Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness ★★½

You break the rules and become a hero. I do it and I become the enemy. That doesn't seem fair.

A true sequel to Doctor Strange and Wandavision in that it

It's incredible how low effort and small this movie feels. Marvel had the opportunity to deliver some wonderful fanservice here but instead if feels like they did the bare minimum. The cameos we got are not only scarce but also underutilized and the way they end up being treated is rightfully going to be viewed us insult to the fans. Variants or no variants, that introduction is going to leave a permanent stink on the franchise. I hope at least two of those characters return and will be played by those actors. But one of them giving the villain a recipe on how to kill a powerful character has gotta be one of the dumbest moments in the entire comic book genre.

It's also astounding that Sam Raimi doesn't know the material he is dealing with or the target audience. He admitted to not even sitting through the entire Wandavision - Wanda's arc in this movie is truly dumb and lazily explained with "the book is corrupting her!" but that still doesn't explain why she, an incredibly powerful being, doesn't simply conjure new children - then there's his signature Bruce Campbell cameo which is quite frankly stupid and is going to piss a lot of people off. For a Multiverse movie the stakes never feel big and thanks to the lame mid and end credits scenes - it takes some real skill to introduce such an actor in this franchise in such an underwhelming way - you don't really leave wanting more as you did with MCU in the past.

Raimi doesn't handle the action sequences well and the less is said about how little they make sense and what a mess this universe is now both from the storypoint and power levels, the better. But the horror elements were bold for MCU and set this movie apart from other films in the franchise. The problem is that the movie is too scary for kids and too silly for adults, effectively making it a movie for no one. It's a sad state of affairs if they had to bring in Ultron bots just so they could make it look like Wanda is drenched in blood after ripping one of their heads off - seeing how they wanna maximize the profit they cannot actually use the real blood and have the movie be rated anything other than PG-13. Funny how that backfired on Marvel, seeing how the presence of Ultron bots in the trailer made a lot of people in the fanbase assume we will see Iron Man variant...and we didn't.

But stylistically the horror elements are terrific - Wanda crawling out of the reflection, Wanda chasing them through the tunnels while being filmed like a horror monster, all the neat cinematography and editing tricks surrounding Wanda's attempts to posses herself in another universe and a scene of a certain cameo character's and Wanda's battle. Danny Elfman's score is pretty good and I especially enjoyed the lively, tribal sounding music when we are getting an explanation about Wanda's dream walking. The visual side of the movie has several cool moments but unfortunately, like usually with MCU, it's all muted and quite lifeless.

Then there's Wanda. There's something incredibly ugly in MCU exploiting this character's repeated trauma and now turning her into a villain. What's even uglier are Kevin Feige's assurances that you don't need to have seen the TV series to follow the plot which are now baseless as I cannot imagine you can follow the plot of this one without doing so. The trouble is those series are incredibly bloated and very average. But up until lately at least the theatrical films were good. But lately? It's all incredibly underwhelming, with the exception of No Way Home but most of that movie success' was simply relying on the magic of nostalgia.

Olsen is doing an admirable job seeing how her character makes absolutely no sense anymore. She is fun to watch at least, as is most people here, unfortunately they are working with dreadful and lazy script. Amazingly this film, with all its fun stylistic choices, is even worse than Doctor Strange. We are told the stakes are big but we never feel it and while the first film was bland at least it wasn't as filled with plot holes as this one is.

Hopefully Taika Waititi and upcoming forth Thor movie will finally bring a great entry into MCU in Phase 4. Taika! Unfuck this mess!

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