Jenkins clearly wanted to make a "Superman II" here -- More honesty about the hero's love life, vulnerability exposed with the loss of powers due to a choice by the hero to devote themselves entirely to their love interest, new threats that match and nearly exceed the hero's abilities. But yes, it unfortunately ends up as more of a Superman III -- morally dubious character choices, villains with no real heft that are riffs on other greater villains, the hero corrupting their own personal history living in humanity (returning to Smallville, Lana while "evil") through manipulated choices of the villain, and awful, already dated "comedy" based in its period that falls flat.
The charm of Reeve and Kidder in Donner's Superman and Lester's Superman II was equally wonderful, but ultimately worked because of great stories. Despite having the same two leads, Superman III failed because it lacked a 100% meaningful concept and story. Superman IV...is another matter, but I almost give more credit to IV than III, because at least Reeve was attempting to do something interesting with that one...and it got corrupted during production/post.
What the hell happened here?? WW84 is so disappointing. This movie wasn't plagued by a change in directors or behind the scenes turmoil, as far as we know. And yet it feels like it was. At its core are some rather brilliant ideas about ideology, the fragileness of truth, the ideas of wishmaking and wish fulfillment in superhero narratives, how easily we would annihilate ourselves if we were truly given everything we want -- but as with everything, it's not the kind of story they are trying to tell here -- it's how they tell it. The movie is, astoundingly, for a film of its budget and resources, plagued by simple production and aesthetic issues that should have been caught -- such as Diana "whispering" her final monologue to Max from across the room as epic wind is blowing and Max is screaming out. How could he hear her? Why would he even listen? How can she be "seen" by everyone else if the cameras are destroyed? How did she gain the ability to "fly" yet still need the armour/still not have all of her powers? The audience also could have really used a flashback/appearance of the actual "god" that Diana refers to as the origin-point of the stone -- it would give the audience some kind of relatability similar to the wonderful "bedtime story" told by Hippolyta in the first movie. This is FILM, here -- images should at least equally tell the story, not just some quick-exposition.
The White House conflict between Diana and Barbara is far more interesting than the "same-old" CG fight scene (that lasts just four minutes) at the end. But it's all muddled in both message and execution.
So many other questions and issues here; all mentioned already in this forum -- I pretty much agree with the issues with bringing Steve's character back -- why not just "whiff" him into existence again? Who "decides" what body he was placed in? Why did that guy not even get a character name???
...Never thought this movie would continue to end 2020 on a sour note. What a drag. This film should have been called: "The Mysterious Adventures of Max Lord, featuring Wonder Woman."
What I did absolutely love, with no apologies, are the opening scene, the mall scene, Diana flying, and Zimmer's complete score -- beautiful stuff. But both of those first two scenes could have been "bonus" scenes or indeed released sometime before the film's release as "prologues" or mini-adventures to tide the audience over, losing little of consequence from being excised from the main picture.
Was the nighttime footage of Diana actually lassoing lightning bolts, seen in the trailers, deleted? I don't think it's in the film, right? When she begins to fly in the clouds, it's daylight...
I agree that they should let Steve go for the third film. They tried recapturing the magic, and while the chemistry is great, the problems with what and how they accomplished it created more controversy and disappointment. Diana needs to "move on" in the third film.