Suppose you could have anything you ever wanted – fame, fortune, relationships, pleasure. Would that make you happy? A megalomaniacal global villain is tapping human desires to help him dominate civilization. In 1984, Wonder Woman races to foil his dastardly scheme.
After multiple postponements – many COVID-related – Wonder Woman 1984 now has opened in North American theaters and on HBO Max December 25, with global releases also in December and January.
Following 2017’s blockbuster Wonder Woman, this version introduces two new foes, Max Lord and The Cheetah. Stars include Gal Gadot (Wonder Woman), Chris Pine (Steve Trevor), Kristen Wiig (The Cheetah), and Pedro Pascal (Max Lord). Patty Jenkins directed the Warner Bros. film. Oscar-winning composer Hans Zimmer (Dunkirk, The Lion King) produced the music.
Perhaps most intriguing about this second Wonder Woman film is that Steve Trevor, the heroine’s World War One love interest who died in her first film, is back by her side in 1984. Neither has aged. (Amazons are immortal; U.S. Army pilots are not.)
Consider the major players in this saga rooted in the 1941-launched comic book series:
- Wonder Woman / aka Diana Prince: An adult Amazon princess from Themyscira, a fictional island with only female inhabitants who fled Greece to escape enslavement by males. Loves people and uses her superhuman abilities to help the hurting. Runs like a gazelle, leaps like a kangaroo on steroids, fights like a ninja warrior. Beauty, brains, brawn, battle-tested, bighearted.
- Steve Trevor: A WW1 Army pilot who was helping Diana rid the world of war when he died in a plane explosion. He’s handsome and fun, but needs some generational adjustments. He mistakes a 1984 trash can for modern art, and is unaware that radar allows his adversaries to track air flight.
- The Cheetah / aka Barbara Minerva: a gemologist who works with Diana. Shy but warm, also funny. Diana’s friend, but sometimes jealous, and with a dark side. Morphs into a superhuman villainess. “You’ve always had everything,” she complains, “while people like me have had nothing.”
- Max Lord: A flashy businessman and salesman. Entertainment Weekly described him as part Gordon Gekko, part Tony Robbins – that is, a greedy but inspiring motivational salesman. Lord’s got an ancient supernatural artifact that allows him to grant wishes, but at a dreadful cost.
Promises, Promises …
“Life is good,” suggests Lord to audiences, “but it can be better, and why shouldn’t it be?” Promises the tempter: “Citizens of the world, I’m here to change your life. Anything you want, anything you dream of, you can have it.” But, “Now, I take what I want in return.”
The consequences? I won’t spoil the outcome of this fun, energy-filled feature for you. But it did get me thinking about real life and human wants.
Yes, I suppose it could seem nice to have everything I want. But in reality, that never happens, and lessons from desires denied have helped me learn to thrive with little or lots … and to discover that my wants may not always be best.
Wants and Needs
The esteemed British scholar, psychotherapist, and aristocrat Sir Mick Jagger famously counseled, “You can’t always get what you want. But if you try sometimes, you just might find, you get what you need.”
Needs? In a world of diverse life-management perspectives, this reassurance from an early follower of Jesus has helped me: “You can be sure that God will take care of everything you need ….” The guy was writing from prison. He had endured beatings, stoning, shipwrecks, a day adrift at sea, hunger, thirst, and more.
I think I’ll stick with a relationship with God to help manage my wants and needs. But WW84 is an entertaining diversion, and a useful stimulation to consider important life choices.
Oh, yes, and be sure not to skip the credits.
Rated PG-13 (USA) “for sequences of action and violence.”
Rusty Wright is an author and lecturer who has spoken on six continents. He holds Bachelor of Science (psychology) and Master of Theology degrees from Duke and Oxford universities, respectively. Learn more at RustyWright.com
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