movie was a mixed bag for me. While Diana and Steve’s inverted dynamic from the first film is fun and clever, having him appear in this new rendition after being killed is a little too far fetched for me.  

The movie’s also long, clocking in at a runtime of two hours and thirty-five minutes. I also got the feeling that the film could have done away with one of the four main characters in order to further develop the other three. Having two villains and a Steve Trevor subplot is definitely a reach.

Similar to my review of Birds of Prey, the main villain, Maxwell Lord, is so much fun to watch. Pedro Pascal’s clearly having the time of his life, since he doesn’t often portray villainous characters, but I’d love to see more from him. 

Overall, I’d say Wonder Woman 1984 isn’t as good as the first, but is still a fun night at the movies. It currently has a 60% critic score and 74% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes, and is nearing a modest $150 million at the box office. though the box office performance is almost certainly skewed downward thanks to COVID’s effect on movie theaters. I think Maxwell Lord says it best: The film is good, but it could be better.

Wonder Woman 1984 is one of the first movies to be released in theaters and on a streaming platform at the same time, but it reportedly won’t be the last. Warner Brothers announced in December that all of their 2021 releases will be premiering that way. 

This decision shocked many within the industry. heater executives like AMC and Regal Cinemas are hemorrhaging money, and obviously aren’t happy about the precedent WB is setting. Will COVID and the age of streaming spell the death of movie theaters as a whole? I sure hope not, but only time will tell.