Wonder Woman 1984: Kristen Wiig’s Cheetah deserved more screen time

KRISTEN WIIG as Barbara Minerva in Warner Bros. Pictures’ action adventure “WONDER WOMAN 1984,” a Warner Bros. Pictures release. Clay Enos/ ™ & © DC Comics. © 2020 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. All Rights Reserved.
KRISTEN WIIG as Barbara Minerva in Warner Bros. Pictures’ action adventure “WONDER WOMAN 1984,” a Warner Bros. Pictures release. Clay Enos/ ™ & © DC Comics. © 2020 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. All Rights Reserved. /

However you feel about Wonder Woman 1984, one thing is certain: Kristen Wiig’s Cheetah definitely could have benefited from more screen time.

Wonder Woman 1984 has met mixed reviews since debuting in theaters and on HBO Max on December 25. Some fans are satisfied with how the film played out, while others have accused it of having a sloppy plot and poor continuity from the first movie. As with most films, there’s good and bad to be found in this one — but the all-over-the-place plot definitely bears discussing, particularly as it pertains to the movie’s villains.

Although the storyline surrounding the Dreamstone is fairly straightforward in this sequel, having two separate villains exploit the stone’s powers feels like a bit much, especially when mixed up in everything else happening in this film. There’s no denying that both Pedro Pascal’s Maxwell Lord and Kristen Wiig’s Cheetah are compelling screen-stealers every time they’re present.

Unfortunately, with Wonder Woman 1984 failing to juggle both of its villains properly, Wiig’s character gets the short end of the stick given the limited amount of screen time and increasing focus on Lord as the movie continues.

For one, although Barbara’s motivations are made clear from the get-go, there’s not really enough time to sit with her character (or empathize with her) before she turns into Cheetah. Fans are given a brief glimpse of her relationship with Diana and a physical altercation with a man on the streets, which, to be fair, is more than enough to piss anyone off.

Still, Barbara’s character would have been far more empathetic if viewers were able to see more of her day-to-day struggles rather than being told about them for the sake of time. Likewise, it would have been easier to feel something in regard to her fallout with Diana if the friendship between the two had been given more than a scene or two to breathe.

Things don’t fare much better once Barbara does turn into the Cheetah, since she’s mostly used to help Lord enact his plans. He very much remains the film’s Big Bad, with Cheetah falling to the wayside. Even the showdown between Cheetah and Diana isn’t as spectacular as it should be — something that’s likely intended to make the climax with Lord’s character feel bigger.

Once Diana wins the day, fans are also never given any closure with Cheetah, whose newfound powers were supposedly ripped away from her — at least if everyone in the world revoked their Dreamstone wish, which there’s no proof that Barbara did. That question does raise the possibility of seeing Barbara again…which brings me to how Wonder Woman 3 could solve the second movie’s shortcomings in regard to Cheetah.

How Wonder Woman 3 could fix the Cheetah problem

One thing that does make slightly more sense of Cheetah’s limited screen time is the fact that Wonder Woman 1984 was intended to be the second film in a trilogy. And following the movie’s successful opening at the box office, a third movie has been ordered — so it’s possible the franchise could still fix its Cheetah problem.

Although Barbara’s narrative in Wonder Woman 1984 doesn’t quite live up to the hype, it does work as an introduction to a villain — one who will later become the Big Bad in place of Maxwell Lord. And it does seem like the franchise could take things in that direction, with the possibility of Wiig returning  for the third installment already being floated.

Since there’s no definitive answer surrounding what happened to Barbara or her powers, it seems likely Wonder Woman 1984 will serve as an origin story for her — one that, we can hope, the third movie will build upon with much grander results.

Next. Wonder Woman 1984: 5 things we loved about the sequel. dark

What did you think of Wonder Woman 1984? Do you think Kristen Wiig’s Cheetah could have benefited from more screen time?