Monday, March 1, 2021

Things only adults notice in Wonder Woman 1984

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In Wonder Woman 1984, Diana unwittingly uses the coveted Dreamstone to bring her lost love Steve Trevor back from the dead — but he doesn't return in the way you'd expect. Rather than magically resurrecting his body, the Dreamstone inserts Steve Trevor's consciousness into the body of another man living near Diana in Washington, DC. To minimize audience confusion, the “Handsome Man,” as he's credited, is shown briefly at the start of his possession, then his likeness switches to Steve Trevor's.

It's possible this was intended as some sort of metaphor about only having eyes for your true love. This is something younger audiences might be able to buy into a little more easily. But this magical body-snatching comes off as more problematic than romantic for adults. Steve Trevor doesn't know who Handsome Man is, and disrupts his entire life with his presence. What happens to his job, his social life, and all other aspects of his existence when he suddenly becomes Steve? Wouldn't loved ones and colleagues become worried when Handsome Man suddenly stopped coming to work or returning their phone calls? Wouldn't the poor man be terrified when suddenly coming to, after Steve Trevor forfeits his parasitic existence? Also, one can't help but wonder what the implications are of being intimate with someone's body when they have no presence of mind to provide consent. At the very least, it's unnerving — at the worst, it's something far more sinister.

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