The short skinny is that WW84 deserves to be seen, and then you can make up your mind on whether it was a worthwhile endeavor. Personally, I think it was, though the sum of its pieces leaves an awful lot to be desired.
The wifey and I saw it on Christmas Day. We actually tried to see it in theaters, but the little auditoriums in the vacation spot where we were holed up was already sold out (of every showing), so we instead signed on to HBO Max and watched it in the comfort and privacy of our little bungalow. I'm glad we did, as we probably would've been fairly pissed had we paid real money to see it on the big screen.
The chief problem I had with all of it was that it was a narrative overload: there was simply too much stuff going on and not all of it was truly relevant to the story. WW84 felt like three films rolled into one -- the Max Lord flick, the Cheetah flick, and the Steve/Diana flick. Yes (haters, I was watching close enough to see how they all intertwined, thank you very much: my issue is that they did so ONLY because the script was structured like that, meaning these were some 'forced' connections and, thus, didn't flow as easily as they should have.
The script from Patty Jenkins, Geoff Johns, and David Callaham covered way too much ground. At times, Max Lord didn't even feel like a necessary component of the film -- his bits were somewhat campy and occasionally nebulous. When magic is your central theme behind the villainy, it helps to have every possible element of it ironed out perfectly: as a writer, you're asking viewers to suspend their disbelief already because -- well -- it's magic, and Pedro Pascal's character kinda/sorta broke his own rules a bit too often. Heck, Lord even admitting he was "breaking the rules" in order to create Wiig's final transformation into Cheetah -- an event that came far too late in the picture to be as big and brash as it could've been -- and magic loses its luster when it can be so easily tweaked for convenience.
In fact, I could make an argument that the film would've worked better by simply cutting Lord from it entirely: have Wiig be the sole villain, dial back all of the worldwide wishing, and just give me a damn good confrontation between Wonder Woman and Cheetah. That would've been a bit more pleasing to me as WW84 felt like the 90's Batman movies that -- for reasons I never quite understood or agreed with -- seemed to require two, three, or four villains, either stealing precious screen time from the hero or bloating the flick to unnecessary lengths because of all of these backstories. At some point, too much weight held this Wonder down, and no amount of action sequences or proper sentiments could lift it back up.
A lot of defense I've read online about the film tends to center on its "tone." I can't tell you the number of times I've read "the film's heart was in the right place" or some other such nonsense. Sure, it's nice to have a superhero motion picture that isn't all heavy and dark -- I'm pointing at you, Christopher Nolan, as well as the last few installments of the Marvel Movie Universe -- but heroic films tend to require large stakes. The world tends to be at risk. The universe, as we know it, stands at a crossroads. If it didn't, then we wouldn't need a superhero to save us, would we?
My problem with "tone" is that it's entirely circumstantial: much has also been written about how Diana's sleeping with the man because she believes he's her love Steve Trevor was wrong, and, yes, I had some issues with that, too. No, I wouldn't equate it as rape, like so many have; but the man -- not Steve -- clearly didn't give his consent, so where's all the support for "tone" now? That's what I mean about it being circumstantial: defenders point to the "tone" when it suits their particular viewpoint but ignore it when it doesn't serve the argument. Following that flawed logic maybe Jeffrey Dahmer wasn't such a bad guy 'cause he culled the herd a bit, thus combatting global climate change.
And the "tone" perspective has been used constantly to compare WW84 to Superman - The Movie (1978). Well, having been there to witness the original Superman film on the silver screen, I can say that such comparison has merit but Superman broke his father's rules by changing Lois Lane's destiny, turning back time, and undoing an earthquake. It was entirely a selfish thing to do. Those of us who know a thing or two about the movie know that the screenplay originally led right into Superman II, with Kal-El's flawed choice to save Lois causing the Kryptonian supervillains to be released from the Neutral Zone, a stroke of narrative genius if you ask me! Break the rules and suffer the consequences! Alas, it wasn't meant to be as Warner Bros.'s shenanigans forced a break between the pictures.
Contrasting the two films, Diana Prince doesn't exactly break any rules by 'wishing' Steve Trevor were still alive. (It isn't as if she knew her wish -- a harmless gesture we've all engaged in -- was going to reap any results.) Once he's back, she gets to live a little of what the two of them missed in their first rodeo, but she inevitably gives him up once he tells her its for the greater good. Remember: she didn't choose in the film as the way it was played was that Steve made the choice for her, and she consented. It's a sacrifice, but it wasn't entirely 'earned.' Such sacrifice is more akin to Superman II, where Kal-El has to sacrifice his love for Lois Lane in order to regain his Earthly powers and save the day. Maybe it's heartbreaking, but she already knew (based on the events of the first film) that it wasn't life-ending in any way.
So, tonally, I don't see how WW84 compares to the first Superman. Similar sequences do not necessarily establish "tone."
But ... I kept asking why bring Steve back from the dead in the first place? Reanimating characters -- however it's accomplished -- is always risky, and I believe it should only be done if and when doing so adds something to the character's relationships. As much as I thought about Steve's resurrection, I couldn't find any substantive reason to do it. Nothing was changed in his and Diana's courtship (other than the sex). Yes, he experienced some gaga moments in seeing how life had evolved in the decades since his demise; and that sense of wonder was interesting. Yet, just like in the first film, Steve sacrifices himself for life as we know it, and Diana's left pining both times. No change. No growth. So why do it? And how are we going to bring him back again for WW3? Or will we?
Suffice it to say, no, I didn't like the film. Yes, it had some good sequences. Yes, it had some solid performances. But it was still a jumbled mess.