The first aptly Covid-related note as to "Wonder Woman 1984" (aka "WW84"), which hit theaters and HBO Max on Christmas Day 2020, is that NO movie is worth risking serious illness and/or death as to spending two-hours-and-31-minutes plus coming attractions and ads breathing the same air as fellow snack-munching audience members in a windowless room that likely has not been thoroughly cleaned since the opening of that business.
The better related news is claiming victory as to being a Chex Mix Buddies scarfing audience of one at home. The lesser (but adequate) experience of watching the movie on my Sony 4K TV definitely made up for not risking my life to view what I correctly assumed to be a second-tier DCU movie. This is not to mention avoiding the hassle of the drive to the cineplex and enduring the chatter of theater patrons. Not having to wear shoes was the synthetic "butter" on the popcorn.
Before the gleeful ripping apart of the film commences, I must advise readers who still decide to suffer through this almost unwatchable dreck to stick it out through to a mid-closing-scenes stinger that pays the "Wonder Woman" 'verse proper homage.
The undue length of "WW84" is worth noting because it reflects the Goldilocks element of Hollywood fare. Action sequences mostly seemed "just right" through the '80s; they became a bit too short in the '90s., Considering climate change, it is somewhat apt that the 21st century can be considered a new Ice Age in that car chases, battle royales, etc are far too long. "WW84" has at least three such snoozefests.
A recent tweet by your not-so-humble reviewer states that most modern movies are roughly 30 minutes too long. "WW84" double downs on that by being AT LEAST 60 minutes longer than necessary.
The pain begins with an entirely unnecessary and aggravatingly extended sequence of a pre-teen Diana Prince competing against adult Amazonians in an extreme games version of a triathlon on her native island of Themyscira (nee Paradise Island). The purpose of this is too show our heroine getting schooled in what anyone 13-and-over knows is a foreshadowing technique.
The action then shifts to the titular present of the film. The (not-so-amusing) unnecessary scene this time is of Wonder Woman in her guise as mild-mannered Smithsonian employee Diana Prince (Gal Godot) quickly and effortlessly dispatching two (of course, male) joyriders. Anyone who chooses to endure this film already knows that our lead is the girl with something extra.
The concurrent "well, duh" action is Prince jogging by a store that has display-window televisions playing a broadcast of textbook "80s-style "Greed is Good" conman Maxwell Lord promoting his latest scheme. Anyone who has reached the age of reason knows that this Lex Luthor Lite is the villain of the film.
Meanwhile back at the museum. mild-mannered researcher Barbara Minerva (badly cast Kristen Wiig) is enduring the "humiliations" associated with being a mousy nerd. The lack-of-surprise this time is knowing that she soon will almost literally will be the "plain Jane" librarian who becomes a smokin' hot "catwoman" on removing her glasses, letting her hair down, and raising her hem line.
The portrayals of Prince, Minerva, and the men in their lives REQUIRE comment on the irksome feminist 'tude of writer/director Patty Jenkins. Asserting that all of us whose reproductive organs are on the outside are weak, evil, and/or foolish and that being a strong woman necessitates being a warrior princess is contrary to the kinder, gentler alternative.
An amusing (if not ironic) aspect of this is that Minerva only derives desired self-esteem on being a sex kitten who went to college and is the object of the affection of every man with whom she has intercourse. For that matter, Jenkins repeatedly (and not-so-subtly) has a behind-the-camera wind machinelowing on Gadot to make her seem more alluring; this is not to mention of dominatrix outfit of our titular "goddess."
Your not-so-humble reviewer believes that the "Mary Tyler Moore" style of feminism is the better model. Women are not superior to men and are entitled to be treated the same as us hairy beasts. I always have held doors open for people of any gender; at the same time, a person whose reproductive organs are on the inside and who looks to be as healthy as me has no more right to my bus or subway seat than I do. Yes, I will give up my seat to ANYONE who seems to need it more.
Returning to our primary topic, a series of unfortunate events lead to both Minerva and Lord getting ahold of a "monkey's paw" artifact that grants the holder one wish; in the case of Lord, he cracks the code as to his wish being to have one-million more wishes. This leads to several terrible, horrible, no good, very bad days for Prince and a comparable two hours for the audience.
A perfect example of magic having a price is the artifact also allowing Prince to necromance deceased lover Steve Trevor (Chris Pine), whose primary raisons d'etre seem to be to look foolish and to adore the "witch" who resurrected him. He is the one who endures the obligatory "trying on outfits" montage, which would have benefited from, accompaniment by the '83 hit "Sharp Dressed Man."
The ensuing "action" leads to very '80s style world-threatening events. Of course, Wonder Woman saves the day at the last minute. Sadly, the same cannot be said for the $15 (or more) that folks that shelled out for a month of HBO Max or that paid a comparable amount to risk Covid in the theater, Despite watching "WW84" during a free trial of HBO Max, I feel entitled to compensation for my pain and suffering,