DC Comics takes another step backward with “Wonder Woman 1984″


Photo courtesy of HBO

As the first big-ticket movie released during the pandemic, “Wonder Woman 1984” had a great chance to reinvigorate the DC brand.

By Jasper Bernstein, Observations Editor

It’s always hard when companies spend hundreds of millions of dollars on the production of a subpar movie. With “Wonder Woman 1984,” DC Films wasted a huge opportunity to create a trendsetting movie and may have squandered away one of the best chances they had to bring their studio on track.

According to statistics by DigitalSpy, DC Comics has been declining in revenue for years. With competitors like Marvel taking larger and larger shares of the revenue, the production company needed a spark to reinvigorate the brand. 

“Wonder Woman 1984” was the best chance for DC to turn it around. Almost no movies have been released during the pandemic, with theater closures scaring companies away from releasing the scheduled movies. DC inked an exclusive contract with HBO to release the movie, giving them a limited opportunity to release a big-ticket movie in the middle of a pandemic. 

Although “Wonder Woman 1984” featured a star-studded cast, spotlighting stars like Gal Gadot, Kristen Wiig and Pedro Pascal, it felt as if the writing didn’t fully understand the actors and allow them to flourish. 

During the romance scenes, which should be a highlight of the movie, the dialogue seems forced and awkward. The end of the movie seems like it was taken from a classic Christmas movie, a poor fit for a movie based around superheroes. All in all, the writing and dialogue was consistently very poor.

“Wonder Woman 1984” is set, as the name implies, in 1984. It’s a good choice for the movie that allows it to work nicely within the story and character arc. But for everything the film gains in story, it loses in execution. 

The 1984 theme never was written into the movie. With the exception of about 3 scenes (such as the mall scene, which was well done), the movie fails to thoughtfully incorporate everything the 1984 timeline has to offer. A WCHS student from the class of 1984 would have done more justice to the era than the writers did. 

What makes this movie particularly hard to watch is the effort that you can see in its production. The $200 million budget ensured that every scene was beautifully composed, with the 1984-esque streets being a highlight of the entire movie. The CGI was consistently great, and the movie made fight scenes look effortless.

Special effects and production were a highlight of the movie, but it felt like the writing made this immense budget all go to waste. It’s hard to emphasize enough how bad the writing was throughout the movie. While watching the movie, viewers had a hard time identifying the main plot, with confusing elements providing little to the story except confusion. The movie naturally created a friend and ally to Wonder Woman, which went wasted in the plot as the writers failed to utilize her, and instead let this character go to waste. 

“Wonder Woman 1984” marks a large moment in the era of superhero films. DC is the only competitor to Marvel, and has been losing ground for years. This movie was a great chance to turn it around, which was wasted. If DC wants to keep producing movies that can compete with Marvel, they must produce movies that viewers want to watch, not cash-filled hollow movies with special effects.