Fans may be divided over Wonder Woman 1984, but filmmaker and all-around very vocal lover of comic books and superheroes Kevin Smith can be counted among those who loved the Patty Jenkins-directed, Gal Gadot-starring follow up to 2017's Wonder Woman. During a recent episode of Fatman Beyond, Smith said that while his wife loved the film, he himself found it to be "absolutely joyful", offering specific praise for how it evoked Richard Donner's Superman and Chris Pine's performance as a "fish out of water" Steve Trevor.
"I found it to be absolutely joyful," Smith said. "Start of the move calls to mind a big homage to both the Donner Superman I and whoever got credit for Superman II but really, it was Dick Donner as well. Like, reminded you of old school Chris Reeve Superman, charming, no real hard core 'this motherf*cker is gonna get murdered, this motherf*cker is gonna get branded in his skin by a f*cking bat,' like, no darkness whatsoever. As bright as the decade in which the movie is set."
He also went on to specifically praise Pine's Steve Trevor, specifically noting a scene in which Steve observes a modern jumbo jet flying overhead that Smith felt was "so completely well-played" even though it was nearly dialogue free. His only real critique was the use of the Dreamstone as a central device, though he noted his own specific bias about such devices in superhero movies and conceded that the film ultimately incorporated the stone's story and explanation well.
Smith's comparison Donner's Superman isn't off the mark. Jenkins previously said that a scene of Superman flying with Lois Lane in Donner's film influenced Diana's flight scene in Wonder Woman 1984 -- and even Donner recently told Telegraph that the homage "just means she's got good taste". For his part, Donner is also a fan of the Wonder Woman films, noting that Wonder Woman 1984 had "the same feeling of emotions" as his film before noting that darker, grittier takes on superheroes aren't things that he finds especially entertaining.
"There are so many people that make superheroes so cynical it's depressing," Donner said. "When they're dark and bleak and angry with themselves and the world, I don't find it entertaining. I think there's enough reality going on for that. We just got over four years of that [under President Donald Trump]. I think we crave the opposite."
Starring Gal Gadot, Kristen Wiig, Pedro Pascal, and Chris Pine, Wonder Woman 1984 is now in theaters and streaming on HBO Max.
What do you think about Smith's review of Wonder Woman 1984? Let us know in the comments!