Wonder Woman 1984 was a disappointment, especially when compared with the first film and while I had plenty of issues with some of the story elements, I can’t say it’s bad and probably worthy of a rental or outright purchase to add to ones superhero collection.
Wonder Woman 1984
Genre(s): Action, Adventure, Fantasy
Warner Bros. | PG13 – 151 min. – $44.95 | March 30, 2021
Date Published: 03/25/2021 | Author: The Movieman
Warner Bros. Home Entertainment provided me with a free copy of the Blu-ray I reviewed in this Blog Post.
The opinions I share are my own.
Note: The screen captures in this review were taken from the included Blu-ray disc
and does not represent the quality of the 4K transfer.
THE MOVIE — 3/5
Note: This review contains some MAJOR SPOILERS, so readers beware.
Plot Synopsis: Diana Prince (GAL GADOT) lives quietly among mortals in the vibrant, sleek 1980s – an era of excess driven by the pursuit of having it all. Though she’s come into her full powers, she maintains a low profile by curating ancient artifacts, and only performing heroic acts incognito. But soon, Diana will have to muster all of her strength, wisdom and courage as she finds herself squaring off against Maxwell Lord (PEDRO PASCAL) and the Cheetah (KRISTEN WIIG), a villainess who possesses superhuman strength and agility.
Review: 2017’s Wonder Woman was perhaps lightning in a bottle, akin to Superman ’78, and was a great achievement showcasing Gal Gadot following her debut in Batman v Superman, and was just an all-around great origin film where you couldn’t help but to become engrossed. Now the long awaited and anticipated sequel, Wonder Woman 1984 that, thanks to COVID-19, went straight-to-streaming on HBO Max. Unfortunately, like plenty other sequels, WW84 doesn’t nearly capture the magic of the first film. This isn’t to say the film is bad but certainly was a disappointment.
On the positive side, we do see the return of Chris Pine as Steve Trevor, brought back to life — in a Quantum Leap-like fashion — from a mystical wishing stone and the scenes between Gal Gadot and Pine were fantastic and probably the saving grace keeping the film from making the bottom of my list in the DCEU. I will also say, Pedro Pascal hams up his role as Maxwell Lord which is in keeping with that character and his ultimate goal of infinite power. I also enjoyed Kristen Wiig as Wonder Woman’s longtime arch nemesis, Barbara Minerva, though her transformation to Cheetah in the finale was much to be desired, employing the Godzilla ’98 tactic of hiding the shoddy CGI in darkness.
Other than the Gadot/Pine relationship, I wasn’t entirely enthralled with the rest of the movie. While I don’t mind the plot with Lord using people’s wishes to become stronger, as I could absolutely see it being used in a comic book, but when compared to the first film, taking place in the midst of World War I, it doesn’t have the grand scale. Beyond that, how the wishes get undone is a little confusing, i.e. is it the people worldwide renouncing their wishes or does Maxwell Lord need to do to avert the collapse of civilization?
Besides the plot, and maybe this is might be nit-picky, but these bothered me in both viewings. The first in how Steve Trevor is brought back, inhabiting the body of some dude. Taking aside where that guy’s soul went, apparently Diana was perfectly willing to spend the rest of Steve’s life (so 40+ years), but no consideration for that guy he’s taken over (just credited as “Handsome Guy”). I don’t know, seems a little selfish and over-complicating things, since they could’ve have him appear out of nowhere rather than “Quantum Leap” him into someone else’s body.
The next two employs a tell but don’t show aspect of filmmaking: Diana displays a new power of making things invisible, rather than use some foreshadowing to this, she just does it with an explanation she had been practicing invisibility and uses it on the jet, which is a cool nod to the comics and old series. The issue is, it’s a significant plot point to get Diana and Steve from Washington D.C. to Egypt. The third, is Wonder Woman’s golden armor she uses in the finale, and important in defeating Cheetah, that she found it in her searches over the past 50 years. Nice to know. And lucky. Again, been nice to see this than convenient she had this at her disposal.
In any case, Wonder Woman 1984 does see the return of Patty Jenkins to the director’s chair and also worked on the script alongside Geoff Johns (DC Comics writer who also worked on the infamous Green Lantern feature) and Dave Callaham (The Expendables, Zombieland: Double Tap). While Jenkins’s direction wasn’t at all bad with some fairly well filmed fight/action sequences (save for the Wonder Woman/Cheetah duel at the end), though I wonder if Allan Heinberg (who scripted the first) didn’t get his due credit.
SPECIAL FEATURES – 3½/5
This release comes with a glossy slip cover and inside is a redemption code for the Digital HD copy.
The Making of Wonder Woman 1984: Expanding the Wonder (36:23) is a behind-the-scenes featurette with interviews by members of the cast and crew discussing the plot and characters old and new.
Gal & Kristen: Friends Forever (5:10) on the two characters and the development of their friendship.
Small But Mighty (10:44) looks at the opening sequence on Themyscira.
Scene Studies on “The Open Road” (6:11) and “The Mall” (6:03), breaking both down with more behind-the-scenes footage.
Gal & Krissy Having Fun (1:12) quick feature with Gal Gadot and Kristen Wiig singing a tune.
Meet the Amazons (21:28) introduces viewers to the Amazonian women from the DC Fandome event.
Rounding things out is the Black Gold Infomercial (1:38), a Gag Reel (6:26) and Wonder Woman 1984 Retro Remix (1:40), done in the style of the old Wonder Woman TV series.
4K ULTRA HD VIDEO – 5/5, BLU-RAY VIDEO – 4¾/5
|Warner Bros. releases Wonder Woman 1984 onto 4K Ultra HD and Blu-ray where it’s presented with a 2.38 widescreen aspect ratio (and 1.85 for the IMAX sequences) and given a 2160p and 1080p high-definition transfer, respectively. Not entirely sure how this was shot, but does look pretty crisp and pristine with noticeable amount of fine noise. In addition, colors are bright and vibrant from the dark red and blue in Wonder Woman’s costume to fine skin tones. Dark levels meanwhile are deep without appearing crushed. The difference between the 4K and Blu-ray discs are minimal with the former being a little sharper however the Blu-ray still looks fantastic.|
AUDIO – 4¾/5
|Both the 4K Ultra HD and Blu-ray discs come with a Dolby Atmos track, which really comes to life during the action scenes, making use of every channel to their fullest extents. Dialogue levels, coming from the center speaker, are strong and clean showing no hints of any hissing or pops, though not a big surprise for a big budget, modern film.|
OVERALL – 3¾/5
Wonder Woman 1984 was a disappointment, especially when compared with the first film and while I had plenty of issues with some of the story elements, I can’t say it’s bad and probably worthy of a rental or outright purchase to add to ones superhero collection, however it is in the lower half on my list of DCEU films.
Check out some more 1080p screen caps by going to page 2. Please note, these do contain spoilers.