After the first three entries in the DC Extended Universe failed to impress critics, Wonder Woman suggested a bright future for Warner Bros.’ superhero slate when it hit theaters in 2017. To this day, it remains the DCEU’s best-reviewed film. But more importantly, it also ushered in a new era of onscreen representation. Director Patty Jenkins and her team likely faced a lot of pressure to repeat that success for the inevitable sequel. Thankfully, it sounds like they managed to (mostly) pull it off.
With Wonder Woman 1984 finally upon us, critics have begun sharing their first impressions online. According to some reviews, the sequel is not without its faults. But it couldn’t have come at a better time. The world is definitely in a tight spot right now. However, WW84’s endearing message might give us some of the strength we need to carry on. Check out a few highlights below.
In his review for ComicBook.com, Brandon Davis called the film “exciting and inspirational” and also credited Hans Zimmer’s score with elevating its hopeful themes. He observed that Gal Gadot seemed “more comfortable” in the title role. Plus, he deemed Pedro Pascal’s Maxwell Lord to be “the most entertaining part” of the sequel. Davis also noted that the film packs a “surprising level of worldly commentary, considering when it was shot.”
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IGN’s Matt Purslow hailed the movie as “a notable improvement on its already great predecessor.” He also commended Jenkins for bringing out the humanity in her cast of supporting players, particularly Kristen Wiig’s Barbara Ann Minerva. Conversely, he wasn’t impressed by Chris Pine’s Steve Trevor, who “feel[s] more like a plot complication for Diana rather than a true character in his own right.”
The Wrap’s Alonso Duralde praised the film’s “wickedly pungent social satire” and insisted that Gadot’s action scenes “offer the expected thrills and excitement.” Despite this, it shares a common problem with the first film. It “graft[s] an unwieldy and effects-heavy finale onto a movie that had managed to create relatable characters and situations, even when both are larger than life.”
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The Hollywood Reporter’s David Rooney praised some of the movie’s action sequences as “an absolute blast.” He also singled out Chris Pine for offering “welcome humor” in his return as Steve. However, his review wasn’t without its criticisms. Rooney took aim at the sequel’s two-and-a-half-hour runtime. Additionally, he wasn’t impressed by Kristen Wiig’s performance as Cheetah, suggesting she may have been “miscast.”
Collider’s Matt Goldberg likewise took issue with the overstuffed nature of the sequel. In his view, WW84 has “too many [good stories] to tell and no idea how to do it.” Moreover, Goldberg noted that it’s easy to draw parallels between Maxwell Lord and a certain modern-day political figure with a similar hairstyle. Unfortunately, whatever social commentary Jenkins intended fails because of its “sloppy” execution.
Finally, Polygon’s Seanan McGuire said the film was “neither” uplifting or inspiring. McGuire specifically took issue with the sequel’s “leaps of illogic.” And McGuire had one more parting shot. “With a movie drenched in the neon aesthetic of the ’80s, they’ve finally found a way to dim even Wonder Woman’s light.”
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Recommended Reading: Wonder Woman: The Golden Age Omnibus Vol. 1