Marvel’s ‘Doctor Strange 2’ Global Review: ‘Vaguely Disappointing’ 

 May 8, 2022

The newest Wonder juggernaut has failed a plump box office bonusbut the guest receptionist for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness wasn’t very warm. One major gripe: Wanda Maximoff’s (Elizabeth Olsen) storyline, her villain part, seems to reverse her painful journey to redemption in the Disney Plus series WandaVision.

Still, the Doctor Strange sequel, starring the notable horror director Sam Raimi, brings a fresh voice to the Marvel palette. Its gory gags and stylistic panache are welcome shades in the Marvel Cinematic Universe – at least according to some of our CNET contributors in their reviews from around the world.


Into the Multiverse of Madness definitely infuriated me a bit – and not in a good way. Wanda’s desperate mother story felt painfully forced — it was clear from the start that she would never be able to steal another Wanda’s children. Then there’s the multiverse aspect. After the trailer was attached at the end of the credits of No Way Home, this movie really seemed to blast the multiverse. Instead of this, Jamie Lee Curtis is right: Everything Everywhere All At Once is a far more fulfilling multiverse film that explores infinite possibilities, not just three universes.

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Other than that, I loved Sam Raimi’s horror touch.

– Jennifer Bisset, Sydney


I’m a huge fan of the first Doctor Strange movie and I like a good horror movie, so Multiverse of Madness seemed like it was tailor-made for me. Instead, it felt…vaguely disappointing? Don’t get me wrong, it was fun to see a horror-influenced superhero movie and Xochitl Gomez was great as America Chavez. But the overall experience felt rushed, as if the film was afraid of spending too much time with its characters. I really wanted a sequel that would delve deep into the themes of self-sacrifice and grief from the first Strange film and WandaVision and explore them through the lens of horror. And while there are certainly elements of that here, the final product ultimately felt a lot more interested in weird wizard combat without the same emotional weight we had in No Way Home.

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– Adam Benjamin, Seattle


I liked a lot about Into the Multiverse of Madness. The Raimi touches, Xochitl Gomez’s portrayal of America Chavez, the campy dialogue, all the body horror – all things I expected and looked forward to. But there was also a lot that I didn’t like at all. The biggest thing for me was that the film ended up having the wrong villain. Elizabeth Olsen was incredible, but I spent the first two acts actively waiting for the flip to eventually have Wanda allied with Doctor Strange to face a bigger foe. Maybe Chthon, given the location. Or maybe even one of Stephen’s own variants. So much of Stephen Strange’s struggle is internal and ego driven, and What If showed us his ability to go full evil with a shove. That would have been much more dynamic for me instead of going backwards on Wanda’s character development with a comfortable “crazy women” trope. She deserves better, and it undoes so much of what WandaVision did best.

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– Steph Panecasio, Sydney

Marvel Studios

“Raimi’s style shines through from behind the MCU template”

Anything is possible in the multiverse – and somewhere there’s a Doctor Strange sequel with a sleek, sensitive storyline and jokes that land. Instead, we’re in a better universe where just enough of Raimi’s style peeks out from behind the MCU template to make another marathon of cameos and nods to future spin-offs worth watching. It’s far too contradictory for size and often downright bad, but brain blasts, Bruce Campbell, handy zombie effects, and spectral wannabe Deadite make it worthwhile.

Morgan Little, San Francisco


Concerned about the future of the MCU

Like some die-hard MCU fans, I viewed the Multiverse of Madness as Avengers-esque in scope with the expectation that it would be Phase 4’s first major jump point. It was that anticipation that made me not so excited about the film once it was over. Don’t get me wrong, it was great to see an MCU movie with a proper horror feel, but I was expecting something bigger. I think what this movie really did was make me worry about the future of the MCU. Kevin Feige is spinning a lot of plates at the moment, and they’re getting a little too wobbly.

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– Oscar Gonzalez, New York City


“Exciting horror and delightfully silly”

The Multiverse of Madness isn’t what many people will expect, and that’s a good thing. Director Sam Raimi spills his chilling bag of tricks into the MCU, bringing exhilarating horror and delightfully silly and gory gags to a franchise that’s over-saturated with self-serving superhero action and snarky jokes. As Taika Waititi breathes new life into Thor, so does the MCU, and it’s good to see original producer Kevin Feige loosening the stylistic reins. Not enough to make the film do more than push the franchise wagon forward and drop some nerd-pleasing cameos, but any novelty is badly needed as the MCU looks to post-endgame purposes.

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David Lumb, Los Angeles

Marvel’s ‘Doctor Strange 2’ Global Review: ‘Vaguely Disappointing’ Source link Marvel’s ‘Doctor Strange 2’ Global Review: ‘Vaguely Disappointing’


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