NOTICE–There are spoilers but they are going to be midway in the article and I will mark that part clearly. First I will do a spoiler free review.
My husband, son and I went out to catch a 3PM showing of the latest Marvel film ‘Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness.’ Normally they don’t do one before 4PM, but they did with this one.
First of all the theater was not busy, but it was 3PM on a weekday and that could have played into it. But there were a lot of available seats.
I’m going to start off spoiler free and then move into spoiler territory.
The film was, something. Not “something” like ‘Spider-Man: No Way Home’ more like “something” along the lines of “Spider-Man 3.” Benedict Cumberbatch did a great job with the Doctor Strange character and the cameos weren’t as heavy handed as many suspected.
They did put in America Chavez’s two moms, but it was so brief there really didn’t seem to be much of a point and could have easily been removed for countries that would have taken issue with it.
This film was much more violent that other Marvel movies you’ve seen before. Just keep that in mind if you want to take your kids.
Elizabeth Olson did a great job playing the Scarlet Witch/ Wanda. I think that needs to be mentioned before I get into spoiler territory explaining why she did a great job.
Now, the film does feel like several different films shoved together. Yes, that does come along with a multiverse type film, but with this one for every “good” scene you get others that are not so much.
It is definitely a Sam Rami film, so it you like those you may like this one. But as a Marvel film, in the current MCU, it doesn’t play as well.
I guess the future of the MCU is more experimental type movies. “Eternals” didn’t do that well either and I think the direction change might be why.
All this aside if you really want to see the film then by all means go. Form your own opinions for sure, but if you are on the fence and want more old school MCU, you might want to wait for this one.
ONLY CONTINUE IF YOU WANT SPOILERS.
Welcome to the Spoiler section of my review where I can actually be very honest and tell you why I feel the way I do.
To start off people have been saying America Chavez is a McGuffin in this film and they are NOT wrong. It literally starts with her and an alternate universe Doctor Strange running from a demon trying to get Book of the Vishanti.
They are after the book to try and give them the power to defeat the creatures hunting Chavez. This Doctor tries to steal Chavez’s power when she can’t control it and is injured. In her panic she opens up the star shaped hole with her into our universe and brings the deceased Doctor Strange (with a ponytail) in with her.
If you are a Wanda fan brace yourself. She is the big bad in this movie and they let you know in the first twenty minutes of the film.
Wanda summoned the creatures to get her America Chavez (who only exists in one multiverse) in order to steal her power and go to one of the other multiverses to get her kids back. Apparently they all have her kids except ours. This is why Olsen does a great job. She definitely gets the character’s pain and desperation across. The weakest character in the film is America Chavez.
The film is basically taking one favorite character and using her as a way to bring Chavez in. Wanda trying to get Chavez’s power is the entire plot of the film. That and Steven understanding why his relationship keeps going bad with Christine Palmer across multiverses and understanding that he’s basically a selfish jerk in all universes, except our own.
(The guy could see the one and only way to defeat Thanos but somehow couldn’t see all this coming?)
We do get the Illuminati. We do get John Krasinski as Reed Richards, setting him up as the Reed Richards in the multiverse. We get Patrick Stewart as Charles Xavier. Hayley Atwell is Peggy Carter/ Captain Carter, Black Bolt and Captain Marvel, but it’s Maria Rambeau and Chiwetel Ejiofor and Mordo. (Don’t get too excited because the Scarlet Witch kills all of them except for Mordo.)
Oh and they find a way to get Marvel Zombies in the film (it’s Sam Rami, so of course they did) with a zombie version of Doctor Strange (remember the dead pony tail Doctor.)
For every bit that seemed clever there was a bit that made me roll my eyes. Like the musical note fight when two versions of Doctor Strange make musical notes appear from sheet music to fight each other. (I wish I was kidding.) Props for creativity though.
I get a “multiverse” movie opens the opportunity to do bat s*it things, but it ended up feeling like a few different movies shoved together. It’s also much more graphic than other MCU films so definitely keep that in mind if you are bringing kids.
America Chavez is mostly just a plot device and a prize along for the ride. They make Wanda someone influenced by the Dark Hold and her “redemption” comes when she sees her kids and they are afraid of her. Then she destroys Wundagore and all the Dark Holds and is presumably dead after she pulls Wundagore down on top of herself.
The one redeeming thing about all of this is that it actually does make sense how Wanda could turn into the villain, but it’s still sad to see yet another MCU character bite it (yes other multiverse Wandas are alive but still.)
Honestly, there is so much to unpack with this one but I don’t even care enough to write about it. I’m not mad, just confused.
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