Jake’s review published on Letterboxd:
My love of Sam Raimi propels this movie further than it perhaps should. It’s much more Evil Dead than Spider-Man. This is perhaps the closest an MCU film has gotten to having a heavy sense of auteurship (Gunn is the second closest).
Surprisingly the most consistent character in this film compared to the previous films is Wong. Both Strange and Wanda don’t really feel like the same characters as they were in No Way Home and Wandavision, but I actually oddly liked these versions of them better.
The editing is what holds this movie down a fair amount of the time. It’s just too short. If it were 10 minutes longer, then the film would be allowed to breathe more. It’s evident that it was skinned by Marvel in the editing room a lot.
I honestly think the film has very animated qualities too. This could’ve easily worked as a 2 hour Saturday morning cartoon; and that is not a flaw of the movie I actually love the idea of that.
Marvel really just let Sam Raimi do what he wanted with this one. His inspiration from the horror segment of the film definitely took cues from Stephen King, with The Shining and very heavy Carrie vibes being pretty apparent.
This is probably the most violent MCU film there’s been, and also maybe the most exciting one. Raimi breathes new life into a universe which has felt stale from a directing standpoint for a very long time.