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  1. #1

    Default How Would You Improve/Fix the 2017 Movie's Third Act?

    As good as the 2017 movie was, most agree the third act/final battle is the weakest part. Even the best reviews noted things get wobbly if not fall apart once Ares makes his presence known.
    Personally, though I don't think it's as bad as some make it out to be, I agree the movie loses its footing a bit towards the end.

    So I thought for fun we'd discuss what could be done to improve or fix the third act problems--whether minor tweaks or full-on starting from scratch.

    First, I'd have Diana confront and kill Ludendorff at the gala. She corners him in some back room away from everyone, and they have essentially the same fight they had in the movie. Except Doctor Poison is present to witness it. After Ludendorff is killed, Diana--thinking she's ended the war--assures Poison that she's free and leaves her. She then meets back up with Steve, who's understandably freaked out about what she did. She insists Ares is dead and the war is over.

    We cut to the German soldiers preparing to fire the nerve gas. Doctor Poison enters and claims Ludendorff is occupied, but told her to tell them to go ahead. Basically, even though Ludendorff is dead, Poison goes into business for herself and decides she wants the war to continue because she's a sadistic lunatic. Like it happens in the movie, the missiles fire and the village Diana saved is killed by the gas.

    She rushes to Veld and finds what happened. The scene from the movie after Ludendorff is killed and Diana realizes nothing's changed would be moved here. Steve pleads with her they need to stop the gas from getting out or the war will never end, but she's too distraught and disillusioned, so he heads off to the base on his own.

    Like the movie, this is where Ares would reveal himself. I know some people feel he should never have appeared at all, but I think he could work as a manifestation of Diana's internal struggle, not the cause of World War I. His presence also allows a fun, smashy-smashy superhero brawl. I know some don't care for CG slug-fests, but I actually liked that Diana got one for her movie. Sue me.

    Anyway, unlike the movie, Ares would not claim he's trying to restore Earth to a paradise. Aside from a weak motivation, Ares having his own distinct goal kind of undermines his claim he doesn't actually make people do anything. One line I would add is have Ares say: "War doesn't exist because of me. I exist because of war."

    He would instead feed into Diana's despair, insisting humans aren't worth her effort. The way I'd do it is Ares' endgame--his dream--is a Mad Max world where people are constantly fighting and it's survival of the fittest. He'd tempt Diana with talk of glory. If she stopped caring about people, who don't deserve her protection, she would stand above everyone as the greatest warrior. Basically: "Screw the world, be the baddest bitch of them all, I got your back. It'll be awesome."

    Diana, naturally, doesn't want to go that far, and she instigates the fight with Ares. She's mostly fighting out of denial and desperation, unwilling to believe killing him would accomplish nothing. This is what I meant when I said he could/should be a physical representation of her internal conflict. The fight with Ares isn't about ending the war, it's Diana fighting her own disillusionment with humanity. Ares doesn't represent war here, he represents the worst of humanity, and when she attacks, she's futilely lashing out at something she can't stop. And this is why she initially gets her ass kicked.

    They fight their way to the army base, where Steve and his crew are trying to stop the gas from getting out--pretty much same as the movie. Steve would get his goodbye moment like the movie, and he'd still sacrifice himself. I'd even be tempted to have Dr. Poison straight-up murder him. Either way, Steve dies which makes Diana go berserk.

    Ares, rather than taunt her about Steve's death, directs her fury toward Poison. This is why I would have Poison present for Ludendorff's death, an initial encounter with Diana, and have her directly responsible for the village. It would give Diana's rage more justification and make her decision to show mercy have more impact.

    Like the movie, Diana flashes back to Steve and spares Doc Poison. She then turns her back on Ares--recalling Hippolyta's line "Fighting doesn't make you a hero"--and goes to destroy the rest of the nerve gas. Ares tries to stop her, but his attacks have no effect, and he blows up with the rest of the gas. Maybe hint that he's not really dead, but Diana promises she will always be there to stop him.

    So I wouldn't change that much. Swap a few scenes or beats around, put more emphasis on Dr. Poison, alter Ares' motivation, and have Diana directly responsible for destroying the nerve gas.

    Thoughts? How would you do it?
    "Never place your trust in us. We're only human. Inevitably, we will disappoint you."

  2. #2


    Nando v movies did a cool version on his YouTube channel.

    It's a two part answer so check out "disarming Ares" .

  3. #3
    Beyond Good. Beyond Evil. Gaius's Avatar
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    Mar 2020
    Occupied Klendathu


    I like the change in motivation, an idea I had of own was to take what he did to Diana by using the lasso in the film showing what he thought would be paradise but doing the G&M ending where Diana uses the lasso on him and makes him see his dream world would ultimately mean he'd cease to exist eventually as everyone would eventually kill themselves. Though I guess a problem of that is that it loses the punch if it's not nuclear holocaust.

    This is also just aesthetic/cosmetic but I'd also make it when he takes on the armor but it looks closer to this and do the comics thing where his face isn't visible.

