Diana lives in Washington, DC, works at the Smithsonian, and has an apartment at the Watergate (the Smithsonian pays a lot better than I realized). At work, she meets Barbara Minerva, a nerdy, klutzy but brilliant scientist. Diana, of course, is the only one who is nice to her. The two start to become friends, which you just know is going to go badly even if you aren’t familiar with Dr. Minerva from the comics. In one halfway decent piece of storytelling, some loot from the robbery Wonder Woman broke up at the mall ends up in Minerva’s office for expert opinion on what the pieces are worth. Up to this point, it’s actually not a bad movie. Unfortunately, all this is pretty early on.
Naturally, one of the items is what ruthless industrialist Max Lord wants. One of the few references to anything else in DC Comics is Max’s meeting with Simon Stagg, another rich bad guy who was instrumental in the origin of Metamopho. They don’t even manage to work a reference to Rex Mason, Metamorpho’s real name, in during the scene.
As the movie goes on, it turns out that Max is after some weird magical item. DC Comics has been around since the late 1930’s, and there are a host of talismans, artefacts, wizards and magicians that they could have used. There are a few witches and sorceresses with ties to Wonder Woman, but no, we get some new, badly defined magic toy. Max charms Minerva into giving it to him, after Diana and Barbara have both unknowingly invoked the item’s power. Think every corrupted wish story you’ve ever heard.
Diana’s wish, naturally, has to do with the long-dead love of her life, Steve Trevor. Through this clunky bit of storytelling, Steve comes back. For reasons I can’t fathom, Steve didn’t just magically appear, he’s hijacked the body of some poor guy who no one seems to care about, and this leads to one amusing fashion montage and a LOT of questionable choices. While Chris Pine does a great job as Steve, through no fault of his own, this is about when the movie start going downhill. //cur.aa.ufl.edu/iiww84-online-full-123movies
Barbara’s wish gets her started on the road to power, and at first it seems like one of those bad 80’s movies (Hey, right era at least) when the dorky kid becomes popular and handles it badly. But things get much worse. Diana and Steve enjoy each other, which is really problematic. While I wouldn’t kick either Wonder Woman or Gal Gadot out of my bed, I’d like to have some choice in the matter. Poor Nameless Guy doesn’t get that. Max, coming into his own weird power, moves around the world, causing chaos, bringing bad Arab stereotypes to life, and giving us the only other mention to the wider world of DC, with a passing reference to Bialya, Bialya has been the source of a lot of problems for various DC heroes, but we see none of that.