Saw an advanced screening - this was the most excited I've been to see a movie in a very long time. It appears I'm in the minority who found it to be, frankly, terrible. While the performances of the leads were enjoyable, I found the movie's writing and direction so flawed as to be practically unwatchable.
Gadot continues to embody WW laudably, if leaning at times toward overacting. Pine is effective as the "fish out of water" launched several decades into the future, even if some of his comedic moments with Gadot fall flat. Pascal plays a classically over-the-top 80's villain with enthusiasm - it seems he relishes every moment getting to play a bad guy. For me, Wiig gave the strongest performance of the first act - her comedic timing is given plenty of time to shine, and the audience has ample opportunity to empathize with her. Unfortunately, these four performances were not enough to dig this film out of the hole the writers created.
Written with an over-inflated sense of self-importance, riddled with clunky dialogue trying desperately to convey depth and universal truths, the end result is an endless stream of cringeworthy, eye roll inducing lines that are so on the nose I wonder how they made it out of the writing room. At no point does the film treat its audience with intelligence, opting instead to spoon-feed every concept. How do they convey that WW is not only an action hero, but an advocate for the humanity in all of us? By forcing her to deliver gems like "But Barbara, what about your warmth? What about your humanity?"
Further issues, presented as they occur to me as I tire of reflecting on this mess:
- Why is the heist scene so intentionally campy? The movie is *set* in '84, not *made* in '84. Fortunately the remainder of the film abandons this style.
- Their *most* creative way to sell Barbara as awkward but likable is to have her drop her briefcase of papers? Couldn't come up with something original?
- All Smithsonian employees have access to an unguarded airfield? A WWII pilot can understand the controls?
- No fully-fueled fighter jet has a range to fly DC to Cairo.
- WW has only ever vanished a coffee mug in all her trying, but can suddenly vanish the jet "because she must".
- "I know we're racing against time to save the world, but let's go fly through some fireworks. It'll look cool, promise."
- One moment WW can effortlessly sprint pushing a disabled armored vehicle down the road, the next she can't push two of them apart with all her might.
- The moment she rolls along the road with the two children in her arms is astonishingly poor CGI. Throughout the film, the most obviously CGI'd elements simply have no weight to them.
- Don't play the audio of Steve's "how to fly" speech over the moment WW takes it to heart and learns. Trust your actors and audience. Show, don't tell.
- Max didn't think to steal health in return for wishes until the end of the third act?
- Cheetah has practically zero screen time to pose a real threat. One fight and she's dealt with handily.
- Hundreds of nukes launched, and they don't vanish - they crumble in mid-air. This is somehow not a problem for the planet?
- Returned to the white house grounds, Max somehow lands within yards of his son who has been wandering abandoned highways?
- Linda Carter's cameo was *painful*. If she didn't actually smile and wink into the camera, it sure as hell felt like she did. I won't be re-watching to find out for sure.
I'm tired of griping. I wanted so badly to like this continuation of the DCEU. I'll be there for the next one hoping for better, but my god was this a disappointment. I saw the movie for free and the cost was still too high.