After a tumultuous release, in the midst of a global health crisis, Wonder Woman 1984 has disappointed its first viewers, legal and illegal. And according to the many returns seen online, Patty Jenkins has been wallowing big. But, while the dust of controversy has largely been settled and the film is finally legally released in France, what’s really going on?
The flaws of superheroic blockbusters in its industrialized era are now well known, and Wonder Woman 1984 is no exception, especially when the film had to get rid of its traditional heavy specs. Indeed, one is often under the impression that the filmmaker’s pleasing intentions are against the requirements of the site he directs.
This is probably the reason why the Cheetah (Kristian Wiig) subplot was never picked up, grafted on to artificially increase the action scene quota (with some cosmic fiasco at the key). Undoubtedly, this is what explains the emergence of absurd action scenes, such as a highway confrontation which gives the feeling of being completely conceptualized against a green background, simply by misunderstanding and never impressing. This may be what “justifies” the sterile length, the film cheerfully exceeds 2h30, which fatigues the audience, thereby spoiling the bright and joyful atmosphere, which otherwise calls for a certain pace.
Likewise, we can’t say whether the footage experienced conflicting production, or whether the consequences of the 2020 pandemic disrupted its completion arrangements, but we were often disappointed by the overall rendering of the blockbuster. The most complex special effects, particularly those pertaining to the Cheetah character, suffer from often-embarrassing brusqueness, but we’re also surprised to see some pretty embarrassing flops, which range from poorly polished wigs (during the end of the vent) or the use of live models from girls. worst girl of the 80s. This feeling of extravagance is further enhanced by a series of humorous traits that are most often rude, or at odds with overall directness.
However, was Wonder Woman 1984 a disaster that so many audiences echoed? No. It’s also surprising that at a time when this particular 4-hour film is being publicized as an achievement in the art of adapting comics (hello Zack Snyder’s Justice League), Patty Jenkins’ work and passion haven’t garnered much more acclaim. From his introduction, the real desire to fill his surroundings with evocative flying lines, to constantly sublimate the grace and power of the Amazons is manifested. It’s even more pronounced that since her collaboration with Gal Gadot is now at full speed, the actress has become much more comfortable with the character (and comedy) than her previous interpretation of the heroine.
And it’s the same once the story returns to the present. More than any other product exploring ’80s nostalgia, the director uses a multitude of shapes and colors to regularly find the chromatic range associated with the most vibrant, organic, and colorful tones of the original work. It’s also no coincidence that this film stands emphatically not in the matrix masterpiece that is Superman of Richard Donner (even if that sometimes means too heavy a homage).
While other productions still have a hard time breaking away from the easy schemes of porn-destroying and artificial struggles against hordes of digital bots, Patty Jenkins always brings her protagonists back to concrete major emotional issues, close to the story. An orientation that allows him to dwell on the villain who is pathetic, overly human and often touching Maxwell Lord (Pedro Pascal). The latter would allow the scenario to challenge a climax that is incredibly compelling on paper, deeply anti-spectacular and pegged to its heroine values… until it turns into a bad ad for a broken fan fix.
What ultimately allowed Wonder Woman 1984 to carve out its own place in a DC production, was the sequence in which Jenkins managed to impose pure cinematic logic. The dramaturgy of Diana and Barbara’s first encounter, the toxic relationship that propels God into a destructive spiral or the final scene in which Chris Pine appears are all driven by the sense of frame and narrative that images always think of, which renders too lacking in the genre.