Spoilers are everywhere in this post. Do not read it if you have not seen the film.
None of these things matter, as I’ve written elsewhere. But here they are, because I have to put them somewhere, or go mad.
The simple things:
London cannot be reached from the Greek islands by sailboat in one night. It can’t be reached by tramp steamer in one night, either. A month, more like.
Belgium is right next to the North Sea. There’s no need for Steve Trevor to blow himself up. He can just fly over the ocean and dump the gas.
In fact, the plane is supposed to go to London, which is across the English Channel. Turn twenty degrees to starboard instead, and pull the bombay hatch.
If it’s against the rules for you to be trained, a warrior-general that can be sneaked up on and caught red-handed by a troop of horses is not someone you want to train with, ordinarily.
The training of all these warriors is awesome. If you’re never leaving the island, what’s it for?
Women are capable of interesting conversation. It wouldn’t be a bad thing to write some, in the first thirty minutes of your movie.
English is funny in a lot of ways. For instance, when someone says “you may not return”, it can mean “you might not return” OR “you cannot return”. Confusion on the part of your audience is never a good thing, so explaining that, or choosing different language, is a good idea.
If someone’s wearing a mask–very good, she does need to take it off–but some sort of explanation as to why it was there in the first place is a good idea.
The medium-important things:
If you make a point of showing someone setting up chairs outside a castle, best do something with those chairs. And no, that did not tell Steve Trevor that a big show was about to go down. He already knew it, which is why he was sneaking in.
And the “show” was taking place a long way away, hidden by woods. Not visible from those chairs. So what was the point?
If you’re going to have a five-minute conversation about sex and pleasure and whether men are necessary for same, when you have sex later on, you have to reference that conversation.
If you have a sniper that can’t snipe, and you take time to show us the likely reason why, you have to take a moment and deal with that before he just starts banging away at the end of the film.
If you have an Amerind that doesn’t take sides, because to him both sides are pretty crappy (and who can blame him), you need to deal with that before he chooses up.
If you have a heroine that doesn’t like killing, she needs to show some remorse for doing a whole freaking mess of it.
If you have a heroine make a moral choice not to kill someone, make sure it isn’t the one person we’ve met that seriously, completely, and totally NEEDS killing.
What all these things have in common is caring. When you throw away such great character possibilities, it makes it really hard for the audience to care about your characters being in peril, because obviously you don’t.
The fundamental things:
Why are you making a gas that can defeat gas masks if you then use it only and solely on those people that don’t have any?
Why, if you have this other gas that turns sixty-year-olds into superheroes, don’t you use that gas on your troops? Isn’t that a far simpler solution to winning the war?
Withholding information from people does not help them. It’s a trick writers use to amp up suspense. Used well, it can work. This was not used well. At all. My editor would have slashed the farewell beach scene to ribbons and threatened to quit. I can’t believe your editor did not do that, unless you were using a volunteer that didn’t get paid.
From a story standpoint, if you do decide to withhold said information, and you tell us why, please make sure that your reason for doing so isn’t completely obliviated five minutes after your heroine walks into London.
Why have you made a society of super-warriors whose stated purpose is to stop Ares (and thus, war among men) and then hidden them on an island which they are forbidden to leave? Is that not what Ares would do?
Why is the queen NOT Ares? She’s by far the most evil person in the movie. She has the weapon to stop millions of people from being killed, and she knows it, and she will neither develop the weapon, nor use it, nor allow the weapon to do it herself. And when the weapon finally defeats her and goes off to do it anyway, she withholds a critical piece of information that makes it less likely her weapon will be successful. That’s too many things for it to be incompetence. It must be malice.
If you birth a super-warrior to end all super-warriors, and she can only be killed by another god, you really should tell her before people start shooting at her.
If you’re going to make your protagonist immortal, you risk cheapening all the heroic self-sacrificing things that she does in the film, since she is, in fact, unable to sacrifice herself. I realize this is why you withheld this information, because for us as viewers it would really ruin the entire movie. But then you told us anyway.
And now Wonder Woman is Superman, only she’s eliminated all the kryptonite by killing the only remaining being that could kill her. Good luck making us care about her in the next film.
There are probably more, but I can’t find the energy to remember them all.