Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness ★★★★

My biggest fear was that Marvel wouldn't let Sam Raimi do his thing. Thankfully, that's not the case at all. Sam Raimi goes fucking ham on this movie.

Raimi breaks from the homogenized bland direction of even the best MCU films to deliver the most uniquely stylish entry in the franchise. Crazy zooms and camera movements, image distortion, crossfading montages, iris shots, whip pans, cartoony creature design, jumpscares, fourth-wall breaking and Bruce Fucking Campbell. It won't be enough for some, but this is a huge breath of stylish fresh air for anyone worried that this wouldn't feel at all like a Sam Raimi film.

I also love how much fun they're clearly having with Strange's powers in this film. Before it was mostly just portals and orange beams; here he's summoning dragon snakes, creating giant weapons, conjuring giant monster hands, using literal music notes as projectiles. There's more magic variety here than in any of his previous appearances and I loved it.

What's so cool about Multiverse of Madness is that it's one of the few MCU films that just would not have worked in the hands of any other director. Raimi turns what could've been a mess into a visually exciting and occasionally gruesome adventure. The script has its obvious flaws, but the fantastic direction always makes sure you're not thinking too hard about them. This is easily the best directed movie in the MCU.

The movie has fanservice for both Marvel and Sam Raimi fans. There are moments that are clearly direct references to the Evil Dead movies, and a number of comic book characters make suprise appearances.
These moments surprisingly never distracted me from the story, which while often too chaotic for its own good, finds a strong anchor point in the emotional journeys of Stephen Strange and Wanda Maximoff, both of whom are played excellently by Benedict Cumberbatch and Elizabeth Olsen respectively, although as usual, it is Wong that somehow manages to steal the show by literally just being there.

I'll just say it; I loved this movie. I've read all of the criticisms against it and I just don't agree with any of them. It does have issues, but nothing that hinders my enjoyment of the film. It's probably one of my personal favorite MCU films. I'll rate it lower than Endgame and No Way Home for now, but let me be clear: I like it more than either of those movies. I'm just so damn happy to have an MCU film not afraid to let its director put every bit of themselves on screen.

(Mild spoilers) I've seen some complain or being disappointed about the cameos, but like, what kind of role did you seriously think they would play? Nothing about the trailers sugested that the Iluminati would be there for more than one scene. Did you seriously want the movie to be all cameos? I thought they were used very well. They served their purpose and then left. And I didn't mind the way they left either. It was pretty awesome to be honest. Also, the music battle is one of the best and most creative moments in the MCU.

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