Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness ★★★★

MCU: Ranking

How you respond to this film depends on what your expectations are going in. Aside from The Batman this has been the internet's most anticipated film of the year. With all the rumors and fan predictions, everyone had an idea of what they wanted this film to be. People wanted like every single character from the entire mast multiverse to make an appearance. People wanted to see Professor X, Agent Carter, Wolverine, Blade, the Entire X-Men, the entire Fantastic Four, the universe where Eternals is good, Loki, Sylvie, Deadpool, Tom Cruise, and I even talked to people who thought BATMAN was going to appear in this film and have a large role. That last one- I- I don't need to explain why that isn't going to happen. Many will watch the film and be surprised that only a select few of those are in the film at all and don't play a big part. This is why I suspect for a lot of people this film will be somewhat disappointing. For me however, I went in hoping to only have a select few of those and for this film to focus on the characters, the story, and the Sam Raimi horror. I wasn't disappointed.

I'll start with the directing. Sam Raimi should direct every MCU film from now on. He brings a lot of style to this film which is absent from most MCU projects. Each scene is filled with camera movements straight out of the first two Spider-Man films from way back when, and they all have so much more life to them compared to something like Black Widow for example. The horror is also really good. Horror has never really been a direction that the MCU has gone and so it's cool to see a lot of sequences like that inside of this film. I won't say its like the greatest thing ever and it isn't that scary. It is unique for this franchise however and gets you on the edge of your seat. This film feels very different from most MCU projects which was exactly what I was hoping for from this film.

It's difficult to talk about anything relating to the story without getting into spoilers. I'll keep it simple at that the character arcs are really great and this film actually does have some elements of it that hit at the perfect time on the right day for me and I applaud the screenwriters for that. Also America Chavez is a really good new character.

The performances are nothing short of great. Benedict Cumberbatch is always great as Doctor Strange and this is no exception, but the standout was Elizabeth Olsen. She is PHENOMENAL in this film and the best she has ever been. I don't want to spoil what they do with her character but it is filled with bold choices that I admire a ton and this was what I never knew I needed from this character. Xochitl Gomez was surprisingly really good. Nothing extraordinary but the fact she can hold her own against the bigger actors in this film and at such a young age is impressive. Benedict Wong is great as per usual and Chiwetel Eljiofor is excellent. There are some other really great performances that I will not spoil.

Danny Elfman composes this film and creates an amazing score. It is one of the better MCU scores for sure. The cinematography is great, which is rare to say about one of these films. The VFX are possibly the best in any marvel film. This was one of the stronger elements of the first film if not the strongest and it is done even better here. There are so many unique environments created that look breathtaking. Some of it reminded me of the finale of Inception in some ways. The sound design is also top tier. The Bruce Campbell cameo is amazing, the action scenes are really cool, and this is one of the darker and weirder MCU films, and I think that is for the better.

So what's wrong with it? I think this film moves a little too fast. I appreciate the shorter runtime as a lot of comic book films go to like 2 and a half hours when they don't need to, so I appreciated that this one wasn't as long. However, in this case I feel like this film could have used like 10-15 minutes of extra runtime to better flesh some things out. Also, there are a few lines of dialogue that are a bit silly.

Overall, this film is great. I thoroughly enjoyed it. It's very different from most MCU films and it manages to tell a compelling story while also having excellent direction as well. The horror approach is cool, the performances are great, and the vfx are phenomenal. It might not be what everyone is looking for, but this is everything I wanted it to be. I'm glad we have this film, and it's awesome to see it doing so well at the box office. I highly recommend seeing it if you haven't already. Make sure to lower your expectations however, as this film is not No Way Home. Spoiler alert, Batman isn't in this. This is not what the internet has been speculating it will be, and in my opinion that is a good thing.

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