alex’s review published on Letterboxd:
The MCU through all its strengths and faults has always been at its best when there’s an intersection of a good story and the selected director’s applied style and flair. Guardians of the Galaxy, Thor: Ragnarok, and to a slightly lesser extent Black Panther are all shining examples of how Marvel’s distillation of the blockbuster can rise above being just another ship in a sea of similars.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is nothing if not a fantastic Sam Raimi greatest hits album. It’s incredibly stylish with a surprising mix of horror and has the director’s fingerprints all over it. Madness is visually inventive and boasts a thunderous Danny Elfman score that, pardon the pun, hits every beat and measure, especially during one of the climatic fights, but even more so specifically in the use of one very nostalgic and sentimental riff that absolutely warmed my heart.
That is about all the kind things I can say about Multiverse. It’s not bad by any stretch, but is guilty of the same post-Endgame error I keep seeing of introducing very cool and interesting characters and concepts only to move on from them in the same film. Maybe this is just Marvel fatigue finally setting in, but I am at the point with Phase Four where I should start seeing a semblance of a sweater, but they only keep giving me more thread. The rewards of being a long-term watcher are growing increasingly slim and unfortunately, despite all of its style, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness doesn’t quite rise above the pack or do anything to assuage already convoluted storytelling.
*shout out to Chekhov’s Corpse, btw