rylan_reviews’s review published on Letterboxd:
“You break the rules and become a hero. I do it, I become the enemy. That doesn't seem fair.” 👌🏼
Best Scene: Illuminati Fight
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness was a good movie. This was one of the first movies I put on my Letterboxd watchlist back in 2019 so seeing it was very satisfying. I had lowered my expectations after seeing some of the early reviews which were smart because it’s a really fun movie but not in the way many of us anticipated. This is a movie that maintains scale in the realm of Doctor Strange and it keeps the rules of magic simple. While there is an exploration of the multiverse and the appearance of the Illuminati, it is much more focused on Doctor Strange and Wanda Maximoff.
Doctor Strange has always been one of my favorite MCU characters and I love Benedict Cumberbatch in this role. The exploration of the character is well done, even fixing some of the issues I had with the first act of Spider-Man: No Way Home. While he is extremely powerful and intelligent, his impulsivity is his weakness. It was also wildly entertaining seeing him play an evil version of himself too. Moreover, Elizabeth Olsen might be the best performer the MCU has currently. She finally gets to go over the edge and play an extremely scary and menacing villain. All of Wanda’s loss has boiled over to the point where her actions are terrible yet the shred of humanity remains deep down. She has grown into one of the great villains of this franchise.
I also think getting Sam Raimi was a stroke of genius. Having two magical people as the focus of the story, allows Raimi to finally deliver an MCU film that is dark. His direction got so strong in the second half of the movie and the PG-13 horror and violence landed! One decision made in the second act of the film will bother some people but I dug it. It made sense given the story Raimi was trying to tell. This story was simply a thrill ride till the credits rolled which is both great and sort of the weakness of the movie. America Chavez is introduced and I didn’t love her. The movie didn’t give me a good enough reason to and that is because the movie is rushed. I was enjoying myself though there wasn’t enough time to breathe. If they added ten more minutes and let Raimi have stronger direction in the first act, this would have possibly been one of the great MCU films. There is so much weird, unique, and memorable stuff in this movie, I wish they took a bit more care in the pacing of events. Nevertheless, Sam Raimi returned exactly as he began!