It was long believed that a big budget, female superhero couldn’t carry the box office. And then, in 2017, “Wonder Woman” came out, and disproved that notion. To date, it has grossed $822 million worldwide. No doubt buoyed by the #MeToo movement, the DC franchise had many champions. I was one of them.
When I saw it in the cinema, I felt a surge of emotion when Diana Prince (Gal Gadot) threw off her cloak and climbed out of the trench to fight off the German soldiers with nothing but her bullet-repelling bracelets, her shield, and lots of courage. Wonder Woman stands for many things: Truth and justice, and she seems like the perfect hero for our times.
Now comes the bubble burst. Like most superhero fans, I’ve been looking forward to the sequel. At my house, we had a countdown to Christmas. HBO Max obtained the rights to the sequel, “Wonder Woman 1984”, and decided to make the right business move — to release the sequel online the same day (Christmas) as it was being released in the cinema. (I haven’t been to the cinema since March, and I don’t intend to go back anytime soon). In anticipation of its release, I rewatched “Wonder Woman”, the night before, and found a lot to complain about. These were things I had probably glossed over, or didn’t notice, because of the significance of the film. I had gotten swept up in the moment.
For instance, I generally don’t like superhero love stories; I’m much more interested in the bigger issues that these types of films can address, but I was OK with it in “Wonder Woman.” Steve Trevor (Chris Pine) was charming, and he and Wonder Woman had good chemistry. But when he died, at the end, I thought, good, now she can move on and can develop into who she needs to become. But that isn’t what happened. Sure, 70 years later, she shows up, saves the day with her lasso and gravity defying leaps and bounds, but as a person, she is still emotionally stunted. She’s still pining for the first guy she had ever met, and with whom, she had spent, maybe, a week?