Friday, May 13, 2022

Review: Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness

I'm going to keep this brief to avoid spoilers. I took the family to see the film on Children's Day (May 5th), a national holiday in Korea, and the day after it opened. 

Is there cursing in the film? Parents want to know. There's a little. Disney seems to frown on too much cursing in their movies. Black Widow got away with a fair amount, and the Disney+ TV shows, but this one doesn't have too much in the way of bad language. 

Overall, I enjoyed the experience. The movie is very much a Raimi film. Lots of little touches and callbacks to his previous work. Of course there's a Bruce Campbell cameo, but beyond that. This movie touches on horror more than any previous MCU film, but never goes full bore horror. There's plenty of humor, as well, but not chock full of it like Guardians of the Galaxy or Thor: Ragnarok. It has a pretty good balance of drama, comedy, horror, and action. 

Of course, there is a TON of CGI in this film. The magic is over the top, as is the dimension hopping. Very fun visually, especially the musical magical duel. That was fun, although maybe it went on for just a touch too long. Won't say more to avoid spoiling it. 

As for character development, Stephen Strange has to deal with the fact that Christine Palmer is getting married (lost his chance) and his need to be in control of every situation. America Chavez has a very typical introduction character arc, trying to control her powers to dimension hop. Wanda the Scarlet Witch was a big part of the movie, but her portrayal was a bit off after her development in WandaVision. Can't really say more without spoiling things, though. 

Cameos? Besides Campbell and Patrick Stewart (his voice is in the trailer, it's no secret he's in it) there are a few more, mostly fan-service oriented. Since they're jumping through multiple universes, they can play with the characters they throw in without it affecting the main MCU continuity. 

I was entertained by the movie, and I liked it, but I'm still not sure how it stacks up to other MCU films. Of the recent offerings, it's better than Black Widow or Eternals, but not as good as Shang Chi in my opinion. Probably need to watch it again before deciding how it holds up overall, as it's a pretty busy film. It does break the trope of recent MCU films of degenerating into a big messy CGI final battle. The whole movie is kind of a big messy CGI experience. 

It doesn't dig deeply into the characters, and it's messy, but still I found it fun.

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