This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
Lucas🃏’s review published on Letterboxd:
This review may contain spoilers.
“You break the rules and become the hero. I do it and become the enemy. That doesn’t seem fair.”
We have finally made it. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness was my second most anticipated film of the year. After the home run that was No Way Home, I was so interested to see how the multiverse stuff would be continued in this. But I’m sure like so many others out there including myself, Sam Raimi coming back to direct a superhero film after like 15 years is one of the most exciting things to happen in movie history for me. I’ve said this countless times, but Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogy is legitimately the definition of my childhood. Both him and Nolan are the reason I fell in love with superhero’s and I will never downplay what he did for me because even to this day when I’m not happy or want to cheer up, I can put on any of the three movies and feel better.
So basically I was hyped out of my mind for this. I was for sure worried a bit because I didn’t want the MCU to try and force Raimi to do anything he didn’t want to and it seems like for the most part they let him do his thing. His vision and style is all over this thing and I was so pleased with that. The beginning like 20-30 minutes was pretty typical MCU stuff, but the rest is full on Raimi mode. His direction is just as strong as you remember and he proves here that he hasn’t lost his touch. I planned to watch the Evil Dead movies before this in preparation, but I decided not to and from what I’m hearing, I should’ve. Most seem to be comparing a lot of his directional choices to his Evil Dead films more than Spider-Man and that makes me more interested in checking them out.
The horror elements of this film are by far the most surprising element. Since I haven’t see the evil dead movies, I don’t know they way Raimi handles the horror genre but judging just off this, I’m a big fan already. It’s not scary really per say, but the imagery and visuals are fantastic and really creepy at times especially when strange is controlling the dead body of one of his alternate selfs. I’m very curious if that was makeup or CGI cause it looked phenomenal either way and was quite disturbing to look at. It’s been said by multiple people already but this really is the bloodiest MCU film. The fight with Wanda vs the Illuminati was so much more brutal than I was expecting and it was awesome to see for a change. The way she takes out Black Bolt was maybe the most R rated kill we will ever get in the MCU.
The action sequences were all super entertaining and well crafted. The music notes scene was one in particular that was creative and a standout for sure. Danny Elfman, one of the goat score composers who made my favorite score to this day(the Spider-Man one), came back with a bang. I don’t hear a ton of praise around it so I want emphasize that it was really good and should be getting more acknowledgement. It’s not an instant classic yet like the Batman was for me, but it could grow on me over time. I haven’t even talked about the performances yet but Benedict Cumberbatch continues to leave his foot print on this character and shines yet again here. America Chavez was a delight to finally see on screen and her and Strange’s chemistry comes off very strong already and I hope to see more from her soon.
Her power of traveling the multiverse but not knowing how to control it is also like that of a mutant and it will be really cool to see where she pops up next in the future. But you already know who the standout was. Ms.Elizabeth Olsen of course. I love what we explore with her character here. After the tragedy at Westview in WandaVision where she lost her kids and Vision, she is very broken and can’t even sleep cause she is dreaming of her alternative selfs who are happy with everyone together alive. All of the decisions she has made has affected so many people cause of her selfishness but at the same time you still empathize with her a bit. Most of us knew going into this knew she would be the villain and she crushes this angry and evil side so well. I really didn’t expect her to be as straight up savage as she was but she does not hold back in this.
I already mentioned the Illuminati fight, but she goes in to a full on murder spree and I can’t believe how dark they took her. It feels like the MCU may be just starting to take risks and if they are then that’s a good sign of a more hopeful future for this franchise. I do have some flaws. The hype for this movie was through the roofs and even putting that to the side, I was still a bit disappointed. I didn’t want this to be a cameo palooza, but I think the concept of the Multiverse is just so infinite with its possibilities that I thought we should’ve gotten a couple more. Three of my biggest appearances hopes was for Deadpool, Tom Cruise(Iron Man), and Reed Richards. Luckily, I got one of those and I lost it in the theater. My crowd and I went insane and I am so happy they got Krasinski for the role cause for the small amount of screen time he has, he already feels so right.
But I’m very confused what their plan moving forward is because he dies from what we see here, and the Fantastic Four movie is coming next year supposedly and is Krasinski not going to be Mr.Fantastic in the MCU. Cause if they put him into this just for some fan casting hype and then he’s not Richards in the movie I’m going to be very upset. Deadpool not showing up in the post credits scene or in the movie at all was a big bummer. His next film is going to take place in the MCU and I’m not sure how they plan to put him in this universe without it being through the multiverse. Just seems like they had such an easy way of bringing him over and getting fans more excited yet they didn’t deliver. Due to the trailers, I already knew Professor X was going to show up and even knowing I still lost it. What they did with him was perfectly fine since his death was so powerful and the perfect send off in Logan so I’m happy they didn’t ruin him.
Patrick Stewart is undeniably one of the best comic book castings of all times and again, for the short run time he had, he still knocks my socks off. I love his character so much and assuming this was the last I’ll see of him, I’m happy I got to see it once more. The cameos we do get are cool but I didn’t expect for them to get killed off so quickly and easily but I guess it shows just how powerful Wanda really is. Her being able to beat Charles with her mind was so cool and unexpected. I don’t know why their was no mention of the xmen as well. Marvels plan has been to bring the xmen to the MCU and we get no teases or references at all.
My other flaw is the runtime feels very short. I just saw an interview yesterday before I saw this that Raimi’s original cut was another 40 minutes longer and I’d really love to see it. I just think it really would’ve benefited from more dialogue heavy scenes cause the movies pace for the most part is extremely quick and gets to the point. My score isn’t set in stone yet. I still need to sit on this one for a couple days and see how I’m feeling and I need to see it again soon but as of right now, I really liked it! I do feel like the title maybe should’ve been different though cause even though their is madness at times, I feel like the title leads you to believe more craziness will happen than what actually does. I need to see this again asap cause I really liked it a lot, but if I go in not expecting as much I think I’ll like it even more.
Give me more RAIMI!!!
PS. Who the heck was Charlize Theron’s character in the credits scene? I was so shocked to see her but have no idea who she is or why she showed up. Please let me know down below if you know!