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‘Wonder Woman 1984’ has a messy plot, but Gal Gadot shines bright, critics say

Gal Gadot stars as Wonder Woman in “Wonder Woman 1984.”

Warner Bros.

“‘Wonder Woman 1984’ isn’t great and it isn’t terrible,” writes Stephanie Zacharek of Time Magazine.

That seems to be the general consensus from critics as the sequel film arrives in international cinemas this weekend.

The highly anticipated follow-up to 2017’s “Wonder Woman” was set to be released in June, but the ongoing global pandemic displaced the film until Christmas Day in the U.S. The outbreak also led Warner Bros.’ parent company AT&T to deliver the flick in theaters and on its streaming service HBO Max on the same day.

“Wonder Woman 1984” takes place seven decades after the events of the first film. Diana Prince, the eponymous Wonder Woman played by Gal Gadot, is living in Washington, D.C. and working at the Smithsonian. In her spare time, Diana dons her Amazonian armor and plays the part of a superhero, saving folks around town.

Diana’s life is interrupted when wannabe oil tycoon Maxwell Lord (Pedro Pascal) obtains a magical rock called the dream stone. The artifact grants wishes, but there’s a cost.

For Diana, the stone brings back Steve Trevor (Chris Pine), her love interest from the first film who died sacrificing his life to save others. Unfortunately, to keep Steve in her life, Diana will eventually lose her powers.

Diana’s friend and coworker Barbara Minerva (Kristen Wiig), a wallflower who envies Diana for her confidence and beauty, is granted these traits and, as seen in the trailer, morphs into the villainous Cheetah. Lord absorbs the stone’s magic and gives himself the ability to grant other people wishes, something he uses to gain power and prestige.

When Barbara and Lord team up, Diana must square off against the two villains to save the world.

“Woman Woman 1984” currently holds a 88% “Fresh” rating from Rotten Tomatoes from 92 reviews. As more reviews roll in, this rating could change.

Critics widely praised Gadot in the role. Once again, Gadot portrays Diana with effortless grace and a cool confidence while bringing depth to an immortal woman displaced and adrift in a mortal world.

However, reviewers called the plot “messy” and “tangled” and were disappointed with the CGI creature form of Cheetah that appears during the third act of the film.

Here’s a rundown of what critics said about “Wonder Woman 1984” ahead of its Christmas debut:

Peter Debruge, Variety

Gal Gadot stars as Wonder Woman in “Wonder Woman 1984.”

Warner Bros.

Angelica Jade Bastien, Vulture

Stephanie Zacharek, Time

Gal Gadot stars as Wonder Woman in Warner Bros. “Wonder Woman 1984.”

Warner Bros.

Esther Zuckerman, Thrillist

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