The continuation of the adventures of Diana Prince, available on VOD, has not benefited from a theatrical release. We quickly understand why: devoid of stakes and devoid of rhythm, Wonder Woman 1984 is a long, tasteless story with a very awkward subtext.
1984: Diana Prince is fully integrated into the company, where she works as an archaeologist. Confronted with an oil mania, she will however have to put on the Wonder Woman costume again to avoid the end of the world. Already seen, you say? Yes, and much more. Sailing on the hype 80’s interview in season 3 of Stranger Things, Patty jenkins chooses the Washington of the Reagan years as a narrative anchor. Thus, the film begins in a shopping center, at the time of the achievement of capitalism, and we assume the story as a satirical vector of the figure of the average consumer.
Never mind: Jenkins seems to be astonished to feel a form of unhealthy and inappropriate fascination for the culture of an era of undeniable naivety. Above all, it completely obscures a potential shadow hidden behind this sound and visual noise, clumsily orchestrated.
The 2010s, Hollywood nostalgia
It is unfortunate that the antagonists are part of the continuity of this cutesy and sickening framework. Where the story should have been a foothold to explore the psyche of a complex heroine, the lack of stakes becomes detrimental. Above all, you never explore what makes the Amazon exceptional. No one among the protagonists revolving around her seems to think through any other means than that of the visual obsession engendered by her unfailing charm. Gal gadot surely did not have to force his talents as his character is sufficient for his own status as a contemporary sex symbol. The torments in contact with a polymorphic society are never addressed, the heroine’s initiatory quest is eclipsed.
The regression is total, when, devoid of ideas, Jenkins operates a narrative pirouette so that Steve, deceased love, takes part in the story. In 2021, the observation is relentless: the heroine can only be accomplished in contact with her male counterpart. Disappointing, especially when it comes to Chris Pine, contenting himself to play the rascal all smiles, without really knowing what he came to do here.
Marie kirschen, in Herstory, described the heroine of the comic book of the 70s in these terms: “Diana Prince loses a time of his powers. Completely in love with her fiancé, she falls back into the exasperating cliché of “the damsel in distress”. Difficult not to copy this analysis on the version of the character in 2021. Emptied of tragic stakes, Wonder Woman never imposes itself by its qualities of investigator or warrior. Far from the tricks glimpsed in the introductory sequence, it is recognized only for its charm and in this translates the obsessions of a time when appearances prevail.
Barbara’s main wish is to be attractive to men, like Diana. Maxwell Lord obeys only a mercantile logic. We come to doubt the intentions of Patty jenkins so much his film swings in spite of himself towards parody. In this, the story is at the antipodes of Wandavision, recent series of the competitor Marvel. The character of Wanda Maximoff imposed herself with brio and creativity: by building her own microcosm, a utopian parallel world where, lulled by the culture of sitcoms, she managed to avoid the tragic fate to which reality had doomed her.
Our review of WANDAVISION
In one sequence, the recent Snyder’s cut of Justice league had at least the merit of restoring its letters of nobility to the modern heroine. Confronted with a cold and radical army, it prevented, not without difficulty, the robbery of a palace in the center of Paris. The sequence, rhythmic and rich in intensity, includes more iconic and symbolic shots of the accomplishment of Wonder Woman as an emblem of modernity than the two and a half hours of a film dedicated to her. The final confrontation of this sequel will surely remain in the annals of the grotesque. Confronted with a cat, it is however implied that Diana Prince acquires a new status. That of the heroine reduced to a simple effigy, tasteless, a simple body unfit for reflection, never recognized for its human qualities. A failure in due form, which definitively ends the hopes of witnessing a resurrection of the DC Cinematic Universe.
• Original title :Wonder Woman 1984 • Production : Patty Jenkins • Scenario: Patty Jenkins, Geoff Johns • Main actors : Gal Gadot, Pedro Pascal, Kristen Wiig, Chris Pine • Release date : March 31, 2021 • Duration: 2h35min