Rorjack’s review published on Letterboxd:
Maybe it was just the post-euphoria I had following the Avatar 2 trailer (which, btw, looks so fucking goooooooooooooooooooooooood 😭) influencing my grade for this, but I do believe I quite enjoyed this film.
At least, I heavily enjoyed this when Raimi just goes sicko mode. Some of the more typical Marvel-ly things drag this down a fair bit, mainly in the first third and the beginning of the second act, but everything after BCumbs and Chavez meet a certain character is when the film started to significantly pick up my interest. The stuff here that goes full-out dark and silly was delightful, from the creatively trippy visuals that carry over from the first film to some darkly comic deaths that had me smiling from ear to ear. Watching the Evil Dead trilogy about a month and a half ago was probably a good call on my part, because the best aspects of this film are when Raimi channels some of that trilogy's insane goodness into the MCU mold, giving this more life than a majority of the series' most recent entries.
The ensemble cast is fairly solid, with Cumberbatch and Olsen shining brightly here. Their performances during their first couple of entries in this franchise never really impressed me, but they've grown on me over time to become possibly some of the more compelling aspects of this series. Also, some good supporting turns from Gomez and McAdams, the latter especially so, given how criminally underutilized she was in the first film.
Honestly, I can't say for sure how well this will hold up for me on a second viewing. This franchise doesn't necessarily have the best track record for having films that improve on repeat. With that said, I feel fairly confident enough to say that I prefer this over a vast majority of the films in this series that, at this point, just blend together for me. For my money, I'll gladly take a big, messy swing from one of the most talented directors working today if it means seeing a good bit of life and personality injected into a near creatively depleted MCU.