‘Wonder Woman 1984’ fails to impress

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The one big superhero blockbuster to arrive in 2020 ended up being the Wonder Woman sequel, and it wasn’t worth the wait.

“Wonder Woman 1984” is a big, bloated, throwback of a movie that feels like it belongs in the 1980s instead of the current superhero movie era. The new sequel feels like one of those old-fashioned Christopher Reeves Superman movies instead of the usual entertaining, modern blockbusters we’ve come to expect from the Marvel superheroes.

Still, “Wonder Woman 1984” is a watchable, if overly long film. It opened simultaneously in theaters and streaming on HBO Max, which could mark the future of movies entirely.

In the first “Wonder Woman” movie in 2017, our hero emerged from the island of the Amazons to help win World War I, alongside her pilot beau, Steve Trevor.

In this sequel, the immortal Diana is living a quiet life in 1984 when a magic, wishing rock shows up to cause all sorts of mischief — including bringing Steve back to life.

And that synopsis merely scratches the surface of everything in this movie. The magic, wishing rock is controlled by the not-quite-evil Maxwell Lord, who wants to use its power to become rich and famous.

Then there’s Barbara Minerva, who accidentally wishes to be just like Diana, which gives her Wonder Woman powers and, somehow, turns her into the comic book villain the Cheetah.

There’s a lot happening in “Wonder Woman 1984” and it is all watchable. This is a movie made by professionals starring a pretty cool superhero, and to that end, one is fully capable of sitting down and watching this movie and being mildly entertained. And if you’re already a fan of the Wonder Woman character, more the better.

But this is not a movie made with the skill, craft and entertainment value we’ve come to expect from these superhero blockbusters. This is a movie that throws everything it has into the script and hopes the jumble is good enough. It’s got so much going on that it hopes you don’t notice or care that it doesn’t really have much to say.

The movies has themes and a message, sure, but they’re buried under so much emptiness and so much glut. Everyone gives a pretty solid performance, including the returning Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman. Everyone clearly put in the effort, but the movie is not better than the sum of its parts.

“Wonder Woman 1984” has all the makings of a big budget superhero movie, and it has enough stuffed inside to be worth a watch. Just don’t expect 2020 to have ended on a high note.

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