Spoilers for Wonder Woman 1984.
Wonder Woman, seen here donning Asteria’s Golden Armor
It is no secret that sequels very rarely outperform their predecessors, and while others may come close to eclipsing or rivaling their first offering’s status, the hard truth is that most sequels tend to simply just crash and burn. While it pains us ever so dearly to admit it, Wonder Woman 1984 is the unfortunate recipient of the latter of the three descriptions stated above, and we thought it would be interesting to explore a couple of reasons as to why the film was such a disappointment.
1. A bloated film
Promo pictures for Wonder Woman 1984
One of the film’s most significant flaws is in its attempt to do too much in such a short span of time, ultimately crumbling under the weight of its own ambitions. It is the equivalent of asking too many questions and not being able to provide reasonable answers to them because the film suddenly remembered that it was meant to be a superhero spectacle and decided to just abandon its inquiries with a speedy resolution in favor of generic superhero showdowns.
2. The Monkey Paw plot (Dreamstone)
Its second flaw comes in the form of its unimaginative usage of a MacGuffin to keep its plot moving forward, only for the writers to then write themselves into a corner after coming to the realization that they did not truly know how best to handle its inclusion in the film. The Dreamstone in the film at first serves a simple purpose, granting a single wish to whoever decides to use it and subsequently takes something meaningful back from the individual. However, as the movie progresses, the pre-existing mechanics of the said MacGuffin soon become unclear to audiences, as its ability to grant repeated wishes to a single individual goes against what it originally stands for, defeating the purpose of the rules established for the Dreamstone in the first act and therefore creating a gaping plothole.
3. The inability to understand an actor’s limitations
Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman
There is a heightened danger to be found in any filmmaking process when its director is given free rein over every single facet of decision-making. Without a supporting figure to provide healthy disagreements or play the Devil’s advocate from time to time, we jeopardize the ability of the production team to create a solid film worth watching. This can be seen in Patty Jenkins’ decision to give Gal Gadot more to do in this film, and while we have enjoyed her performance in the first movie, we cannot deny that her level of acting works best when the script exercises some restraint on her role. The apt example to justify this argument comes at the very end of the film, where Wonder Woman delivers what was supposed to be an inspiring monologue to the world, only to have it come off as a laughably clunky moment in the film due to Gal Gadot’s limited acting chops.
4. The film’s poorly-written Steve Trevor subplot
Diana reunites with Steve
One of the greatest mysteries revealed in the trailers for the film was the return of Steve Trevor, who valiantly perished at the end of the first movie. Although it was rather exciting to see Chris Pine reprising the role, the manner in which his character was introduced into the film turned out to have a far worse consequence on the movie. Fans were quick to point out that Steve Trevor’s inclusion in the film constituted the character having to inhabit the body of an unwilling individual. Hence, this notion raised some very unfavorable yet valid questions regarding Diana’s actions towards this random individual, as the film goes as far as to suggest that Wonder Woman and Steve Trevor spent an intimate night together while Steve was living in this unwilling individual’s body.
With all that being said, no film is perfect, but some flaws should never go unquestioned. Nevertheless, we sincerely hope that Wonder Woman 3 provides both a far greater experience for fans and showcases a return to form for one of our most beloved female superheroes on screen.
Want more Wonder Woman content? Check out our other related articles, or pick up one of our expertly crafted Wonder Woman pewter figurines now.