Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman Movie Made One Terrible Mistake And It Killed The Franchise

By Christopher Isaac | Published

wonder woman

Like just about anyone else, I was stunned when I saw the drop in quality between the first Wonder Woman movie and the second. The first movie seemed like an almost perfect antidote to all the naysayers of DC’s movies, but the second movie just proved all the critics right. Honestly though, it was the ending of the first movie that set the franchise up for failure by committing one grievous error: they never should have killed off Ares.

Wonder Woman’s Rogues’ Gallery Is Weak

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Despite how well-known Wonder Woman is, one thing you can’t say about her is that she has a strong cast of villains. Ask the average person to name as many Batman villains as they can and they can probably rattle off at least ten.

The same is true of Spider-Man villains. Ask the average person to name all the Wonder Woman villains they know and they might struggle to name even one.

That’s honestly because Wonder Woman has a lot of terrible villains. Ares is by far the best of the bunch and should have stuck around for every movie she was in.

In The Source Material He’s Practically Unkillable

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In the Wonder Woman comics, Ares is often a perpetual threat to Diana that she always has to worry about returning. Usually the best her and her allies are able to do is imprison him to temporarily neutralize him.

That is because as the God of War, violence only makes him more powerful, so the best way to truly defeat him is to attain world peace. And even on occasion where Diana has killed him, it just caused her to inherit his mantle as the new God of War and become afflicted with his bloodlust.

Wonder Woman Could Have Refused To Play His Game

It would have been great if the first Wonder Woman had showed this play out in the movie. Diana could have still had her battle with Ares but he could have continued to gain more power as they fought.

As their battle began to damage buildings and endanger innocent people, she could have realized fighting him was exactly what he wanted and the only way to win was to refuse to continue. It would have been a powerful message and left Ares to return in the next movie with a new villainous servant to do his bidding.

Crazy Cat Ladies Aren’t Great Follow-Ups To The God Of War

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How did we go from that potential to the villains of Wonder Woman 1984? A version of Cheetah who was just really obsessed with cats, and Max Lord functioning as a genie who gave people corrupted wishes.

And both those characters were spared at the end of the movie as if anyone would be interested in seeing them return. Challenges in movies should escalate with each sequel, not go from trying to kill a god to fighting a crazy cat lady.

David Thewlis Wasn’t The Right Choice

The return of Ares in subsequent Wonder Woman movies could have worked so well with his additional powers that he never even used in the first movie. He has the ability to raise the dead to fight for him and could have sent an undead army against Diana’s Amazon sisters.

Instead we just got another CGI laser beam battle against an Ares played by David Thewlis, who most people just think of as Professor Lupin from Harry Potter. That is such a mismanagement of Wonder Woman’s best villain.

Ares Should Never Have Died

I didn’t have high hopes for Wonder Woman 1984 once I saw the ending of the first movie. I never could have predicted it would be as bad as it wound up being, but maybe the warning signs were there. If you don’t even know how to properly use Wonder Woman’s best villain, how are you ever going to make a successful movie with the weak roster of villains she has left once Ares is gone?