A few thoughts on Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness

So I just wanted to jot down a few thoughts on the latest film from Marvel Studios that’s currently in theaters: Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. Be warned, this article will include copious amounts of spoilers and rumors. Proceed at your own risk.

To start off, I want to say that coming out of the movie, my initial thoughts were that it was a decent movie that I enjoyed. Did I enjoy it as much as I did Spider-Man: No Way Home? Of course not, but I did realize that I needed to realign my perspective, and I’m going to explain here now:

First off, Marvel had set the bar SO high with a number of the last movies they had released that we really needed to come back down to Earth again, so to speak. Looking back at some of their more recent offerings, starting with the Avengers 2-part Infinity War/Endgame movies that brought seemingly ALL of their characters into one ginormous crossover time-traveling, interstellar war with Thanos and his minions, followed by Spider-Man: Far From Home, which being a Spider-Man film, typically delivers on a broad scale. So those are pretty big shoes to fill. Spider-Man was always a favorite of Stan Lee, so that character is always going to be given great stories and villains to defeat.

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings was a new character who a lot of moviegoers probably hadn’t heard of before, so there was a reasonable step down in expectations there. But the film had an interesting story, a lot of great Chinese lore and of course…as we’ve come to expect from Marvel Studios: excellent special effects! But again, this was a new story with a whole new set of characters for us to learn about and get to understand their motives and learn their backstories. So clearly, lowering the bar here makes sense.

But then we’re back with Doctor Strange, and he was the one who foresaw the future and knew that had he given the time stone to Thanos, that that was the one and only possible way that the Avengers would succeed…even if it did take 5 years to get back to where we were. So he’s got some backstory here and knowing what we did about Wanda Maximoff and the fantasy world she created for herself in Westview on the WandaVision Disney+ series and how we know how unstable she had become since losing Vision in Infinity War, and knowing that she was studying the Darkhold in her astral form during the post-credits scene for the last episode, seeing her as the villain, known as the Scarlet Witch in this movie was not such a big leap.

But where I did need to back off my expectations was with all the rumors about crossovers and various actors playing other known characters from other realities was where I got lost as it pertains to this movie. Because I’m sure everyone read the rumors of Tom Cruise playing an alternate reality’s Tony Stark, who processed three of the Infinity Stones or rumors of that type. In reality, none of that happened in this movie and I think because of that, my expectations were set too high for this film. It’s only after sitting back after the fact, realizing that none of that stuff was ever promised, that I realized the error in my expectations.

What we did get was a young girl who can travel the Multiverse, multiple versions of Doctor Strange, along with Patrick Stewart playing Charles Xavier for the first time in the MCU! Anson Mount playing Black Bolt, who had only previously been seen on ABC’s Inhumans, a failed Marvel series that only lasted eight episodes that has been brushed under the rug by Kevin Feige & Marvel Studios, but here’s one character from that series being played by the actor who portrayed him on said series! Also, John Krasinski made his however short-MCU debut as Mr. Fantastic (another of the previously 20th Century Fox-owned Marvel characters, along with Xavier from the X-Men), plus we had the return of Mordo, played by Chiwetel Ejiofor, but not the same Mordo…one from an alternate reality! (PS- he really doesn’t like Dr. Stephen Strange either!)

Also, and this is one of my favorite little bits of information from Doctor Strange 2: our dreams aren’t just fiction made up from our minds while we sleep…NO! They’re windows into our lives in alternate realities! So naturally, Doctor Strange’s dreams are really some crazy insane “dreams”!

Anyway, as I stated earlier…I think we need to keep a level head when going to see this film and truly appreciate it for what it is and not what it was rumored to be. Marvel is dialing it back a bit, and I think that’s a smart move, because then when they decide to ramp it up again, we’ll be ready to be wowed all over again.

I don’t want to go too deep into the story here, because to someone who hasn’t seen the film, they’re going to be completely lost when trying to explain the flow of this movie, even with visual aids! What I will say is this…go see this movie with an open mind, because there are a lot of little subtleties, as is typical with the Marvel Cinematic Universe and specifically Doctor Strange that really make this one a fun watch! Also, the Bruce Campbell cameo had me rolling & especially the post-credits scene with him as well. But I’ll definitely have to go back and re-watch it a few times to pick it all up, but for now, I’m good!

Thanks for reading!

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