ZackKrenn’s review published on Letterboxd:
It’s good to have Raimi back. Yes, this is unfortunately still a Marvel story, but Sam’s style is EVERYWHERE in this. So many ideas and scenes are obviously his conceptually and in craftsmanship. He whips that camera around like NO ONE else ever has even once in this series. Many MANY shots are burned into my mind, and I nearly cried at a couple of points. Not because the story was particularly emotionally effective, tho it has its moments especially with Wanda, but it felt amazing to sit in a theater and see Sam do his thing again. No one else can do it better. This is far and away the best looking and best directed Marvel movie. Definitely needed more universe jumping, but there’s so much going on conceptually in any given scene I was won over for a solid portion of the film. There were even some interesting questions set up in the first act that were CLEARLY going to be developed and followed through on and not tossed aside for some bullshit cameos, right??? Therein lies the problem. I got out of this movie less than an hour ago and I’m already forgetting what the characters arcs are. What should’ve been a story about Stephen and Christine, is instead about Stephen and America, but really it’s about Wanda. The main point being the focus and narrative economy here is totally fucked. The script needed several more passes, because the idea and foundation is there, but the development is not. They just sort of come back around in the third act to the ideas they set up in the first, with only Wanda getting any real development throughout the runtime. For the first time one of these damn movies actually SHOULD HAVE been 2 and a half hours long but it was just 2 instead. Can’t believe I’m complaining that a Marvel movie is too short, but here we are. And hey, if Sam would’ve been able to extend his style even more throughout, I probably would’ve dug it because what he does here is absolutely magnificent. A musical note magic battle, zombie Strange flying on wings formed of the soles of the damned, Star-shaped dimensional portals, eye gouging and popping from the socket. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is LOADED with wonderful Raimi flair, it’s just a shame that flair is wasted on such a messy script. Still, if these are gonna be mindless schlock, at least this one looks fucking awesome. I enjoyed my time with it, and found plenty of imagery memorable and effective. Just let my boy Sam go hog wild in the writers room next time too.