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Rotten Tomatoes Has Made Up Its Mind On Wonder Woman 1984

With nearly every movie facing a delay in 2020, it's been a tough year for the film industry. But on Christmas Day, Wonder Woman 1984 swooped in to (maybe) save the box office, while also giving HBO Max a major boost by making its streaming and theatrical debuts simultaneously. But does the highly anticipated sequel live up to the genre-busting greatness of the 2017 film? According to Rotten Tomatoes, the answer to that question is not quite.

The first Wonder Woman was quickly certified fresh on Rotten Tomatoes with a 93% score on the Tomatometer, but Wonder Woman 1984 has been met with mixed reviews, with many critics suggesting that the Patty Jenkins-directed film is suffering from a case of sequelitis. Fans can rest easy knowing the movie hasn't earned itself a splat, but with a score of 65% from critics, it's not exactly a triumph either.

A recurring theme in the reviews is complaints about the film's bloated runtime. Like many superhero sequels that came before, the latest Wonder Woman movie has fallen into the trap of more is more — which is ironic since the '80s set film tackles the troubles with excess head on. Add in an overly convoluted plot and a general disconnect with the larger DC Extended Universe, and it's easy to see where things went wrong for the Amazon princess.

However, it's not all bad news for Wonder Woman. Critics agree that Gal Gadot still shines as the iconic hero, and the movie's message of optimism and forgiveness is more than welcome after a year like 2020.

Wonder Woman 1984 has left critics divided on the merits of the superhero sequel

After a year of precious few blockbuster films to speak of, it's hard not to find something to like about Wonder Woman 1984, but a few critics managed to do just that. Esteemed critic Leonard Maltin called out the movie for overstaying its welcome, writing, "Overall, I felt disconnected from the movie except for moments that focused on human-scale situations. It struggles to be relevant and serious, but in a superficial, cartoony way. It drones on for two and a half hours but it hasn't got a lot to say."

His sentiments were echoed by other top critics, including Boston Globe writer Ty Burr, who pointed to the sequel's overabundance of plot as an issue. "The larger problem is that the filmmakers put in everything they could find without locating the one quality they need," he wrote. "No wonder this "Wonder Woman" falls flat — there's no wonder."

Not everyone found Wonder Woman 1984 lacking, though. Quite a few critics found plenty to love about the superhero sequel, including Slate's Dana Stevens who praised the film for essentially being a standalone feature that never short changes character development in favor of action sequences. "Jenkins and Gadot have gone and done it: They've gotten me invested in the emotional well-being of a franchise superhero," her review read.

Slant Magazine's Chris Barsanti seemed to echo that sentiment, adding that the film's central message is one we could all stand to hear in 2020, writing "The film shows a preference for forgiveness over vengeance, which feels like an okay way to end this particular year."

Overall, Wonder Woman 1984 isn't the across the board crowd-pleaser that the first film was, but the combination of Gadot's performance as Diana and the movie's abundance of heart makes it well worth viewers' time — even if it does lack some of the wow factor of the original.