Wonder Woman 1984 review - no, no, no, no, no

I'm at a loss to understand how this was ever released as it is. It fails to work on virtually every level and pales into comparison with Wonder Woman's previous outings, which takes some doing.

What can I say about Wonder Woman 1984? It would be okay except for, well, everything. I wasn't a massive fan of the original Wonder Woman film but it's Oscar material compared to this new one.

Let's start with the story. A stone is discovered that grants people wishes. Diana Prince (AKA Wonder Woman) uses it to wish Steve Trevor (played by Chris Pine) back into existence. He is Prince's lover-boy and he blew himself up in the original Wonder Woman, so they had to use something like this to get him back. If he valued his acting career he'd have stayed blown up.

Then Barbara Minerva (played by Kristen Wiig) — a shy, retiring, clumsy work buddy of Prince — uses the stone to wish she was a confident, sexy, powerful woman like Prince.

The thing is, the stone takes something in return for granting these wishes. Stones are like that. From Prince it takes some of her powers and gives them to Minerva, and from Minerva it takes some of her goodness and gives it to nobody as far as I can tell.

Still from Wonder Woman 1984 featuring Gal Gadot.

The stone is not done yet. Maxwell Lord (played by Pedro Pascal) has the dubious honour of playing the role of the baddie in this. He plays hide the sausage with Minerva and persuades her to give him the stone. He uses it to wish he was the stone itself and thereafter he becomes the wish machine, granting wishes to all and sundry to better his own position. By way of recompense the stone takes his health and his solution — now that he's the stone — is to take the health from the people to whom he grants wishes.

Lord grants wishes to powerful people around the world, including the US president. This causes all sorts of political turmoil. Then he discovers a magical TV system that can broadcast to every screen in the world and he grants wishes to the entire population. Nuclear war is brewing, everything is a mess, the world's going to end, and the only way to sort it out is for everyone to renounce their wishes.

If that hasn't put you off — and trust me, it should — then you watch this film at your own risk. I understand you have to suspend your notion of reality to watch superhero stuff (or any sci-fi), but for this movie you have to suspend your sanity.

It isn't just the story. As mentioned, Prince gets Trevor, her lover, back as the result of her wish, and that means we're treated to scenes of such cloying sentimentality it beggars belief. Prince and Trevor are on their way to save the world and get distracted by some fireworks (as you do when the world's at stake). Cue some gazing into one another's eyes as Trevor pilots a plane towards the pretty colours. I half expected some cartoon ponies and a cherub or two to appear and start floating around their heads.

As far as I'm concerned everything that could go wrong with this movie did go wrong. As I said, I'm not a massive fan of Wonder Woman in general, but every other appearance of that character is better than this, even the dreadful Dawn of Justice and Justice League films.

I cannot help coming back to the Marvel vs DC argument with this sort of thing. Marvel seems so much more adept at creating depth to their characters. Look at the Black Widow or the Scarlet Witch as counter-examples of female superheroes. In my humble opinion DC creates caricatures more often than characters.

Saving graces? Wonder Woman 1984 has few. I guess some of the action scenes are okay and there are a few funny moments, but none of that is capable of rescuing this film. It's 151 minutes of dross, essentially.