“Wonder Woman 1984” comforts audiences when we need it Most

By Olivia Bachar Jan 22, 2021
Gal Gadot as Diana Prince / Wonder Woman in the latest franchise film.
(Courtesy of Warner Bros.)

This article will contain spoilers for the 2020 film Wonder Woman 1984. 

I am going to say something that is considered to be very controversial in the world of movies these days; “Wonder Woman 1984” is a good movie. 

How is this so controversial? I recently did a poll on my personal instagram on the movie. 60 percent, 12 out of the 20 people who responded said it was not a good movie. So, that shows the mixed feelings that people feel for “WW84.” It has however received positive reviews from critics from the New York Times, Rolling Stones and Variety writes that the film “whisks us away from our worries, erasing them with pure escapism.” 

Before I go on any further, this is not going to be a review. I am not going to discuss the star-studded cast, the costume design or the soundtrack: none of those typical points movie reviewers make. 

Instead, I want to open up the conversation on what I call a “good bad” movie. “Good bad” movies are not the winners of Oscars, rated fresh on Rotten Tomatoes or always gain financial success. They are cheesy, campy or ironically appealing, sometimes stupid movies that people turn to for a good laugh or even comfort. 

“Wonder Woman 1984” is one of these movies. It is incredibly cheesy and has a campy, at times ridiculous plot. A magic stone that can turn someone into Wonder Woman or bring Chris Pine back from the dead? It sounds incredibly dumb but it also works. 

Wonder Woman as a character is quite literally a legend as she is a woman warrior from the island of Themyscira, a place of greek mythology. When something is based on a legend such as the women warriors of a greek myth, it must be taken with a grain of salt. It is not supposed to be realistic. It is supposed to be fantastical and over the top. 

“Wonder Woman 1984” is not the only movie that I place into the category of “good bad”. One of my favorite comedies is the 2004 film “White Chicks,” which is a quintessential early 2000s movie with a dumb plot and storyline. It’s ridiculous, and for that reason, hilarious to watch. It did not achieve great financial success or win any major awards, but over 16 years later people still watch it and even request a sequel. 

Yet another “good bad” movie is “Unfriended,” a horror movie released in 2014. In it, people get murdered by a ghost through Skype. That in itself is not what makes it so “good bad,” the manner of the deaths do though. One character is killed by a curling iron shoved down her throat and another character is killed via a blender to the arm. These are not typical horror movie cliches, but that is what makes it so unforgettable. 

Another title sometimes paired with “good bad” is “cult favorite.” Movies, that no matter how successfully rated or anything else, have strong and loyal fanbases. Arguably, I would say in the future, “Wonder Woman 1984” will be one of these films. 

Regardless, it is common that the sequel to box office hits is rarely as “good” or successful as its predecessor. Not every movie sequel fits that statement, but most do. “Wonder Woman 1984” arguably does, however that is not a bad thing. Just because it did not have as many positive reviews or make as much money does not mean it should be written off as plain bad. Instead, it is a “good bad’ movie, one that provides a wonderfully cheesy and sometimes dumb distraction from the state of the world. Is that so bad? I think not.

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