Rewind to the 1980s as Wonder Woman’s next big screen adventure finds her facing two all-new foes: Max Lord and The Cheetah.
Wonder Woman 1984 opens with Diana as a young girl entering a race against more experienced Amazonian warriors. When she falls off her horse, she cheats to try to win the race, but is stopped by her mentor who cautions her that “no true hero is born from lies.”
Fast forward to 1984, where we meet Diana, an archaeologist at the Smithsonian Institute who is saving lives undercover as Wonder Woman. She lives a solitary life, deeply missing Steve, the man she loves who was killed many years before. Her life is changed when a Dreamstone surfaces, which is imbued with power from the gods to grant wishes in exchange for something of value to the person who wishes. She knows what she would wish for – and surprisingly, Steve re-enters her life in another man’s body.
Unbeknownst to Diana, her colleague Barbara, a self-conscious misfit, makes a wish to be like Diana, whom she admires as strong, sexy, cool, and special. She wakes up the next morning changed and her newfound attention from men makes her easy prey for Max Lord, a swindler whose oil sales get-rich-quick scheme has been exposed, and he will stop at nothing to prove his worth and ultimately make his young son Alistair proud of him. He cons the Dreamstone out of Barbara’s hands and makes the profound wish to become like the stone with an ability to grant people’s wishes in exchange for whatever he wants to accomplish his dreams of power and success.
As Max strategically grants wishes to gain control of the world’s oil reserves, it affects international affairs, leading the world to the threat of nuclear warfare. His unquenchable thirst for power and prestige throws the world into chaos as he takes control of a satellite where he broadcasts his message to all peoples that “you can have what you want if you just wish for it.” He’s gaining the world, but as his health declines with every wish he grants, he is unwittingly losing his life and his son in the process.
As Diana and Steve work together to stop Max’s wicked plot, they realize that Diana’s power is slowly seeping away. She gained Steve with her wish, but at the cost of her superpowers, which have transferred from her over to Barbara. Wonder Woman has a new foe as she realizes that Barbara is now stronger than she and has become The Cheetah, a formidable foe fighting for Max and against Diana’s and Steve’s efforts to save the world. Steve tells Diana she must renounce her wish, and she knows she should, but the only thing in the world she wanted was Steve, and she is reluctant to give him up. As the world nears the brink of complete destruction, she realizes she must renounce her wish and let Steve go so she can be the hero she was always meant to be.
With the wish renounced, her power returns and she is able to encourage people all over the world to embrace truth and renounce their wish, saving the day. The world repents and Max realizes his son is all he really wants in life, closing the film with a powerful reunion of father and son. Meanwhile, Wonder Woman finds fulfillment in her true destiny.
While strong themes of family and integrity play out, several instances of sexual misconduct (even among church leaders) and intense fighting aren’t appropriate for a young audience. Curse words and typical villainous deeds are scattered throughout the plot as well. Because of these intense elements, this film is Not Dove-approved.
The Dove Take
Wonder Woman 1984 presents a strong message that “no true hero is born from lies” and ultimately offers hope that our true destiny can be found when we stay true to the values of integrity and honesty. However, parents beware of sexual and violent elements.