Wonder Woman: 1984

Wonder Woman: 1984

Jane Wiebe, Writer

*Contains spoilers for Wonder Woman and Wonder Woman 1984*

On Christmas Day of 2020, Wonder Woman 1984 was released in theaters and on HBO Max starring Gal Gadot (Wonder Woman), Pedro Pascal (Maxwell Lord) and Chris Pine (Steve Trevor). The movie is the sequel to Wonder Woman which was released in 2017. Set in the Cold War during 1984, the movie follows Diana Prince who is a princess from Themyscira, an all woman island paradise in the Amazon. In the first film, she leaves her home for good to help save the world in WWI. She meets Steve Trevor and they fall in love. At the end of the movie he dies and almost 70 years after the first movie Diana has not aged.

The new movie starts in the 80s creating a fun setting for the movie. Diana, who is Wonder Woman undercover, works at a museum where she meets the awkward, funny and kind archaeologist Barbra Minerva (Kristen Wiig) who ends up becoming Cheetah, one of the classic Wonder Woman villains. She does this by making a wish on an ancient rock, that Diana discovers is an evil rock created by a dark god to take down many civilizations and brings bad to whoever uses it. It is the source of the antagonist in the movie, however it ends up being very confusing and hard to understand how the rock works. The rock gives you whatever you wish for most but takes away the thing you value most. This makes the theme of the movie “Be careful what you wish for.”

Wiig is great as Barbra throughout the movie but, after Barbra wishes to be strong and smart like Diana, she loses her humanity and kindness. In Diana’s example she wishes for Steve to come back to life but, her powers which she values most are taken away. This brings Steve Trevor back to life. This leads to some funny and sweet moments between the two of them. However, it seems to be the way to bring back a popular actor and bring someone back from the dead rather than creating a new storyline for Diana. Despite the funny moments, it also leads to a bittersweet goodbye because in the end the only way for Diana to regain what she values most, her powers, she must revoke her wish. This is what everyone must do for the world to go back to normal but, it is hard to give up what you desire most.

But, Diana and Steve aren’t the only ones using this rock to bring their most desired thing back into the world. Maxwell Lord, a failed businessman, makes his wish after “borrowing” the rock from Barbra. His wish is to become the stone itself. This means that everyone can make a wish by touching him and he gets what valued most. He has people wish for his own success and many other things benefiting him. So, he continues tricking into making people wishes for him and he gains something physical in return. Slowly, his mental and physical state began deteriorating. As an antagonist, Maxwell Lord is ambitious and determined to a fault.

Eventually, Maxwell Lord finds a way for the whole world to start wishing for him. Everyone is “touching” him by particles in the air to broadcast his “make a wish” plea. The whole world starts wishing for things, many of which cause complete chaos. Someone wishes that all the Irish go back to Ireland then someone else wishes them dead. This is just one example of the chaos caused by the stone.

Then, Barbra, who wished to be like Diana, didn’t realize that Diana had powers. So, now the formerly kind and humane person she used to be has turned into a selfish, and unkind person with powers like Diana. This leads to a Cheetah versus Wonder Woman battle. Eventually Wonder Woman comes out on top and Cheetah revokes her wish.

Now, Diana has to use her golden lasso to show people the truth and make them revoke their wish. Despite the fact that this needed to happen for the movie to have a happy ending, it was cliched and unrealistic. Even though Diana’s lasso makes the people see the truth, most people would not revoke their wish and it would be near impossible to make for everyone to revoke their wish. Everyone needed to revoke their wish for the world to go back to normal. This created a bad ending for a movie that could have been very good.

So, even though there was potential for the new Wonder Woman to be very good, there was a lot missing and a lot felt forced. Steve coming back from the dead was fun to see but didn’t really make sense and felt very forced into the plot. There were many good scenes but the stone was very confusing and hard to follow. There was an opportunity to have an incredible ending but, the one where everyone revokes their wish was not very good. In conclusion I would give this movie 3 out of 5 stars because there were some very good parts but overall it was just lacking.