Wonder Woman 1984: A Lump of Coal for the New Year

A Model of Gal Gadot as she reprises her role as the title character in Wonder Woman 1984.


A Model of Gal Gadot as she reprises her role as the title character in Wonder Woman 1984.

Audrey Schonfeld

The first Wonder Woman movie was met with rave reviews and sold-out theaters when it was released in 2017. People felt drawn to Gal Gadot’s depiction of Wonder Woman, who left her Amazonian island to fight against evil forces, as well as insufferable male egos. Fans have anxiously awaited the sequel, Wonder Woman 1984, which was released on Christmas day of 2020. If it’s still on your must-see list, I have a belated holiday gift for you: I will save you over two and a half hours of your precious time.

The movie starts out promising, opening with an exciting scene from Diana’s childhood on a paradise island, where she competes in an Amazonian Olympics. The pace and intrigue draw the audience in – but sadly, it becomes clear that this scene is in no way related to the rest of the movie’s plot. The rush the audience may feel in these opening moments is also nowhere to be found in the remainder of the film.

As opposed to the thrilling storyline of the first film, where Wonder Woman comes to the aid of the Americans against the Germans in World War I while simultaneously fighting her own battle against the Greek God of War, Ares, the sequel takes us to a time with no major world conflict and the villain is a magic stone that grants wishes. (Yes, you read that correctly.) The theme of greed is introduced with a heavy hand as – you guessed it – the stone imposes consequences along with dreams that come true.  The theme of female empowerment, so notable and admired in the 2017 Wonder Woman, is recognizable in Wonder Woman 1984’s first hour but is replaced by confusing messaging I can’t quite describe or understand. Women characters transform into cat-like villains whose purposes remain a mystery, and Wonder Woman is instantaneously traveling from America to Saudi Arabia and then to the White House, where the Ronald Reagan character makes a bizarre cameo appearance. My brain developed whiplash as I tried to follow the plot lines.

As the movie progressed and the plot continued further downhill, the distant memory of the first scene’s excitement was replaced by boredom, which was subsequently replaced by extreme boredom. Just when you thought 2020 couldn’t get any worse, Hollywood has brought us one more surprise.