WONDER WOMAN 1984 – Review by Susan Granger

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Years ago, when I taught screenwriting at the University of Bridgeport, we discussed how a superhero must not only struggle morally to do the right thing but he/she must also battle a worthy villain who epitomizes a powerful, evil threat.

When Wonder Woman (2017) debuted, the origin story of the Amazonian Princess was sensational! It detailed her background, childhood and how she fell in love with Steve Trevor (Chris Pine) a dashing-but-doomed W.W.I pilot. Director Patty Jenkins proved female super-heroes were just as mighty as men.

Its sequel, beginning on the island of Themyscira, once again recalls how fearless, young demi-goddess Diana (Lilly Aspell) learned tough lessons about truth and honesty from her aunt Antiope (Robin Wright) and mother Hippolyta (Connie Nielsen). (Actually, that’s the best part of the entire movie.)

Jump to 1984 and she’s back as her alter-ego Diana Prince (Gal Gadot), an archeologist at the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C., where she’s kind to an envious, inept gemologist, Barbara Minerva (Kristen Wiig), who is tasked with identifying a mysterious citrine crystal with a murky past.

This stone has wish-granting power. Barbara wishes to be like Diana, and Diana wishes she could be with her beloved Steve again. Then TV huckster Marshall Lord (Pablo Pascal) steals the gemstone, seeking world domination through greed. He’s like a Tony Robbins/Donald Trump clone, more ridiculous than wicked, insisting: “I’m not a con man but a respected television personality.”

Clumsily scripted by former DC Comics president/CEO Geoff Johns, Dave Callahan and director Patty Jenkins, even Matthew Jensen’s splendid cinematography can’t redeem the tortuous, overstuffed plotting and choppy editing.

Pablo Pascal also stars in Disney’s The Mandalorian, concluding its second Disney + season, and Asteria, the legendary Amazon warrior seen midway through the credits, is Lynda Carter (1960s TV Wonder Woman).

FYI: Because stars often receive a percentage of the box-office gross, Gal Gadot walks away with at least $10 million of additional compensation, despite its release on HBO Max.

On the Granger Gauge, Wonder Woman 1984 lassos a stunt-filled 6. Such a shame!

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Susan Granger

Susan Granger is a product of Hollywood. Her natural father, S. Sylvan Simon, was a director and producer at R.K.O., M.G.M. and Columbia Pictures; her adoptive father, Armand Deutsch, produced movies at M.G.M. As a child, Susan appeared in movies with Abbott & Costello, Red Skelton, Lucille Ball, Margaret O'Brien and Lassie. She attended Mills College in California, studying journalism with Pierre Salinger, and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania, Phi Beta Kappa, with highest honors in journalism. During her adult life, Susan has been on radio and television as an anchorwoman and movie/drama critic. Her newspaper reviews have been syndicated around the world, and she has appeared on American Movie Classics cable television. In addition, her celebrity interviews and articles have been published in REDBOOK, PLAYBOY, FAMILY CIRCLE, COSMOPOLITAN, WORKING WOMAN and THE NEW YORK TIMES, as well as in PARIS MATCH, ELLE, HELLO, CARIBBEAN WORLD, ISLAND LIFE, MACO DESTINATIONS, NEWS LIMITED NEWSPAPERS (Australia), UK DAILY MAIL, UK SUNDAY MIRROR, DS (France), LA REPUBBLICA (Italy), BUNTE (Germany), VIP TRAVELLER (Krisworld) and many other international publications through SSG Syndicate. Susan also lectures on the "Magic and Mythology of Hollywood" and "Don't Take It Personally: Conquering Criticism and other Survival Skills," originally published on tape by Dove Audio.