Film Review – Dr Strange and the Multiverse of Madness (2022)

films, reviews

Rating: 3 out of 5.

There’s a major problem in the MCU right now. Spoilers. The Dr Strange sequel has been out for less than 2 weeks and already I’ve seen so many spoilers. First, Charlize Theron ruined the mid-credits scene on her social media. Then Elizabeth Olsen confirmed a character’s presence by talking about an actor in an interview. Yes, I know they were both rumoured to be happening but why do they need to be confirmed by the cast within the first week of release?

I know Marvel is owned by Disney now and they don’t really give a shit as long as they make money. I just think it’s bullshit that you either watch an MCU movie in the first few days or have so many things spoilt for you. Especially as the actors are forced to keep everything so secret in the run-up to a film’s release. Knowing that certain characters were definitely going to turn up just meant you lost some of the magic.

And, for a film mainly about magic, that’s even more disappointing. I really enjoyed Dr Strange and was excited at the prospect of a sequel. Something that grew once I heard it was going to be a horror film. It sounded perfect. Then Marvel got scared and put the rating down and changed everything. Still, we were promised “scary sequences” which is something. Then the script was rushed to fit a production schedule that was ultimately delayed due to Covid. Finally, Marvel apparently bowed to early audience response and added more cameos.

Basically, this sounded like a difficult production from start to finish. Would the final result be everything fans wanted? Especially since many of them will have been getting a bit too excited about guessing who would be appearing. If you ask me, it’s disappointing. Very disappointing. The story is slow and repetitive. The script is full of awful moments and weird dialogue. The plot is kind of dull and unoriginal. I also felt as though Dr Strange as a character had changed fairly dramatically from his previous appearances. This guy is so inconsistent.

There were some shining moments though. Elizabeth Olsen is spectacular as Wanda Maximoff and is the most memorable thing about the film. She’s responsible for some of the best moments. And as a long time Wong fan, I think he was a lot of fun. However, I ended up finding more to be critical of than I did to praise. Xochitl Gomez’s America Chavez was given very little development time and didn’t really get the chance to make much of an impression. Rachel McAdams got more to do this time but was it worth it? She’s still just floundering in the role of love interest.

Dr Strange 2 isn’t the worst MCU film but it won’t go down as one of the best. It will probably be quickly forgotten because it just doesn’t make much of an impression. I love the way the cameos are ultimately dealt with but I do find the pandering in-jokes to be incredibly annoying. The final quarter of the film is the most entertaining but it’s just sad that it couldn’t be like that all the way through. Ultimately, this film, like everything Marvel makes nowadays, is limited because of the MCU itself. Instead of telling an exciting multiverse story, the Dr Strange sequel just sets up future films. The MCU is always so concerned with the future that it doesn’t seem to care enough about the present. I can’t help but think that there was a decent film to be had here if only Marvel didn’t have such big plans ahead.

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