"Doctor Strange: In the Multiverse of Madness" Feature Talkback (Spoilers)

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Yojimbo

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Enter a new dimension of Strange.

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Doctor Strange: In the Multiverse of Madness
Theatrical Release Date:
May 6, 2022 (May 5 advance screenings)
Digital Release Date and Disney+ Streaming Date: June 22, 2022
Home Entertainment Release: July 26, 2022
Studio: Walt Disney Pictures, Marvel Studios
Runtime: 126 minutes
MPAA Rating: PG -13 (for intense sequences of violence and action, frightening images and some language.)
Director: Sam Raimi
Screenwriters: Michael Waldron
Starring: Benedict Cumberbatch, Benedict Wong, Elizabeth Olsen, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Xochitl Gomez, Rachel McAdams

Plot Summary: Dr. Stephen Strange casts a forbidden spell that opens the doorway to the multiverse, including alternate versions of himself, whose threat to humanity is too great for the combined forces of Strange, Wong, and Wanda Maximoff.

Discuss anything and everything about Doctor Strange: In the Multiverse of Madness right here!

Be warned: there will be spoiler discussion in this thread! If you don't want any of the many Doctor Strange: In the Multiverse of Madness surprises ruined, avoid this thread until you've seen the movie!

Related Discussion:

-Doctor Strange: In the Multiverse of Madness News & Discussion (Spoilers) Part 1 | Part 2
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-What If...? Season One Talkback (Spoilers)
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-Doctor Strange Talkback (Spoilers)
-Captain America: Civil War Talkback (Spoilers)
-Avengers: Age of Ultron Talkback (Spoilers)
-Marvel Cinematic Universe News & Discussion (Spoilers)

What did you think about Doctor Strange: In the Multiverse of Madness?
 
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Neo Ultra Mike

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WARNING LONG RAMBLY SPOILER FILLED REVIEW BELOW

You know in the scheme of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it's astonishing to think back that it took like over 5 and a half years to get a sequel to the first Dr. Strange. Granted it's technically the... second to least successful film of Phase 3, but that is quite honestly the biggest run of hit after hit movies in terms of bank I don't know if we'll ever see again especially because of how certain countries censorship strangleholds are getting more and more terrible and even Disney at least the creatives have run out of patience dealing with them. But it was still a success and though many like me found the movie visually great but... story and character wise kind of samey it certainly did a good job properly opening up the idea of magic in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and introducing that corner of the comics into the films. I guess maybe Kevin Feige realized "let's take the opposite of approach of what we did with iron Man with rushing out a sequel and get people more invested in Strange and building him up throughout other movies before properly giving him another film" thus we had a huge amount of cameos and supporting roles of Strange from Thor Ragnarok, Avengers Infinity War and Endgame, Spider Man No Way Home and heck even What If. The later feels especially important to bring up because though maybe Marvel box office wise won't keep topping the charts as high as phase 3, they've managed to win over yet another avenue with all of their streaming shows. Now the idea with that is that it still connects to the movies and obviously things in the films did impact the shows some but this was going to be the first film to go the other way around. All the way back in 2019 it was announced that yeah Dr. Strange was getting another movie and a starring character in it would wind up being Elizabeth Olsen's Wanda Maximoff aka the Scarlet Witch after the events of her series Wandavision. of course the original plan for Wandavision was to appear a lot closer to when this movie took place but due to Covid and schedules changing up there was much more of a delay and yeah there were also a lot of delays for this particular movie. Since breakdowns with Scott Derrickson had him drop out and then of all people Sam Raimi who had did the original 2000s spider man movies was brought in and because of that and all the supposed things that were going to be in this movie and the fact it's been so long since a Dr. Strange movie it did make people wonder "so will this actually be a solid Strange movie or has Marvel finally gotten so loaded it eats it's own tail and it's just a mess of references without a cohesive structure or focus to it" especially after apparently having a massive load of reshoots to get in more cameos and references to this multi verse adventure?"

