'Wonder Woman 1984' Review: Blockbuster streaming on Christmas

NEW YORK (WABC) -- It was supposed to be one of the biggest summer blockbusters of 2020, but that was before the pandemic closed most movie theaters around the world.

Now, "Wonder Woman 1984" is being streamed directly into homes starting on Christmas Day.

I see so many superhero movies as part of my job that I tend to think of watching them as, well, work. So I am always thrilled when a great one comes along that seems more like fun.

"Wonder Woman 1984" is that rarest of all sequels: a movie that is even better than the original. Better because it has just as much cool action but even more heart.

"The best way to enjoy those action scenes and to really experience them is to be profoundly connected to your characters and to your story," director Patty Jenkins said.

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Chris Pine is back, and the love story involving his character, Steve, and Diana, played by Gal Gadot, is at the center of the sequel, even though Steve was killed in the first film.

Not only is Steve alive, but he has time-traveled from the 1940s to 1980s, wished back by Diana, who is, of course, also known as Wonder Woman.

"I was the fish out of water, the wide-eyed in the first one," Gadot said. "And now I'm the adult, more mature, understand the complexities of the world, when he's being the fish out of water."

Love and loss are central themes in what seems at times like an elegy: a lament for a lost era when I was young.

Jenkins notes that she starts with compelling characters and figures out the drama between them, and only then "spins the spectacle out of that."

The villains are played by Pedro Pascal from Disney+'s "The Mandalorian," and Kristen Wiig, best known for her funny roles.

She starts there in this one but ends up in a very different place as an apex predator.

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"Wonder Woman 1984" was supposed to hit theaters last summer. Instead, it's being streamed to HBO Max subscribers starting on Christmas Day.

"This is a movie that was meant to be seen on the biggest screen possible," Gadot said.

The sequel to a movie that grossed more than $822 million around the world opened in theaters overseas last weekend, where it pulled in just $38.5 million. People are still most reluctant to go see a movie in a theater, but I viewed "Wonder Woman 1984" at home and loved it.

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