Space Cop’s review published on Letterboxd:
The script is no different than any of these other movies, it has it's fair share of eye-roll inducing jokes, and exposition dumps that put you to sleep, but I think it really just goes to show how willing I really would be able to forgive these movies if they simply contained semi-exciting filmmaking.
This really is the definition of an entertaining crowd-pleaser. It's very swift, colorful, and full of creative action setpieces and ideas.
But like everyone and their mother is saying, the star of the film is Sam Raimi himself, who directs this stinky script to something that's not only watchable, but incredible inventive at times, with him actually moving the camera in engaging ways and shooting this like an actual movie that doesn't look like grey concrete sludge. Like, it's obviously nowhere near the level of his original Spider-Man trilogy, but few films in general actually are.
It's also just a lot of fun to watch him try and cram in as much horror elements and images as he can, culminating in a climax in which Doctor Strange possess the dead corpse of another Doctor Strange, making him look like a Deadite from Evil Dead II, and then building a cape out of souls of the damned! Just really epic stuff, man.
Does a lot of simple but effective tricks to actually get me to care about these characters that barely had anything to them in previous installments. The same cannot be said for the new characters but what can you do?
There are points where Sam and and his crew can only do so much to make some of the moments in the screenplay interesting, but even the sluggish parts, despite still indeed being sluggish, pay off in a very satisfying (and violent) way in the end.
Not sure I want this to be the kind of movie Raimi continues making in the future, but I think it's a neat experiment, that acts as an oddity in the current stream of MCU content, and I hope what Sam has said about it re-sparking his desire to make movies in the future is true!