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Movie Review: Doctor Strange in The Multiverse of Madness (2022) *No Spoilers*

Doctor Strange in The Multiverse of Madness One Sheet.
After all the hype for this movie, and the huge success of Spider-man No Way Home, which featured Doctor Strange, everybody's expectations of Doctor Strange in The Multiverse of Madness are likely much higher than what it actually delivers.

So much so that I feel it's one of those installments in the MCU that will probably get better over time, with rewatches, and a better understanding of how it fits into the bigger MCU story in hindsight. Somewhere along the lines of an Ironman 2, Thor The Dark World, or even the first Doctor Strange, none of which are bad movies, they're just not doing much to push the bigger MCU story forward.

I did enjoy The Multiverse of Madness. There's lots of great action, some nice cameos that lasted longer than I was led to believe, and plenty of multiverse building in terms of what kinds of alternate universes are possible (apparently animated is possible - Avengers/Space Jam style movie... anyone?).

The trouble is, while this movie travelled to a lot of different locations, for me it ultimately felt small and self contained. It never spends much time anywhere for very long, and when it does, you're basically spending a lot of time in one or two rooms at each location, or in a different version of the same location you've seen in other multiverses.

We also don't really go very much deeper into either Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) or Wanda's (Elizabeth Olson) character, and we never really get to know much about America Chavez (Xochitl Gomez).

The movie opens with Doctor Strange and America Chavez attempting to get to an essential item that will help them against some huge fire, space monster that is trying to take Chavez's power. Wanda, meanwhile is, as anyone who watched her Disney+ series expected, looking to reunite herself with her children, Billy and Tommy. Not far into the film Wanda and Doctor Strange cross paths and things get a lot more dangerous. That's about as deep as it gets.

Unlike Spider-man No Way Home, where the addition of the multiverse felt like it was expanding the Spider-verse into the realm of much bigger potential for future Spider-man movies, Doctor Strange in The Multiverse of Madness kind of feels like most of what I saw, I'll never see again outside this film, beyond the obviously recurring characters... and specifically most of the cameos.

There's nothing left so open that you feel there's a potential chance for revisiting it in a future film until you get to the first post credit scene - which is clearly setting something up but, as I'm not a comic reader, I had no idea what until I watched a video explaining that specific scene.

Overall it's a fun movie with some amazing imagery, action, and ideas. It just doesn't go very deep on the two leads, Doctor Strange and Wanda. However if you enjoy watching either of them go full ham with their spell casting, this film delivers in spades. The cameos are quite fun to see as well, though I do wish most had more to do in the overall story.

There was definitely much potential here for a more intricately woven story but ultimately we got a fairly fun, fast paced superhero piece with plenty of action but not a lot of depth.

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