This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
SeeEmilyWatch’s review published on Letterboxd:
This review may contain spoilers.
I don’t know what this movie was originally intended to be about, it was too muddled and confused to tell us that, but I do know what this movie ended up being about.
This movie is about the intellectual and political bankruptcy of contemporary mainstream feminism. The logical and political errors of a “liberation” movement based entirely in rampant individualism and the fetishisation of narcissism above all else. This movie fails in every instance because it wants to be a manifesto for a vision of feminism that is too stupid, too facile to articulate itself. Thus you get Wonder Woman — one of the world’s first feminism superheroes — failing to stop a world-ending cataclysm because she’s too obsessed with Chris Pine’s dick. You get childish #girlboss scenes, like Wonder Woman saving some unnamed Arab kids, without acknowledgment of the fact that Wonder Woman’s fancy new invisible jet is only possible because of the billions of dollars stolen from the Middle East and printed through the war machine that made those children’s’ lives miserable. Wonder Woman saves them from a car crash, yes, but they are sent back into the cruel aftermath of imperial wars — so is she really saving them at all?
Then there’s the incredible cynicism of an apocalypse caused by every person on Earth getting their wish (albeit through a monkey’s paw scenario). The movie leads us to believe that people ask for only profoundly greedy things — new Porsches, to become “sexy”, to end the rule of law — despite repeatedly showing banners for nuclear disarmament campaigns. Are we meant to believe that nobody in the world wished for world peace or an end to conflict? Apparently yes.
Representation is weird and unsettling in the film, too. Jenkins makes a meal out of men being creeps and making unwanted sexual passes at women, which is good, I guess, although Connor did make the excellent point that this is a feminist movie that proves its feminist credentials by repeatedly subjecting its female characters to sexual harassment. But there are her subtle attempts at bringing women into the picture — a show of near gender-and-racial-parity at the Smithsonian museum, where the two leading women work, for example, with literally no reference to the horrific work environment people who weren’t white men faced in the 1980s.
Also holy shit — this is an allegedly feminist movie that decides that consent is just, like, not a thing that matters if you want to fuck a hallucination of Chris Pine enough. I mean seriously, Wonder Woman does some profoundly and evilly fucked up shit to some dude’s body and then they try to play it off at the end as a nice healing moment for her? Bro that is rape.
WW84 is anti-Mandalorian in its vision of fatherhood, which is fine, I think. If you take this as something in conversation with Mando (I guess only because of the Pedro Pascal connection) you get a glimpse at the corrupting and horrible nature of fatherhood under capitalism. That’s probably the best thing about it. Everything else about Pedro Pascal’s character is galling. A crude and cartoonishly offensive caricature of Latin oil barons, which is a sloppy parody of Donald Trump that fails to acknowledge that the reason Trump was able to fuck up in the litany ways he did was because he’s not a fucking migrant.
Then there’s the lack of redemption which, okay, fine, not every movie has to deal with the condition of humanity after the fall of Eve, but it is literally INSANE that a fundamentally sympathetic woman character is electrocuted by Wonder Woman for the cardinal sin of… being exactly like Wonder Woman.
WHY was this set in the 1980s? What was gained from that?
The moral: don’t wish for things to be better, because that’s bad, so just accept things as being bad.
Acting wise: disastrous. Gal Gadot: bad; Kristen Wiig: bad; Pedro Pascal: surprisingly not good; Chris Pine: boring, but he looks great so it’s fine.
Effects: laughably bad, cringeworthy at times. Music: literally an embarrassment; Screenplay: humiliating. Costumes: upsetting (why the 60s sexed-up WW? Why???)
Anyways can’t wait to see Rogue Squadron! I’m sure it won’t make me want to rip my eyes out at all.