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"Doctor Strange in The Multiverse of Madness" (2022) Movie Review

My Cat Persephone Wrote this Review on her Smartphone. It was better than Mine. .

doctor-strange-in-the-multiverse-of-madness-2022-movie-review
MPAA RatingPG-13

Running Time

126 minutes, but about 20 of them are credits

Director

Sam Raimi

Writer

Michael Waldron

Thank goodness. It’s almost been an entire month since the release of a Marvel movie and/or streaming series from Disney Plus. How would we survive without one?

I know I’ve written something like this before, but since you’re reading a review to a f*cking Marvel movie, you don’t mind seeing the same thing over and over and over and over.

What makes it both a challenge and sometimes easy to write reviews to Marvel movies is that you’re essentially reviewing the same plot regurgitated since 2008, and if you’re expecting something different, you’re watching the wrong multibillion dollar franchise. I know I’ll be repeating phrases I’ve used reviewing some of the previous 50 or 60 Marvel movies.

You can pretty much cut and paste entire sections and just change the names of the characters. Voila! Marvel movie review.

If you’re expecting something different, what have you been watching???

SYNOPSIS OF MADNESS!

Multiverse of Madness, or MOM, as it will be known for the rest of the review, opens with Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch, fresh off trying to make a rope for Kodi Smit-McPhee) and an unknown girl running through a different CGI universe and being chased by monster or something.

Doctor Strange tries to save her and fails. I hope everything is okay.

Good thing…it was only a dream. You know a movie is going to be good when it starts off with a dream sequence. No actor’s life is complete if he/she doesn’t have a scene waking up from a terrible dream and then realizing they’re okay. If director Sam Raimi had the budget, Benedict Cumberbatch would've been in a pool of sweat.

Hands at your sides at all times.

Hands at your sides at all times.

Strange woke up just time to go to a wedding. Whose wedding? His former flame Dr. Christine Palmer (Rachel McAdams) is getting married to a man not named Doctor Strange and Stephen is totally okay with that.

In fact, he's about to drink his sorrows away when another CGI monster comes crashing down the street right outside the wedding reception. Good thing Doctor Strange was there or else some other Marvel thing with no real stakes would have occurred.

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Strange leaps into action, as does the Sorcerer Supreme Wong (Benedict Wong). It turns out the monster was chasing a girl that looks exactly like the one in Strange’s dream the other night.

Strange saves the girl from the monster. He finds out the girl is named America Sanchez (Xochitl Gomez) and she can transport from universe to universe when she’s terrified.

America says that the opening scene wasn’t a dream. She’s been trying to get in contact with Doctor Strange because someone has been trying to capture her through multiple universes. Doctor Strange says he has some experience with the multiverse because of that Spider-Man movie people risked Covid to see more than once. But he may know someone else that can help.

Doctor Strange locates Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen) fresh off her series you can stream on Disney Plus for such a low price. Strange chose her because she’s one of the most powerful Avengers and…

I guess they're at her sides.

I guess they're at her sides.

Then it’s revealed that the Necronomicon, um, Darkhold book has taken a dark, um, hold of Wanda’s mind and she will unleash the full power of the Scarlet Witch to take control of the multiverse. Why? Because she wants a universe where she can live with the fake children she had in that streaming show you can watch on Disney Plus for such a low price and you can bundle multiple services and save even more!

All Scarlet Witch needs is America to help her take control of the multiverse, even if it kills her and every living thing in every universe.

Doctor Strange is in quite a pickle. But since this is Marvel, you know that everything will turn out okay because nothing really happens and no individual episode of this long running TV (now streaming) show from 2008 really matters.

But you already knew that.

Doesn't quite grasp "at your sides".

Doesn't quite grasp "at your sides".

What Works With Doctor Strange And This Long F*cking Title

  • Director Sam Raimi brings one of the busiest and visually impressive Marvel movies to date. Even when the story flags (and it does a lot) there’s always something to, um, marvel at in nearly every frame.
  • A food vendor gets you more excited than most of the mindless CGI fights that take place during MOM.
  • An undead third act hinted at during the trailer is as dark as you’ve seen Marvel. Dark for Marvel really isn’t that dark but it’s better the homogenized product you’re used to.

What Doesn’t Work With Doctor Strange 2

  • The movie indulges fan service like Spider-Man No Way Home, but to diminished results. The sequence itself isn’t terrible, it just doesn't earn its cachet no matter the number of cameos.
  • “In the infinite multiverse…there’s a solution to every problem” (paraphrased). That’s the sugar rush and then the crash for this new round of Marvel product. There were never any real stakes to begin with, and no that’s exponentially true because no “death” will be permanent and just might get you a Disney Plus show. No villain will be too powerful to overcome. Then again, were you ever really worried?
  • As stated before, MOM is one of the busiest Marvel movies. As the movie plods along, you realize it’s because nothing is really happening on a scene-by-scene basis. Raimi’s visual flair does what it can to stop the movie from being on autopilot. For most of the movie it’s not enough.
"Spotlight" earned her an Oscar nomination. Now, Rachel McAdams is getting paid in a Marvel movie.

"Spotlight" earned her an Oscar nomination. Now, Rachel McAdams is getting paid in a Marvel movie.

Overall

It’s a Marvel movie. Like you care whether it’s good or not. If you don’t like it, there’s another one being released every 20 minutes. For those of you that do care, this serviceable but unspectacular Multiverse is far from mad.

Really 2.5

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© 2022 Noel Penaflor

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