Wonder Woman 1984 was a superhero film that frankly did not live up to expectations (review here). It was too bizarre and unfocused on composing a beautiful story and instead opted for puzzling elements and one-too-many inconsistencies. The movie leaves a lot to be desired, and it also leaves a lot of the audience scratching their heads about the story of Wonder Woman and her position concerning the DC Extended Universe.
Before the disclaimers unravel, it is essential to acknowledge this film had a challenging task at hand because it had to follow a fantastic film released back in 2017. In that work, Gal Gadot’s character embraced an unknown (and different) world in contrast to her hidden, warrior island. She embarked on a journey with Chris Pine’s Steve Trevor and came across a life that was bombarded with warfare and savagery. Her suiting up was a beacon of hope, like the character of Superman, and she set out to end the war by finishing off Ares. Pine’s character sacrificed himself in the end, leaving a gaping hole in her personal life and one that would become stretched into other DCEU films (ex. Justice League).
When we come to the sequel, the narrative is cumbersome and somewhat convoluted at times. We begin with a beautiful 12-minute opening back in Diana’s training days and learning that cheating is wrong. The first film spent a lot of time in the first act with her mother against her to train in any fashion, and the sequel ignores that. It is one instance where the screenwriters did not consider the predecessor and embarked on a journey without the knowledge.
The morality aspect plays in hand when Diana wishes for Steve to come back. When he does, he takes the body of some random guy. Diana takes zero consideration for the person inhabited by mythical Steve and treats the guy’s body like a sex doll. A supposedly good-natured, pure-hearted goddess does not have an issue with this at all. Sure, she does deeply miss Steve, but the morality element is entirely nonexistent. And then, in the end, she smiles at the guy whom Steve inhabited temporarily, signaling that it is okay to mess with another person’s body for your pleasure until it is time to wake up and save the world.
Another scenario was when Kristen Wiig’s Barbara nearly gets sexually assaulted in the park before Diana saves her. Later, when Barbara gains superhuman powers, she runs into the same individual again and then beats him down in a menacing fashion. The question is: How does she become a villain for being able to stand up for herself now? Diana did the same thing, albeit in a swifter manner. It does beg the question if the audience is supposed to look the other way when it comes to Barbara because Diana does not have an issue using her abilities on mortals. So how exactly is Barbara any different? Heck, both adamantly refuse to give up their wishes selfishly because they want to be happy with the people (or powers) they have.
Superheroes must have a balancing act that comes into play when fulfilling their desires. Peter Parker wants to please Iron Man in Spider-Man: Homecoming by fighting crime, but he must learn the consequences (and responsibilities) that come with it. T’Challa in Black Panther comes to recognize that Wakanda’s isolation has procured a vast number of problems, and the villain Killmonger violently acknowledges that their people have suffered all over the world due to the selfishness (and nonintervention) of an advanced-technological country. Captain America: Civil War taught a thought-provoking moral that superheroes would act to do the right thing, but they can fail to recognize the damage they cause to others and themselves.
Wonder Woman 1984 has no linearity when it comes to morals. It fabricates a bunch of messages to move the plot forward and does not consider the outcome. For example, Steve and Diana enjoy fireworks on the jet, but the plane was at a Smithsonian, and those vehicles are always on display (not fueled up for usage). Not to also forget their faces when captivated by the fireworks. Weren’t fireworks invented in the late 1700s? How did they not come across them during the setting of the first movie? Hasn’t Diana been living amongst humans for well over a century (according to the DCEU timeline)??? There is a multitude of problems in this anticipated sequel. Even if one is okay with all the messy plot contrivances, it is a film lacking structure, heart, and logic. The last detail is established in (almost) every single superhero film from the classic 1978 Superman to the incredible Avengers: Endgame. Wonder Woman 1984 only works if you can wish to enjoy it in its finished form.