Bil’s rating (out of 5): BB
USA/United Kingdom/Spain, 2020. Atlas Entertainment, DC Comics, DC Entertainment, The Stone Quarry, Warner Bros.. Story by Patty Jenkins, Geoff Johns, Screenplay by Patty Jenkins, Geoff Johns, David Callaham, based on characters from DC Wonder Woman created by William Moulton Marston. Cinematography by Matthew Jensen. Produced by Gal Gadot, Patty Jenkins, Stephen Jones, Charles Roven, Deborah Snyder, Zach Snyder, Andreas Wentz. Music by Hans Zimmer. Production Design by Aline Bonetto. Costume Design by Lindy Hemming. Film Editing by Richard Pearson.
The 2017 film that was as popular with critics as it was with audiences is followed by a sequel that, while only actually a few minutes longer, feels double the length and half the fun. Where the first film moved quickly from one act to the next and packed each movement with action and story development, this one feels like a very spare story stretched out over too long a running time and, most surprising, doesn’t feature enough nifty effects-laden fight sequences to make up for it. Having saved the world in the Great War, Diana Prince (Gal Gadot) has reached the eighties and decides to lay low, working as an archaeologist at the Smithsonian Museum. When the museum comes into possession of a gemstone with mystical properties, it begins to have a strange effect on her nerdy co-worker Barbara Minerva (Kristen Wiig). The stone, it turns out, is one that grants the wishes of those who possess it, which of course means that an insecure personality is going to corrupt very easily in its presence. Diana has her work cut out for her when a business tycoon (Pedro Pascal) breaks in to steal the rock, having plans to use it to transform the entire world and plunge it into utter chaos. What’s a girl to do but grab a lasso and start fighting, which sounds simple enough but someone from her past has returned to her life: we thought we’d see no more of Chris Pine as Steve Trevor, but he has come back in a manner that is poorly explained, in the body of another man but we see his face instead, much like when Demi Moore and Whoopi Goldberg slow-danced in Ghost. The challenges are paltry in this overdrawn film and there is absolutely no excitement to be found in any of it, while the scenes that develop the characters and story are even duller. Wiig, as always invisible when not doing comedy, is working so hard demanding praise for landing an action film role that she can’t be bothered to have any fun with what could have been a Selena Kyle experience, while Gadot tries much harder, giving the character all the sincerity and style that she has to offer, but can do nothing with so dull a script.
Critics Choice Award Nomination: Best Visual Effects
Screen Actors Guild Award: Outstanding Action Performance by a Stunt Ensemble in a Motion Picture