“Truly, I’m just glad that you’re happy”
After watching Spiderman: No Way Home last year, I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw a promo for the upcoming Doctor Strange sequel. The tone was dark and gritty, but it had that iconic MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe) feel to it. I knew I had to see it, and to my surprise, critics and moviegoers seem to be split on what I thought was another great superhero film.
Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) encounters America Chavez (Xochitl Gomez), a girl who can travel between realms. After waking up from a horrific dream he finds out that someone is hunting her for her power, and only Strange has the ability to stop them.
Well, I didn’t expect this…
The impact of American director Sam Raimi on this picture is undeniable and well appreciated. You shouldn’t go into the film expecting horror on the level of Insidious or anything. However, there are definitely horror themes. Throughout the movie, I forgot it was a superhero picture.
For the MCU, this is a refreshing change of pace. Audiences have been a bit divided about this particular film but that’s a good thing. I rather watch a movie that takes risks and ends up being a bit questionable. Rather than watching a film that bores me.
Great Camera Work
Most Marvel films, in my opinion, do not have as fascinating shots as Doctor Strange: Multiverse of Madness. The framing of several shots, as well as the fact that the camera is just moving around, stand out. A traditional action film goes between pretty bland shots to a shaky-cam that makes cuts every other second.
I couldn’t have guessed how half of the action scenes would play out if my life depended on it before seeing this movie. The action is really inventive, which is refreshing in a series where numerous characters hurl kicks and punches all the time.
So Why Is It So Divisive? (Mild Spoilers)
Doctor Strange: Multiverse of Madness is either being praised or brutally chastised for being different. For one thing, the avenger Wanda Mamimoff (Elizabeth Olsen) is our main villain, which is a bad thing for a lot of people. Many MCU fans adored her and hoped that after her Disney Plus show, she’d return to the heroes’ side. This is just not the case.
That being said, I believe they have done a good job with her character; but, fans do not want to see their hero become the villain. This is also one of the first times one of the shows has had a clear connection to one of the films. As a result, there is a disconnect, although I don’t believe Wandavision is required viewing to enjoy this picture.
Where are the cameos? Since opening night, many fans have been expressing their dissatisfaction with this. With the MCU’s multiverse now open, many fans expected to encounter unexpected individuals. Viewers had high expectations, and when they weren’t realized, they began bashing the movie.
Surprise characters do not make a film or would have made this one better, in my opinion. At the end of the day, we had a fresh MCU project that wasn’t afraid to stand apart.
Doctor Strange: Multiverse of Madness dares to break the formula that has haunted the MCU for over a decade at this point. In doing so they’ve also allowed their newest film to catch plenty of criticism.
For the two-hour stretch that is this journey, the viewers are given a story that allows for a lot of freedom and I believe that the movie captures that.
I didn’t walk into this movie anticipating what I received. A toned-down horror flick featuring Evil Dead-style visuals. They manage to make it not only work but also keep me on my toes throughout the film. It felt like no one was safe from the beginning to the conclusion, which is a nice sensation to have.
The last time I felt like that in a Marvel Cinematic Universe film was in Avengers: Infinity War. You just didn’t know if anyone would make it out alive or not. Normally, these sorts of movies adhere to a precise formula, and you can be guaranteed that certain things will not occur. Can’t say the same for Doctor Strange: Multiverse of Madness.
My only criticism is that the tempo might be a little sluggish at times. The movie left me wanting more, and the sluggish sections of the film feel very slow. When this picture is at its best, it is fantastic, but when it is at its worst, it begins to falter.
This film appears to be divisive, with many fans either loving it or believing it to be the worst Marvel picture to date. I strongly encourage everyone interested to see the film and create their judgement. However, I consider this sequel to be one of the better MCU flicks.
Verdict 7.5 out of 10 Stars