WW84 – Where’s the Female Empowerment?

I remember watching the No Man’s Land Scene from the first Wonder Woman movie. Watching this scene in the theater was an empowering moment. Diana wasn’t going to let Steve hold her back along with Diana needing Steve’s help in getting through the battleground. When me and the fiance watched WW84, I felt let down in a huge way. The plot left a sour taste in my mouth. Diana is able to be a part of history as seen through the mementos in her apartment. However, all of that can’t be celebrated because she’s still missing Steve???? Why does WW84 feel so different from the first film?

After the shopping mall fight sequence, Diana (played by Gal Gadot) is shown at a restaurant eating by herself and looking up at a plane flying in the night sky. These scenes conveyed to the viewer how Diana is not over Steve. Losing Steve during the war was traumatic for Diana, but I find it hard to believe that she hasn’t moved on. When I think of Wonder Woman as a character, she’s a role model to women and has fought for all lives on the planet. I would have liked to see Diana live a normal life when suddenly, Steve is revived. It would have been more believable to the character while coinciding with the messaging from the first film. This Mary Sue article reiterates my thoughts regarding Diana and the way she’s portrayed in WW84.

Besides Diana, there’s Barbara Minerva. Barbara (played by Kristin Wiig) wants to be Diana, to be acknowledged, and attractive. Who cares about Barbara’s multiple Ph.D.’s because she wants to be the hot girl. I felt there weren’t enough scenes in the film where I could actually buy into Barbara wanting to be Diana. There’s a brief mentioning of Barbara being bullied for being a nerd, so it’s assumed Barbara wants to be like Diana to be accepted? When I think of female empowerment, Barbara’s story doesn’t do much of that either. She feels she needs to be attractive and feminine in order to be taken seriously. This could be an over-reaction on my part, but if someone could help me understand why Barbara wants to be like Diana other than the fact that she’s attractive, please enlighten me. I would have liked to see Barbara own her persona and use the dream stone to wish for good luck with her research. This research could have led her to become Cheetah and seek power from Diana. This is what I would have liked to see out of the character.

When first watching WW84, I was hoping for a friendship to be developed between Diana and Barbara. There’s only one scene where Diana and Barbara are out to dinner where they talk about love. This again brings up the fact that Diana is still not over Steve. Once this scene ends, I’m supposed to believe Diana and Barbara are BFFs? I think there could have been more development into the friendship between Diana and Barbara, but there wasn’t.

Ultimately, if you loved WW84, I’m happy for you! I think it’s annoying when I state how much I like something and fans remind me how much the thing I like sucks. I felt WW84 could have been a much better film if it was structured differently. With the first Wonder Woman film, I walked out of the theater feeling elated to see a female character kick ass and be the star of the film. With WW84, I’m reminded of how difficult it is for women to get over breakups.

9 thoughts on “WW84 – Where’s the Female Empowerment?

  1. Haven’t seen the film yet, but one thing sticks in my mind. Walking out of the theater after the first film something someone asked me still sticks in my mind all these years later. “Where was Diana during the great depression?” As a bridge, what did she do to help? She made a big impact in her fight, but her empathy and sorrow for the slaughtered civilians made her *different*. That’s the WW I wanted to see, and one most people say was lacking.

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  2. I was so distracted by the silly plot that I didn’t even realize the female empowerment was lacking, but you are so right. This movie could have been really good but they really messed it up in so many ways.

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