½*/**** Image A Sound A Extras B
starring Gal Gadot, Chris Pine, Kristen Wiig, Pedro Pascal
screenplay by Patty Jenkins & Geoff Johns & Dave Callaham
directed by Patty Jenkins
by Walter Chaw At some point, someone in some boardroom should have pushed away from the table and asked whether it was a good idea to have a subplot in their new Wonder Woman movie about a person in the Middle East wishing that colonizers would be expelled from occupied territories. (The granting of said wish subsequently leading somehow to nuclear holocaust.) I mean, with or without an Israeli actress in the lead role. Not to say it's not geometrically worse with an Israeli actress in the lead role, because it is. Look, the real wonder of WW84 is that this maybe isn't the worst thing about it. Neither is how flat it looks, or how it starts with 45 minutes of poorly-timed slapstick before shifting into absolutely deadening action sequences, a weird body-possession intrigue, and a horrifying message about how you should never wish for things because everything has consequences attached to it. With so much riding on its shoulders, the burden to be all things to all people has resulted in a vivisected monstrosity of plastic inauthenticity. WW84 additionally has one of the most beautiful people in the world--who's playing an immortal superhero--tearfully proclaim that she wants something to go right for her for once in her life. What I'm saying is, WW84 is a very particular, very limited kind of fantasy gratification that also happens to have fantasy gratification as its needlessly magical plot.