  4. #4
    Moderator Nyssane's Avatar
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    Apr 2014


    I would have pretty much the same climax except replace Ares with a bunch of poison-powered German soldiers. Doctor Poison would essentially be the big bad, I guess, with her using her experimental drugs on her henchmen. Diana would still have a big CGI battle, just not with someone with a silly mustache screaming "I WILL DESTROY YOU!" I also like Diana showing mercy to Doctor Poison, so I'd keep that in. Also cut the hugging scene.

    Basically, Diana would've thought Ares was behind it all the entire time but he wasn't. Humanity is just evil.

  5. #5


    Yeah, I'd also tweak Ares' appearance so we don't see his face and epic mustache through the helmet. It was pretty hard to take him seriously like that, and I think it would make a more striking and intimidating look if Ares' "face" was just a black void in his helmet like the Witch King from Lord of the Rings:
    "Never place your trust in us. We're only human. Inevitably, we will disappoint you."

  6. #6
    Mighty Member Primal Slayer's Avatar
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    Apr 2014


    Not kill the Gods.

    Not have Zeus be the creator of The Amazons.

    Not make Ares this old british guy.

  7. #7
    Mighty Member mystical41's Avatar
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    Oct 2019


    I would change the part where the Gods are dead. It limits her lore for future adventures. It's not the end of the world and other stuff can be used but still.

    Clay origin.

    The Amazon contest.

    And for the third act. I would go for a Perez type of approach from WW V2. Like it was the original idea for the ending of the movie. We could still have some powerhouse CGI moments. But the end should have been similar to Diana's battle with Ares in the Perez run.

  8. #8
    Extraordinary Member John Venus's Avatar
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    May 2014


    - All the stuff about Diana being the daughter of Zeus is cut out.

    - Ares reveals that he is powered by war, thus the existence of war and death makes him more powerful. He is the one who used the sword to kill the other Gods due to his father's treatment of him. The idea of the Amazons came from the Goddesses. Zeus only implemented it as a last minute act of redemption before dying. Thus Diana realizes that it's ultimately humanity that's creating conflict and Diana realizes that unlike the image of Ares as the ultimate, he is more like a broken, traumatized teen, using whatever he got to lash out at the world.

    -Ares mentions that Diana reminds her of Athena.

    - Diana defeats Ares by showing him the consequences of his actions, just like in G&M. Then she goes and stops WW1 from escalating.

    -Steve dies just like in the movie.

    -At the end of the movie, Diana returns to Paradise Island and imprisons Ares in Doom's Doorway.

    -The next movie opens with Diana having spent time in Doom's Doorway as it's Champion as penance for running away. The Contest is included in this one. However, when she returns to Man's World, in the 50's or 60's instead of the 80's, she is dismayed to realized that humanity is engaged in even more destructive conflict and that the world has become even more conservative and discriminatory towards women. WW settles down in Boston and becomes and advocate for equality and raising the ire of Dr Pyscho. She befriends archaeologist Dr Barbara Minerva and the chronically ill teenager, Vanessa. Diana and Barbara try to hunt down a cure for Vanessa but Pyscho manipulates her into becoming the Silver Swan. Over the course of the movie, Barbara's jealousy towards Diana causes their friendship to break down. She uses one of the artifacts to become the Cheetah. By the third act, Diana manages to free Vanessa from her brainwashing and defeat Dr Psycho. But her friendship with Barbara is destroyed and they had become bitter enemies. Cheetah's fate is left open ended in the movie.

    I would go with someone like Rosmaund Pike or Rachel Weisz for Barbara Minerva. Or since the role is very stunt heavy, someone like Lena Heady or Kate Beckinsale.
    Last edited by John Venus; 11-29-2021 at 06:34 AM.

  9. #9
    Astonishing Member DochaDocha's Avatar
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    Apr 2014


    I'm not sure exactly how I'd change the third act, but I think it really got weighed down by not having a really compelling villain in the movie. Dr. Poison was probably the most interesting of the three main villains, but she's not that interesting. I think it's hard to balance introducing a hero and building up a villain, so it's also possible that better villains might've meant a worse Wonder Woman, but I have a difficult time not imagining that if the villains were better then the third act would've been more compelling.

  10. #10
    Incredible Member
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    Aug 2021


    You couldn't kill Ludendorf, because he was a real person.
    I think it was intentional to use a real German general here, who survived the war.

  11. #11
    Fantastic Member HestiasHearth's Avatar
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    Mar 2018


    I have always felt that a Wonder Woman trilogy of films should have started with Cheetah for the first movie, Silver Swan and Psycho for the second one, and Ares, the big bad god of war for the third. And he should have retained the look that Perez designed for him. Oh, and then Circe for a fourth film.

    That being said, I did not hate the third act of WW. I still to this day do not see what's so terrible about it. Only thing I would have changed about that third act is Ares' appearance. He was not scary, intimidating, creepy or nothing. He just looked meh AF.

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