‘Wonder Woman 1984’ fails on almost every level


Violet Chace, Entertainment Editor

The highly anticipated sequel “Wonder Woman 1984” was finally released theatrically on Christmas day after several push backs. Despite the outstanding first movie that claimed the title as one of the best DC Comics movies ever made, “Wonder Woman 1984” proves to be major let down that fails to live up to expectations. Cinematically, it was even worse than 2016’s “Suicide Squad.”

Wonder Woman 1984” takes place 66 years after the first film. Diana has been living a dull life working at a museum and occasionally stopping minor crimes. She meets a coworker named Barbara Minerva who desperately wants to be like Diana. A mysterious stone comes across her path at the museum granting her wish. But supervillain Maxwell Lord also has a wish: to ruin the world on his journey to power. At the same time Diana has to handle her boyfriend who has mysteriously come back to life in the body of an anonymous man even though the audience still sees him as the actor who played Steve in the last movie.

Sound confusing? It is impossible to grasp what is happening between the chaos, plot holes and cringeworthy drama. The choice to go with the wishing stone as the main plot device proves to be a bad idea, leading to chaos, hypotheticals and unanswered questions.

The movie starts out strong with an engaging action sequence that sends a strong message Diana was taught as a child. That lesson is set up as if it would be a major theme in the film, but it isn’t. In addition to it having little to do with the rest of the movie, it’s one of the film’s only action sequences. It was as if the writers realized how dull the movie was after they wrote it, so just threw in an unrelated sequence at the beginning to make up for it.

The opening scene is not the only one that feels out of place. The film provides no consistency or flow between setting or takes. There are even parts where characters magically teleport from halfway around the world just for the convenience of the plot. Overall, the finished product exhibits poor editing and even worse post-production. 

Fans were really expecting something inventive to do justice to the iconic character that is Diana, but instead were treated to a regurgitation a plot they’ve already seen in movies such as “Batman Forever” and “The Amazing Spiderman 2:” a jealous admirer who obtains power and turns evil. It also jumps on the 80s bandwagon. With the decade’s unique art gaining popularity in today’s fashion and media including “Stranger Things” and the newer “It” franchise, viewers have had enough of the 80s. Though it was a poor decision to set the film in the 80s, the filmmakers could have at least had a great playlist of hits from the decade to spice up the scenes, but they didn’t.

The movie starts to drag on about 20 minutes in and even at an hour in, viewers might find themselves asking when the movie is going to start. Time spent on useless plot points could have been spent developing the characters or having some actual fighting.

There was no reason to bring back Steve Trevor, Diana’s love interest in the first film who dies during World War I. While Chris Pine is always a good addition to any cast, his character serves no purpose in this movie. It would have been far better to see Diana grow as a person rather than dwell on her past. She is an 800-year old goddess who is drop-dead gorgeous. Viewers are led to believe that she has spent her last half a century in misery because she can’t get over a pilot she knew for a few days when she first interacted with humans. The whole point of Wonder Woman is that she doesn’t need a man. Bringing Steve back seems counterproductive to her character development. “Wonder Woman 1984” serves as a prequel to “Justice League,” meaning that the audience already knows that Steve doesn’t make it to the next movie, so everything is predictable.

Cheetah, Wonder Woman’s most iconic nemesis, is played by Kristin Wiig, who is a great actress and hilarious person. The writers did not take advantage of any of her strengths. The other villain’s power isn’t physical, so Cheetah’s only real purpose in this movie is to provide Diana with someone to fight. When Cheetah becomes fully transformed, we see only one scene with them fighting and it’s horrible. Her design is awful and the sequence was shot and edited terribly. At no time do viewers feel like Wonder Woman might not prevail. There is little at stake because this version of Cheetah is not strong enough and felt like a side plot. The writers tried to squeeze two of Diana’s major villains in one movie resulting in neither of them getting the attention they deserved.

Wonder Woman is a symbol of feminism, and as a result, fans expected empowering yet subtle feminist messages. In the first film we saw sexism through the eyes of someone oblivious to it because Diana had grown up in an entirely female world. The result proved powerful. “Wonder Woman 1984” falls far short of the first film’s impact. Without spoiling anything, this version of Cheetah and her relationship to Diana combined with the outcome of the movie, results in a confusing and misleading take on female empowerment. In a movie that could help young girls develop their understanding of morals, the writers should have made more of an effort to include a clear and progressive message.