Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness ★★★★½

Holds up tremendously.

This had much better usage of the Multiverse than I had expected, and subverts that expectation in the best possible way. Rather than being a cameo fest that's entirely reliant on our nostalgia for older Marvel properties, it instead decides to have fun with the concept of different realities. It's very creatively presented throughout and never does the film deviate too much from being a Doctor Strange sequel.

All of the actors (aside from Elizabeth Olsen, sorry) do an absolutely fantastic job here. This is my favorite performance from Cumberbatch as Doctor Strange as he manages to balance the usual smart-ass persona with a much more personal and vulnerable approach to the character. Also, for the few minutes of screentime, he kills it in his deliveries for both Zombie Strange and Sinister Strange. It's like he knew exactly what he was getting into when working with Raimi on that stuff.

It also kicks ass visually. Raimi's use of warped imagery and lighting and pov shots never fails to entertain. One thing I've always appreciated about his style (as goofy as it is) is the sound design and how it can often coincide with the camerawork (i.e. woosh sounds as the camera passes something) and I think it's utilized very well here. No complaints regarding the VFX either aside from octopus fight looking kinda early 2000's.

Raimi directs the fuck out of this movie, seamlessly translating his usual style and camp into a modern-day blockbuster. This film stands out tremendously from other MCU properties and that's entirely thanks to Raimi's delightfully chaotic, weird, campy, and trippy directing, and I sincerely hope that it can open the door for more distinct styles from here on out in the MCU.

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