Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness
This movie is weird. I have seen it twice and it’s been two weeks since and I still do not know what I watched. Honestly, I went into the film with low expectations. I wanted to go into this movie blind because recently I haven’t loved the direction marvel is going in. I used to really love Marvel for its really well-developed storylines, and this is just a step backwards. I think old Marvel movies were so calculated and every story was deliberately planned to come to an end in Avengers: Endgame, whereas this just feels very incohesive. It’s a mess and feels like there are too many different storylines going on at once. I love fan service usually but this was way too much to the point that it felt like a joke. I do not like the direction they are going in and have not enjoyed recent projects like Eternals. I still liked parts of the movie but it just does not feel like a mainstream Marvel movie.
The plot of this film is all over the place. It is so weird and creepy and just feels like it came from nowhere. I wish it went back and connected to some of the unfinished plotlines from the first Doctor Strange film. To me, the film felt like a Marvel version of Everything, Everywhere, All at Once. Although I did appreciate that it was easy to follow as multiverse movies can sometimes be all over the place. It was actually really funny and I had a good time. I loved seeing John Krasinski, which was something I never expected from this movie. That whole scene with the Illuminati, Professor X, and Peggy Carter is ridiculous but funny. This over-the-top fan service is too much to the point where it starts to take away from the story. You really can not take this movie too seriously.
I love all the returning characters, Doctor Strange, Christine, Wanda, and Wong. The actors are so talented and I love seeing them come back to reprise their roles again and again. Doctor Strange / Benedict Cumberbatch is really taking over as the lead of the MCU and I think this movie really affirms that. Wanda is one of my long-time favourites and the character has changed so much over the past seven years. She was really evil in this movie and honestly, I really liked that. At the same time, I think her storyline in this film is very hard to follow if you did not watch WandaVision. Her character has lost a lot and it shows. I think they could have explored how she got the dark hold and how it alters her personality and values. They kind of just said this is an evil book and it makes the holder evil too... but did not really explain it at all.
I liked the introduction of America Chavez, I just don’t know if this was the right movie to introduce them in. It feels like it doesn’t fit with the movie and I think it would have been better if she had a series first so that the audience can get to know her better and properly develop her character. It is hard to develop a whole new character when there are three different side plots. This was the issue I had with Eternals, where they introduced a bunch of new characters but did not have time to properly develop them.
The overall flow of the film was really off to me. The beginning is very slow with a lot of setups, then it gets really fast and exciting. Then it just kind of ends with what feels like a lot of open loose ends. Visually, the film is stunning and has a lot of really cool visual effects. I expected this given how visually complex the original Doctor Strange movie was, but this was really fun to watch on the big screen.
Overall, it’s not a great movie but not a bad movie either. I found it was better the second time I watched it when I already knew what was going to happen. It is an interesting concept it's just really weird and not what you would expect. It is interesting and will keep you entertained but if you are a Marvel fan it’s a little disappointing. You will definitely leave the theatre wondering ‘what did I just watch?’. If you do plan to watch it, I recommend watching WandaVision and the What If series or I think you would be really confused. That said, this feels very detached from the original films but sets the tone for the new phase or era of Marvel. I will continue to love and support Marvel movies, it is just very different and might take time to get used to.