Except for certain portions, I mostly hated Wonder Woman (’17). I admired the concept of WW being a different kind of superhero, one who had zero tolerance for evil but who led with heart and kindness…Mother Courage on the warpath. I was okay with Gal Gadot and Chris Pine’s romantic scenes, but I hated the D.C. Amazonian-destiny-mythology bullshit. I found Robin Wright‘s Antiope and Connie Nielsen‘s Hippolyta irksome, and I couldn’t stand Danny Huston‘s Erich Ludendorff and David Thewlis‘s Ares. Their turgid dialogue, I mean, and generic “bad guy” posturing.
But at the same time it didn’t seem wise to bang on that drum too loudly.
Wonder Woman was a very big deal for women everywhere, and a major gusher for Hollywood in the wake of huge financial success ($412,563,408 domestic, $409,283,604 international, $821,847,012 worldwide). It was fairly clear that anyone throwing shade would be asking for trouble. And so very few did.
Vulture‘s David Edelstein penned a misunderstood, arguably somewhat sexist pan and was all but disemboweled for it. The feminist battalion didn’t disagree with Edelstein, or reprimand him for incorrect attitudes or callous phrases — they wanted him seized, dragged into the street and clubbed to death.
The response to Wonder Woman 1984 has been different. I couldn’t even get through it — I had to start fast-forwarding around the halfway mark. Because it was sucking the life out of me.
Many if not most critics have been clubbing WW84 with “it’s not as good as the original.” Which is damnation with faint derision if I ever heard it. The wrinkle that no one mentioned three years ago, but which today is being mentioned left and right, is that Gadot is a less than gifted actor. I thought that was fairly obvious three years ago, but I didn’t want to get knifed. Now it’s a different climate.