The hype train has been running. The trailers have done their job. Interviews have been done, although not with the Last Movie Outpost, we notice. It is almost as if Hollywood doesn’t like us? We wonder why? Now, Doctor Strange In The Multiverse of Madness is here.
Here are some things to state before we start. I have never read the Doctor Strange comic books. I have enjoyed the MCU up to Endgame, but things haven’t been that great since then. I did watch Wandavision, Loki, What If… and Falcon And The Winter Solider, but I didn’t finish Hawkeye and barely started Moonknight.
Black Widow, The Eternals, and Shang Chi And The Legend Of The Ten Rings were instantly forgettable.
To be honest, I wasn’t really that bothered about seeing Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness. I was happy to wait for streaming, but we’re talking about it on the Livestream on Sunday and I had some money on a movie theater gift card to use up, so off I went, and here’s my review.
There will be mild spoilers as I go on, but I will warn you when they are coming. You already know the details. Raimi is directing, and Cumberbatch is Strange. There are cameos, but honestly, they are pretty pointless.
I thought the movie was going to pick up after Spiderman: No Way Home, which it does, but it seems like a few months after the events of that movie. There is mention of what Strange did there, but that’s about it.
We do find Strange having a dream about himself and a young girl trying to reach “something” as they are being attacked. The young girl is America Chavez played by Xochitl Gomez. She is a great little actress. Doctor Strange was literally saving America. Strange is basically going to kill the girl so he can save all the multiverse and Chavez isn’t happy about this. Strange then wakes up, and it was all a dream.
The next day he heads to Christine Palmer’s wedding, Rachel McAdams, his love interest from the first movie. She is now part of a standard interracial couple straight out of a television commercial. It’s so 2022.
During the wedding, a big fuss kicks off outside. Chavez is being attacked by a giant octopus with one massive eye. Hang on, wasn’t this the end of The Suicide Squad? Anyway, a CG-tastic battle happens that just doesn’t look very good, and Wong turns up to help.
We find out that someone, or something, is trying to kidnap Chavez since she has the power to travel across the multiverse. She doesn’t know how to use the power yet, but Strange and Wong will help her out and take her to Kamar-Taj for safety.
More Mild Spoilers
OK, so we know that Strange visits Wanda, but it turns out Wanda isn’t there anymore. Only the Scarlet Witch remains. From here it kind of turns into WanadaVision: The Movie, featuring Special Guest star Doctor Strange.
The Scarlet Witch is the bad guy of the movie, all she wants is to get back her two young boys and she knows that Chavez can travel through the multiverse. If she can take her power, she can get to a universe where her kids are alive.
There is more to the story, but that is it in a nutshell. In a battle at Kamar-Taj, Strange and Chavez end up falling through the multiverse until they land in a universe where they can get help. The sequence falling through the universes was pretty good to be fair, but it was one scene and that was about it.
The rest of the movie sometimes just felt like it existed simply to move the plot along. In the new universe there’s a Memory Sharing thing where, if you stand on it, anyone around you can see your precious memories. The only point for this was to see how Chavez lost her two mums. Again so 2022. The entire device was ridiculous really. What happens if you stand on it and your most precious memory was the first time you fingered your first girlfriend? Awkward!
The movie then plods ever onwards as Strange and Chavez need to find the Strange of that universe, only to meet all the cameos. This was such a waste of time. I’m not going to say who the cameos are, but they are only there for fan service. They do nothing to help the story and are only in the movie for about five minutes.
Amusingly there is yet more gender and race swapping with the cameos, but honestly, it doesn’t matter as they are such a small part of the movie.
The movie builds to a climax and… well… you know what will happen. The only “surprise” was Chavez didn’t have to die since she had the power inside of her all the time You know, because woman.
End Of Spoilers
The movie is perfectly average for a Marvel movie. I will say that all the talk of magic and witches is now getting stupid. You know how you could have believed Raiders of the Lost Ark was real, but the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull was over the top and just stupid with aliens? This is like that.
I kind of believed in the first Ironman. That Tony could have made that suit, with a gun and flame throwers and he could have flown off. Now in the MCU the magic and wizardry is so all-consuming as to be too far. It’s just churning out “new” stuff for the sake of it.
The overall direction is pretty good. Raimi does a decent job and there are touches and nods to Evil Dead, which made me smile. I did think that Scott Derrickson’s direction of the action and the “universe” was better than Raimi’s.
The cast is good enough, that’s all I can really say about that. The story is fairly complex if you try and break it down, but the way it is played out just seems like an attempt to tick all the story boxes they felt they needed. They try to incorporate things like the concept of “motherly love” in the story but, at the end of the day, this isn’t a case study in psychology, it’s a Marvel movie.
If you’re still on board with the MCU and never want it to end, you will probably like this. If, like me, you’re getting bored of things after Endgame you can miss it and it won’t matter.
I would summarise Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness as very average. I just didn’t need to see it and didn’t really care about what was going on. My mind wandered at one point, thinking how many people have worked on this movie and it’ll be forgotten about in a month or so.
We going to talk about it on the Livestream on Sunday, so join us and let us know what you thought.