Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness ★★★★

This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

This review may contain spoilers.

“It’s gonna take a lot more than killing me to kill me”

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Alright I’m in the mood to write another long review this time spoilery and stuff here it goes:

Well it happened, I cried in an MCU movie. It wasn’t Endgame it wasn’t No Way Home it was fucking Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness. Great film though.

I’m gonna start with the characters cause like they were great. So I don’t think I’ve said it before but I’ll say it again Wanda is one of my favorite characters, period, she is so deep and relatable and yet as powerful as she is her storylines always embrace her desire and use of humanity, making her just such an interesting character. Wanda is so relatable to me and at the climax like even though I’m not a mother or father or even in college, maybe it was the superb acting by Elizabeth Olsen but like I really did feel her pain and connected to her so much in those moments. I honestly think she is way to overlooked as a character and while I love Tony Stark there is no way she isn’t my favorite Marvel character. Now, even though I think the first Doctor Strange film is wildly underrated and actually falls in at number 13 of my top 20 superhero films, I was never and insanely huge fan of the character itself however he definitely redeemed himself in this. The character arc was insane and extremely beneficial to the film. What started off as the normal strange it really transcended into a much more likeable risk taking character where it seemed everything wasn’t perfect for him and other than his romances in the first one not everything worked out for him, which to me really improved the character. Like in the first film that Strange wouldn’t dream of breaking the rules and using the book but throughout the film you can recognize the desperation and the need to help the connection built with America and just how much he’s willing to push himself, it really made the character more likeable. One of my flaws with this film was how strangely America was introduced, I mean yes she was given a sort of backstory later but we don’t know shit about why she is powerful like is that a trait of her people is she a mutant did her mothers test on her or something like that. Maybe it’s nitpicking but I really felt we needed either more of an introduction or more of a backstory for me to really like or connect to the character at all. To be blatantly honest I was kinda disappointed with the characters in the “Illuminati” on one hand yes it was an amazing fan moment to see Reed Richards and for fans of the Inhumans to get Blackbolt but as cool as the fight scene one was I had a few main issues with the scenes involving those characters. Firstly they gonna have to come up with some serious shit to explain using any of those 4 again in the mcu at least without a recast and calling them from a different universe but there is no way they’re changing John Krasinski. This one really irritated me though. Because they had Professor X and no other X-Men they are either going to have to say he was just an actual superhero (not mutant) like the others in the MCU or do some dumb Eternals stuff to explain why they didn’t have like Wolverine or Mystique to help in that pathetic fight scene against Scarlet Witch. 

The acting in this film was top notch MCU performances. As I kinda touched upon Elizabeth Olsen stole the show. She gave off such a powerful yet human persona and gave such emotion and flavor to the character that this movie wouldn’t have been half as good if she gave even the slightest bit worse of a performance. So yeah she kinda stole the spotlight in the acting spectrum but I mean the others did pretty good too. Benedict Cumberbatch was pretty good. He never faltered so I spose I can’t call it bad but it definitely needed more flavor to the performance and while held good emotion especially as the film went on, he could’ve used more passion in some scenes near the start. Xochitil Gomez did pretty great considering this is her first major film. For a child actress she did really good delivering her lines with emotion and style however as the film went on and we began to know the character more I felt her performance wasn’t as good for the character itself and while she did great in my opinion could’ve used a little bit better casting. Now I don’t know who I would suggest but even though she did great in the first half her performance didn’t fit the character’s persona.

Okay so direction, damn was that seriously Raimi. If there was no branding or announcements at all I could’ve said this was a Sam Raimi film. It oozed with his style having something tracing back to him in every other scene. I think some people call too much style a flaw and while I agree there is a line I just love when directors add so much of their own style in the film and frankly I count barely any as a flaw. So to my director friends on Letterboxd reading this please don’t be afraid to add some of your own flavor and style to the film. (I dunno lmao) Anyways, I adored the script, I thought there was dumb lines every once in a while but that comes in almost any film you watch. There were some really memorable lines like the quote I included at the start and I thought the film did a really great job at explaining all the multiverse stuff without seeming as though they’re talking at you. I loved the looping of almost forgettable things like when they buried the dead Strange at the start and then embodied him later in the film I thought was really creative and to add on to the memorable lines thing:

“Who said they needed to be alive”

The film had some really great set design too. Yeah I’m sure a lot of it was cgi but as much as it’s worth they made every multiverse feel so normal yet so surreal, the thought that went into the production design of the film must’ve been insane. The atmosphere was an amazing feature of the film, it encased you right from the get-go and didn’t drop you till the guy said “It’s over” at the end of the film. A lot of what helped to build up the atmosphere was the Raimi style and great acting but another huge component was the score. The score in this film blew me away. I dunno if Raimi is particularly known for working with composers and doing good work with the scores but damn was it good. The music notes fight scene may be one of my favorite scores moments in cinema. It is maybe not on par but honestly up there with the moment from There Will Be Blood you know what I mean if you’ve seen it the moment with that incredible incredible scoring. The pacing of the film has me a little bit conflicted in some parts of the film it was really good but there were moments where it fell out of the consistency of the fast paced film and became rather slow and irritating. But those were only a few scenes and in general the pacing was pretty great.

I don’t have a ton to say about the plot but I really liked it. The ending was really strong and fit really well with the plot and characters. I mentioned this during the writing but if it weren’t for the great screenplay the film could’ve really suffered for constantly updating their multiverse theory and expanding their knowledge however not telling us. I liked all the updates and changes that weren’t quite twists but managed to keep the plot relatively the same yet kept it fresh and never let it get boring. 

I really liked Wanda’s climax. The climax in itself wasn’t very defined I think it was clear and strong for Wanda and then there was also one for Strange and America. While this may have flowed into the ending after Wanda’s I didn’t like how you were guessing where the climax actually was and what was the specific part that was meant to be peak story. But yeah the part when Wanda’s kids were acting scared of her really really hit hard and made me cry. Nope no one died but that, goddamn that was a sad moment.

The fight scenes in this film were really great. The MCU has kinda been known for epic all out high budget fight scenes and this was no less than what I expected. They were all extremely entertaining and fun to watch. They were all very visually pleasing with some awesome cgi and had some expert action choreography. Some top notch superhero fight scenes.

I didn’t really like the first post credit scene to be honest. I thought the idea of the third eye opening made for a really awesome ending and set up a 3rd film pretty well. Then when they added the post credit scene it kinda ruined that. Sure it set up a sequel anymore but when it showed them side by side working together it ruined the mystique that the ending created, like ‘What’s gonna happen next?’ ‘Is Strange gonna become a villain?’ I thought the second post credit scene was cool though.

Well there you go my longest review is no longer about a 3 minute short film. I thought it was a really great film that is worth checking out especially for any Marvel fan. I think if you go in with low expectations like I did you can then enjoy it to its peak but just don’t Joel for a horror movie. A stellar film, 8/10.

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