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Review Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022): You will find enjoyment if you look for it

genre: action, adventure, super hero, science fiction, fantasy

The first time I watched Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness I was a little underwhelmed. I don't know. Maybe my expectations were high because of the awesome original and Sam Raimi getting involved. If you are familiar with his work, you know things can get crazy. My second viewing was far more enjoyable. 

I do think that compared to the original, there is less madness. To be fair, that film was ultra bizarre already. It would be hard to top that. But Sam Raimi definitely is one of the few directors on this planet who can pull that off. It's clear to me that Disney held him back. He wasn't allowed to let loose. Such a shame, but understandable. Raimi himself said he had full control, but also said that there were some plot lines that had to be included. That in itself completely contradicts the full control argument. Furthermore, the little craziness that's in Multiverse of Madness already wasn't really suited for children. And I know, we should get beyond that, but like it or not, Disney is always going to push for their films to be PG. It could very well be that Sam Raimi realized this and decided to play along. Still, there are many scenes in Multiverse of Madness that easily could have gone full horror and would have made things brilliant. We can only hope for the longer cut to be released to us. Make that happen, Disney, please!

I didn't like that Stephen Strange was sort of a secondary character in his own film. I got that Wanda was important to the story and that we are dealing with the bigger picture. Still, there is a lot we don't know about Stephen and they easily could have explored events we don't know about. For example, the blip and what consequences it had on him. As much as I like Wong, him being sorcerer supreme by default because of Strange disappearing downplays the title and what it entails. Had Wong earned the title by overpowering Strange, then perhaps I could accept it. Stephen didn't seem bothered by being dethroned. At least on the surface. Still, he had earned his title, it must hurt a little to lose it because of a technicality. At one point, they discuss other versions of Strange. Instead of talking about him, why not show us? Or why not give us more insight into the darker Stephen Strange? Is he truly that dangerous? I think the film could have greatly benefitted from this. It would have definitely made events more compelling. 

So what exactly did I enjoy more than the first time? I felt a stronger connection to the story. Some events had a larger emotional impact on me. That being said, the story is a little weak. It felt like an episode of Wandavision. You just know that things will be resolved in a way with very little consequence in the grander scheme of things. You will find enjoyment if you look for it, but it could have easily been so much better and rewarding.

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