Wonder Woman 1984 Is A Flawed Attempt To Do Something Great. See It.

I recently watched Wonder Woman (2017), and Wonder Woman 1984 (2020), both starring Gal Gadot.

I remember when these movies came out. Everybody liked Wonder Woman, and most people did not like Wonder Woman 1984.

Both of these movies have their share of silliness, and I admit that the first movie, Wonder Woman, stands up better.

But even though Wonder Woman 1984 has some big things going against it, including a villain who is transparently a stand-in for Donald Trump (cheap shot, Hollywood), and some anti-wealth overtones, it has one surprisingly important thing in its favor: the theme is the danger of wishful thinking. It's a metaphysical theme. What's more, it's a true theme.

The movie is a morality tale that uses a physical artifact to symbolize the human temptation to long for what is not over what is. In the movie, the artifact, in granting wishes, always exacts a hidden cost. It's hard not to salute such a well-conceived device to dramatize the theme that wishing is dangerous, and committing to a wish is evil.

"The secret of all their esoteric philosophies, of all their dialectics and super-senses, of their evasive eyes and snarling words, the secret for which they destroy civilization, language, industries and lives, the secret for which they pierce their own eyes and eardrums, grind out their senses, blank out their minds, the purpose for which they dissolve the absolutes of reason, logic, matter, existence, reality—is to erect upon that plastic fog a single holy absolute: their wish." —Ayn Rand

Wonder Woman 1984 dramatizes (symbolically) that in this world, there is much to enjoy, learn, and gain if only one renounces one's wish for an alternative.

All in all, I think Wonder Woman 1984 really doesn't deserve such a bad rap. Yes, it has a paper-thin villain (who is, nonetheless extremely well-played by Pedro Pascal. He's enjoyable to watch.). Yes, it needlessly pokes fun at the financial optimism of the 1980's. There are some silly moments, as well as some very enjoyable ones. But mainly, the movie's message makes it worth tolerating the weaknesses.


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