The film opens with an IMAX sequence, but I sure as hell didn’t see anything spectacular on the screen. Nothing but garbage CGI and green screen, masquerading as “epic.” IMAX is being used as marketing here, not as a creative choice to craft something visually striking. Instead, we just get a larger, boring, flat image, devoid of any texture, tactility, or depth.
Then we’re introduced to Barbara. How do you know she’s not cool? Because she wears glasses and isn’t all that popular with douchebag guys who pop their collars. Oh, but she’ll become cool by losing the lenses, wearing mascara, getting a haircut, buying new clothes, and ditching her comfy sweaters. Hell of a lesson.
But it’s most egregious and utterly preposterous contrivance? Bringing back Steve Trevor because…Aladdin. I’ll accept lassos of truth and other worlds and fantasy hand waving, but this was just lazy screenwriting shorthand. The entire plot of this film appears to have been written because they wanted to cast Pine once again, not as an organic story choice. And you know Steve’s ultimate fate is sealed the moment it’s revealed how he returned. It’s just a ticking plot device.
I don’t ask for all of my superhero films to be serious and dark and brooding. But this is just saccharin and laughably sincere to the point where I have zero concern for any of the characters. There are no stakes. In the wake of Man of Steel, DC and Warner continue to be so concerned with not killing anyone in their films, that they literally have Diana protecting the heads of security guards as they fall to the ground. Hey, gotta prevent that chronic traumatic encephalopathy! And don’t worry about those military guys, either, they fell in water!
Finally, there is no reason why this needs to be 2.5 hours. It looks unfinished, with truly awful CGI, and not even that runtime can find a moment which evokes the optimism and wonder of the No Man’s Land sequence from the first film. But I hope you learned the film’s valuable lesson: lying is bad. Honesty is good. Wow. It’s just…so profound.
BUT DIRECTED BY PATTY JENKINS AND STARRING A POWERFUL WOMAN! This film’s total failure has absolutely nothing to do with the gender of its director or star. Jenkins has previously crafted great films with female leads, including the first Wonder Woman, so please don’t use that as some lazy excuse to go after those who don’t like this.
One star for Gal Gadot for still owning the role, Pedro Pascal’s Maxwell Lord having the only thing resembling a character arc, and Hans Zimmer’s score.