So, I figured I’d dip my toes into reviews of the things I’ve seen lately.
Now, in my little reviews I’m not going to get wordy, snooty, superior, or try and push you to like what I like and hate what I hate. What’s written here is just my opinion on if I like or disliked something and why. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, and I’m not going to argue with anyone. That’s what makes like so wonderful. Each to their own.
So with that in mind, strap in and let’s get ready for my ramblings on…
Okay, so hopefully you’ve seen the movie. If not, then be warned…
Let’s start with an objective metric. How was the film received and do I agree?
7.3 / 10
I gotta say…yeah I do. This mid 70s range is just about right for me.
First up, I did enjoy the movie…but honestly I’m a really hard person to disappoint. I love most things. For me it then falls into a spectrum of how much I enjoyed it.
Setting the Scene…
Let’s set the scene for my review…
The first Doctor Strange movie was one of my favourite MCU movies. Definitely in the top 10. I liked that it was a break from the norm, and I love the magical nature of it. I’m a big fan of Cumberbatch’s work, the movie has wonderful effects, a witty charm, and a really clever denouement…
As for Phase 4 so far…well let’s start with the Disney+ shows.
I adored WandaVision (which is required viewing for this!) and and thought Moon Knight was fantastic! I enjoyed Loki, thought Hawkeye was fun (give me a Kate/Yelena spin off NOW!)
As for the movies…well those were a little more hit and miss.
Black Widow was a hit for me, Shang Chi was amazing, Eternals was disappointing, Spider-Man: No Way Home was nostalgic fun. I know that of the four, it’s the first two I’ll watch over and over.
So now you have an idea of how I feel about these movies. Where I am. So what are my thoughts on the Multiverse of Madness? Well I’ll tell you.
I enjoyed No Way Home, but now that I’ve seen it a few times I’m finding the novelty of the returning Sony characters has worn thin for me. Now the draw is diminished. It’s still a great movie, but I don’t feel a compunction to keep viewing it. It’s legacy, for me at least, was that it cranked the MCU hype machine into overdrive.
So. Many. Cameos.
The rumor mill surrounding DSITMOM was just nuts. EVERYONE was rumoured to be in this movie. Everyone including Tom Cruise as an alternate Tony Stark. Some of these turned out to be true, and it was kind of fun to see them, but it did seem as if the sideshow had almost taken priority over the circus at this point. Viewed through that lens, it did come across as somewhat underwhelming on first kneejerk reaction.
But…as I think back on the movie, there’s a lot to love. But equally a lot that niggles.
Let’s start with the good Doctor himself.
The biggest issue I have with this film is that it doesnt feel like a Doctor Strange movie. I mean it does in style and content, but it doesn’t in terms of character. Strange has no agency in his own movie. He’s utterly reactive to those around him, his direction being driven by either Wanda or America Chavez. When Wong was revealed to be the new Sorceror Supreme (in Spider-Man? Correct me if I’m wrong!) it kind of always felt like it was just due to a technicality. Strange was snapped away, Wong wasn’t.
But watching DSITMOM it does feel like Wong is the one better suited to the role.
And then there’s Wanda. She is the one who drives the plot forward. She’s the one moving the chess pieces first, Strange is almost always countermoving. Dragged along in her wake. In many ways this film would probably have been better called Scarlet Witch and the Multiverse of Madness. I’d have applauded the bravery of a move to make a movie titled after the villain. That would be bold!
In fact it’s Wanda who, in my opinion, is the standout character from the movie.
At the end of WandaVision we saw her reading the Darkhold. What came next was inevitable and logical. The events of the show left her broken. Grief and loss is all Wanda’s ever known. She lost her parents, her brother, her love, a number of the Avengers, and finally her ‘imaginary‘ children. As such, she was easy pickings for the corrupting magic of the Darkhold.
Going off on a tangent for a moment, this demonstrates why the MCU has had a massive leg up on the DCEU. Characters have motivations that are built into them over a long period of time across multiple movies/shows. By the time the fall from grace comes, we understand the depths of suffering that Wanda has been through. The tradgedy is earned. Elizabeth Olson OWNS this role and she’s sooooo good in it.
Getting back on topic, I also really liked America Chavez (as played by Xochitl Gomez) it was just a shame she was reduced to a MacGuffin with little depth. Buuuuut at least she fared better than poor Rachel McAdams. Her treatment felt a little…weird coming off the back of the What If series where she was a key part of the fall of Strange Supreme. Here she’s almost a throwaway character. Almost like they were just wrapping up loose ends…
Honestly I’ve not much to say about the story. It was…okay. I liked the way it wrapped up Wanda’s narrative arc (or did it?!) but it did very little to really progress Strange himself (except for those mid/post credit scenes!) Nor did it significantly move the MCU forward as a whole…except for one thing.
It honestly just seemed like the whole movie was there to set up one thing important to the MCU moving forwards.
Yup, it looks like Secret Wars may be on the horizon.
THE FUN STUFF
Loved the cameos.
Count me as one of those people who wants John Krasinki and Emily Blunt as Reed and Sue Richards. These are two of my favourite actors and I NEED them in my Fantastic Four movie. I really hope this wasn’t just a little bit of fan pleasing stunt casting as a cameo. If so, then I’ll be really annoyed and I’ll boycott the F4 movie! Hmph!
(Who am I kidding! I’ll be there opening night whatever happens! MCU4LIFE!)
I also REALLY need a Captain Carter movie with Hayley Atwell. Her star really seems in ascension at the moment. I always loved her Peggy Carter (including the short lived TV show) and the Captain Carter aesthetic is fantastic. Maybe it’s because I’m a Brit, but I want that shield!
(Quick aside here… I was looking for a piccy from the film as Haley Atwell as Captain Carter, but couldn’t find a good one. But, I did see this one of ArmoredHeartCosplay dressed as her. I love cosplay, and I’ve followed her for a long while now on Instagram. Her work is…incredible. I URGE you to look up her accounts on social media and check her out. The work she puts into these costumes is…breathtaking. I hope she doesn’t mind me popping her piccy up here!)
Okay, moving on. I loved the Patrick Stewart cameo as Professor X (from the 90s cartoon too!), and I got a real kick out of the Bruce Campbell easter egg (the possessed hand straight out of Evil Dead II!)
I also adored the direction. It’s about time they brought a little horror (if you can call it that) to the MCU. Sam Raimi was just perfect for the look of this movie. Zombie Strange was wonderful!
Ooooo and Clea!
As I said right at the top of the piece, the ratings are about right. I had fun with the movie but left it feeling a little bit…empty. I didn’t immediatly feel the need to see it again right away, but by the same token I am keen to have a repeat viewing in the future at some point. For me it’s somewhere in the middle of the MCU rankings, but doesn’t crack (or even worry) my top ten.
Hmmm… I should do a rankings post one day.
Anyhow, out of 100, I’ll give it a solid…
Loads of things to review coming up, though I may do Stranger Things 4 next as I’ve just binged it.
Till next time
Love & Books