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DOCTOR STRANGE IN THE MULTIVERSE OF MADNESS 😊

I am a victim of the hype train. 😞

PREMISE

Dr. Stephen Strange casts a forbidden spell that opens the doorway to the multiverse, encountering a multitude of interdimensional problems along the way as a result of his actions.

THE GOOD STUFF

ELIZABETH OLSEN – I can say beyond any shadow of a doubt when it comes to this film that Elizabeth Olsen’s performance as the Scarlet Witch is amazing. It is she who runs the FULL GAMUT of emotions here. She is the grieving mother, the truculent colleague, the “look what you made me do” sympathy-evoking antagonist, and finally… the unstoppable berserking horror monster. Olsen hits all of these notes rather perfectly, and the film is ABSOLUTELY dependent on her to do so. She is an A-list talent, to say the very least.

SAM RAIMI SHENANIGANS – I don’t know how many MCU haters I’ve encountered that come with the same complaint of the infinity saga that the films look and feel the same. That they hit the same beats and have no form of originality. (Even though those same people tend to avoid creative conversations surrounding THOR RAGNAROK and THE GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY movies… but I digress) One of the most respectable things about the MCU is that they let the creative stylings of the directors that they choose for their films be whatever they may be, and they don’t try to subdue them in any way.

This was advertised as being the first horror film in the history of the MCU, and it pretty much does exactly that without getting all bloody and gory. Every idiosyncratic trait that Sam Raimi has in each and every one of the films that he’s done is on full display here. And it’s all for the better.

DANNY ELFMAN – I got to admit that of all the regularly celebrated movie score composers, Danny Elfman is not the one that I pay the most attention to. As opposed to John Williams or Hans Zimmer, usually, I stumble upon the fact that Danny Elfman has scored something rather than knowing that off the top of my head. But I could not help looking up who did the score to this film as I was watching it. For some reason, I absolutely could not ignore how hard the soundtrack was going when it had no business to do so. This really is Oscar-worthy music in this film. Seriously.

BENNY CUMBERBATCH – Cumberbatch has proven time and time again that he’s one of the more reliable and charismatic performers in movies right now, and here is no exception. His iteration of Doctor Strange has been my favorite MCU protagonist thus far. Why? Because with all the times we’ve seen Doctor Strange in any MCU film he’s ever been in, he seems to have effortless on-screen chemistry with whatever character he’s with. This film is no exception. Well…. Mostly no exception.

THE BAD STUFF

AMERICA CHAVEZ – I want to like this movie so badly. I want to like it so badly that I want to ignore all of the things that are annoying or that are bad, and one thing that is very, very, bad is the inclusion of America Chavez in the festivities. I understand that she is the walking McGuffin that makes this story tick. But this story is entirely dependent on her powers being utterly useless in moments where they can be really helpful.

This character really is extremely rudimentary, and it’s annoying as f***. She is scared. She is confused. And she’s like that for 95% of the running time. The mortal regular human character played by Rachel McAdams is given just as much heroic s*** to do in this film than a character with actual superpowers and that should speak to the utter uselessness that this character has.

Oh, and she has no chemistry with Cumberbatch whatsoever. None. At all. We are fresh off from this last Spider-Man movie and watching Cumberbatch and Tom Holland have impeccable chemistry. Going from that, to this is a SUBSTANTIAL decrease in the chemistry department…. and even that is an understatement.

THE UGLY STUFF

THE HYPE TRAIN – I had very little expectations going into these MCU movies from this new phase. I went into every single one of the phase four movies, fully accepting wherever those movies decided to take me. Some of them were good, Eternals was bad, and some were just okay. But I was along for the ride, and I didn’t have any overwhelming expectations. But when it comes to this film, I got caught up…. in the hype train.

Usually, MCU movies have two clips in their credit scenes relating to the film you’ve just seen. One immediately after the title art and one after the credits are done completely. Spider-Man: No way home had the bull**** Venom clip after the title art. The clip that it had after the credits were over was a trailer to THIS movie. That pretty much never happens. That is when I saw the incoming hype train oft yonder. I then saw the teaser trailer and heard Patrick Stewart’s voice. I then started watching the NBA playoffs and listened to all of these commercials say the words Illuminati and the hype train fully engulfed me.

Don’t be like me, dear reader.

The colossal disappointment of what has been advertised to me regarding the Illuminati angle that this film presents is a cautionary tale. I know this movie has all but advertised itself to have audience cheering moments and revelations perhaps even bigger than what Spider-Man presented because of the Illuminati angle. I got so caught up in the hype train that I simply cannot pay attention to the good things that this movie does as much as I can pay attention to the COMPLETE AND UTTER MOTHERF****** BULL**** that came from this angle of the story.

The hype train IS calling to you. Do not listen to it. It’s doors will open to you. Do not come aboard.

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This is a very mid-tier MCU film. It’s well done in many different ways, but it doesn’t have the magic that the top-tier MCU movies tend to have. There are very few disappointments, but those disappointments are major, very critical, and utterly jarring. This is one of those movies where you don’t want to go overboard in sharing your discontent.

This is not a poorly made, directed, or acted film. But with the MCU, it’s all about the execution. The ability to set up yet another event-type movie in the future. And DOCTOR STRANGE IN THE MULTIVERSE OF MADNESS FAILS TO DO THIS IN ALMOST EVERY WAY.

DOCTOR STRANGE IN THE MULTIVERSE OF MADNESS is in theatres now.

Eli Brumfield

Eli Brumfield in an actor/screenwriter from Seattle Washington, living in Los Angeles.

He is the host of the RV8 Podcast.

He hates the word cinefile, but considering how many films he consumes in a week...and how many films he goes out of his way to see, no matter the genre...he kinda seems to be one.

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