I don't know about ya'll but I'm kind of burnt out on Marvel movies. I feel like Endgame was such a fitting end it's hard for me to get invested. Plus there's so much content now that I just can't get excited about them anymore because I don't have the time to watch it all anymore. But there was one way Marvel could get me excited for a movie and they piqued my interest early when they announced...
Dr. Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022)
The 347th review
I'm going to say this first. This movie was marketed as a horror, has an influential horror director and has enough horror elements that I'm including it. Plus, the way she escapes the mirror dimension and kills off a certain bald-headed someone isn't out of place in any horror movie.
I was immediately interested by the title, which was a deliberate play on H.P. Lovecraft's famous "At the Mountains of Madness." Then when I found out Sam Raimi was the director, well I was all over it! Also, I like Dr. Strange. Not so much the character, but his power. With a creative director and writer, there's a LOT of fun and interesting things you can do with him. His showdown with Dormammu in the first one was awesome and was my favorite MCU fight... until this one, which I'll get into later.
I'm going to skip the plot synopsis because there's a lot going on, so I'll sum it up as fast as I can. Scarlet Witch breaks bad as Dr. Strange travels the multiverse to help a girl who can travel through different universes.
When you see enough movies of someone, you can pick up their habits and things they like doing. It's fun seeing things Sam Raimi did back in The Evil Dead showing up in a mega blockbuster in the year of our Lord 2022. The man has his own distinct style and you can always tell when you're watching one of his movies.
The first half of the film is your standard MCU fare, but it really picks up later in the movie. I like the idea of heroes turning evil if done right. DC's Injustice video game and comic are a wonderful bit of storytelling and in the MCU I'd argue this version of Scarlet Witch could beat all the Avengers, ESPECIALLY MCU Hulk. Scarlet Witch would have soloed Thanos if he didn't "rain fire." She has so much power and she wipes the floor with pretty much everyone.
Visually, it's just a treat to watch. I mentioned it earlier, but it bears repeating; I love the look of Dr. Strange's powers. His fight scenes are always so unique compared to the rest of the MCU where it's all guns, laser beams and punches. The fight he has later involving piano keys and music notes is a joy. It is the They Live fight of the MCU, there's no way you're going to top it. I mean, how do you even think of something like that? And the imagination to be able to pull it off so it looks as good as it does? Incredible.
The visuals are the highlights and I attribute that to mainly Sam Raimi. There are other good things to it though. It was cool seeing The Illuminati show up and I was happy to see a certain someone be in the group. It's a fun movie, but you can pretty much describe all MCU movies as "fun." There's a lot of action, peril (but not too much) and plenty of comic relief (sometimes too much, but I'll take it if it means more Wong on screen.)
So, the big question; did this movie get me excited about the future of the MCU? Not really. These movies are just two hour-plus trailers for the next movie and looking at the list, nothing excites me. But with the introduction of the multiverse there are a lot of ways they can go about it and bring back fan favorite characters. I wouldn't be surprised if this is how they reintroduce Killmonger. On its own, it's a fine, fun movie with a lot of cool things to look at. You root for the character and Sam Raimi rules. Plus, there's another Bruce Campbell cameo and I'm all for it. He manages to show, once again, there's no better physical actor alive.
It's solid. It's better after it get all the MCU beats out of the way and focuses more on what Sam Raimi does best.