Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness ★★½

Early reviews of this film largely depict this as a fully realized direction from Sam Raimi infused with plenty of his usual tricks. While some of this does manage to make its way through Marvel’s fixed formula, it’s not enough to distract from the convoluted, rushed script. It’s not quite the cameo catastrophe I was expecting, but there is still too much multiverse shenanigans that distract from the more personal moments sprinkled throughout. When Raimi’s influence can be seen the film is a lot of fun with plenty of inspired camera movements and creative injections of horror. There is also a great through-line that explores the relationship between Strange and Christine across the multiverse. It’s not quite as fleshed out as it could’ve been, but it’s a lot more developed than many relationships within the MCU. The resolution of the large conflict feels rushed, but the final act is one of the freshest in the MCU with the most prevalent implications of Raimi’s creativity. As Phase 4 continues to consistently try to contain too many characters and plots it will continue to play out in this bland, rushed manner. The universe building in this film is its most damming element, as the pressure to continuously introduce new characters majorly bogs down the second act of this film. If this film provided anything though, it is once again a testament to the power of giving more creative freedom to directors. I look forward to more Raimi directed MCU films if Marvel can learn to loosen their grip and let creativity run free.

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