*I will be spoiling a few things…
Dr Stephen Strange casts a forbidden spell that opens a portal to the multiverse. However, a threat emerges that may be too big for his team to handle.
“Just because someone stumbles and loses their way doesn’t mean they’re lost forever.”
Whenever I watch another Marvel movie, I have to remember to recalculate my brain as far as what I am seeing. I have to remember the 28 or so movies and 6 or so tv shows, and we to remember every piece of what happens in the new movie and the 2 post credit scenes because it will factor into future projects. It is getting overwhelming to be honest, because now this Doctor Strange sequel is the first time that if you have not watched one of their Disney+ shows you will have no idea what is happening in the movie. I have very mixed feelings about that because I want movies to be able to be enjoyed without having to read an encyclopedia on all the storylines and characters. I say this because in my heart I still love what Marvel has accomplished and what they continue to put out, however I do not like what it has brought to fandom and ultimately what it has done to movies in general.
Doctor Strange 2 is the perfect example of this because in the lead-up to this movie, social media was convinced this movie would be a cameo filled, universe changing movie. And to be honest that is not really what we got here. Sure, we get a few cameos, but it is quick and semi necessary for the character work they are doing. But mostly we get Sam Raimi taking us on a journey that Marvel does not usually let us go on. Because they allowed him to make a movie with extreme horror sequences and some gory kills. Which, if you have watched the Marvel movies, they do not usually want their movies that intense. You do not hire Raimi though if you do not want his singular vision.
The interesting dilemma I had watching the movie play out though was the push and pull between Raimi’s top notch directing and the below par script I felt from Loki writer Michael Waldron. The story felt like the pace was completely off. Because it just jumps from action set piece to action set piece and our characters hardly get a chance to breathe. Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) does not feel like he even really gets a major arc (besides the half assed love story with Rachel McAdams), because he ends up at the end right where he started. We also meet America Chavez (Xochitl Gomez); we get 5 seconds of her two moms with her in the past and then we learn nothing about her for the rest of the movie. I also felt like we jumped to a couple of different multiverses, but there were so many we saw quickly, like Animation world, Paint world, and others that I wanted to explore those more. We also have zero clue still how the multiverse works, especially why some people look exactly the same in each universe and why some people look different.
As I said though Raimi’s directing was another story. He was able to utilize his unique brand of practical effects and in your face filmmaking to create some incredible scenes. There is a moment that Elizabeth Olsen as Wanda works her way through a mirror, that is genuinely horrifying. You can just tell he was having a blast playing with all these pieces and fun characters. However, now I have to say something I did not think I would, and that is Danny Elfman did not nail the score like I thought he would. Sure, he did good work, but to completely get rid of Doctor Strange’s theme completely baffles me and made some of the scenes not work as well. I was disappointed to say the least!
Stock Neutral – Benedict Cumberbatch
He can play this role in his sleep at this point, but he does get a chance to branch out here a little bit. He gets to play different versions of his Strange and does it to great effect. He is obviously one of the best actors in the world right now and to see him become the main man in Marvel after NO WAY HOME is an incredible thing.
Stock Up – Elizabeth Olsen
Holy hell has she come along way from her debut appearance in AGE OF ULTRON. The accent is still a mess and they have no clue how to fix it, but she steals this movie. From the emotions of her family scenes, to the downright craziness of her horror scenes, she nailed all of it. I am a huge fan of her in and out of this world and am excited for whatever is next.
Stock Up – Xochitl Gomez
She is going to be very important to Marvel moving forward due to her abilities, so it will be interesting to see where they go with her from here. But she clearly has the charisma and the bad assness (is that a word) to play this character.
*A couple other tidbits
- Wong is an MVP as always.
- I am happy Rachel McAdams got her chance to shine a little in this movie, but can we move on from that storyline now?
- They did my boy Michael Stuhlbarg dirty.
- The cameo scene, in my opinion, stopped the movie dead in its tracks.
I like this movie, even though it really has nothing to do with the first movie. However, I am nervous about where Marvel goes from here and if they continue to let someone like Sam Raimi take chances. I hope they do because these movies are always better when you can feel the Directors vision behind them, and not feel like they are made in a factory.
*You can find my 2022 Movie Rankings here.
*You can find my MCU rankings here.
*You can find all of my Movie Ratings here.
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