The short answer is not and in fact the story structure is easy enough to follow and actually does work for what it's going for and gives solid arcs for all of it's main players and quite honestly I do appreciate that aspect and there are a lot of good visual bits. A problem is though that like how Marvel brought in Chloe Zhao for Eternals to craft her own vision and that having some problems in it, you get the same with Sam Raimi and I'm not talking about "cluster crap of unneeded characters and scenarios" Sam Raimi problems I'm talking about "yeah the script and interactions are a bit too whimsical and not really clever and don't flow as well comedy wise as a lot of the other Marvel movies and that is sort of a major problem" problems.

Now i know that this was written by Michael Waldron and you can sort of see that aspect in how he is trying to set rules for grounding this particular corner of the multi verse (which is fine since yeah I get in something like What If having it's own flow in traveling through different universes but for the films and main universe I get wanting to do it's own thing) as well as Steven's arc but how it was presented and framed really felt like how Raimi would in his Spider Man movies. There were certainly a few good lines here and there (Wong surprised Steven chose to go to the wedding, America admitting that food in the multi verses is usually free and being surprised it wasn't in the particular reality she and Steven went to, Steven making the Bruce Campell cameo keep hitting himself for like 3 weeks straight, how Black Bolt wound up being taking out which I'll talk about later and the concept behind the musical battle) but a lot of it felt a lot more overly forced or not quite clicking like we saw in other movies. I mean Steven had great interactions being a smary sort of jerkhole in Thor Ragnarok and Avengers Infinity War so I should feel that same cleverness and with when he's trying to get to the bottom of what's happening with America Chavez or preparing to meet another variation of himself or talking to alternate Baron Mordo but a lot of the jokes just sort of fall flat. And it's not like the bits go on overly long or feel improved either but rather it just feels like they weren't written as well in the material as you get in a lot of Marvel movies and fall kind of flat. Like Strange taunting alternate Mordo (BTW I guess no one's ready yet to talk about what happened to actual Mordo as he's not in this movie. Like maybe they're saving the for the third Dr. Strange film since they just say here "oh he's just gone bad and hates me" but doesn't really even show when that happened since I feel we should of seen when Strange figured when actual Mordo was going after wizards) about "oh I bet you wanted to see me die" and that tricking him into a fight and allowing him to be let go of... like that's a set up that most series would do great bits with but it feels flat and Mordo's "I can see why other me hates you" feels like sort of weak wah wah material. I think a problem is too there is no one to really elevate the material since yeah the original spider man movies weren't that funny EXCEPT they had J.K Simmons as J. Jonah Jameson and all of his bits were great and you could feel that was the focus of the comedy. Here we never really had that. Maybe that charlier guy who felt Strange was a great super hero could of been that if we saw any of it but we really didn't and everyone else sort of plays things a bit too straight as there's a lot of exposition to set up all of these rules that can ruin the flow of scene. Like the literal memory bank in that future alternate world just to show "oh Strange loved Christine" and what happened with Ameica's mothers (BTW now that I've seen that scene that apparently got the movie banned in certain countries... it just makes me ashamed and disgusted at those censorship boards in that country that they didn't have a problem with anything else in the movie but thought that the idea America had two loving mothers was too much. Like blow yourself so hard whoever was behind that choice) or Wong having to explain about where the Darkhold is kept and then having to explain what happened to strange in the Illuminati world... like it's done mostly just to explain something and doens't have much emotion or humor behind it in the ways that really click. And there are some decent emotional scenes in the movie later but in most Marvel movies they click so well because we connect to the characters through their comedy and wit and there really that there as we get in other movies due to going with a sort of older style of these jokes that I'm not sure fits the MCU. Also though I'm behind most of what happens in Wanda's story and how that resolves... they only had ONE reference to Vision in it? Like yeah I watched Wandavision so I get why Wanda would want her children back and why so much of that is her driving force but shouldn't it also be "oh and I want Viz back because I love him as well." Like maybe it was just the darkhold telling her about her children to have her seek out greater power due to the multi verse connection but especially with how Wanda's resolution ended feels like it would have been more impactful and heck connect more with Strange's storyline if it was also about her failure to be with the man she loves instead of just getting a quick mention and that's it.

Honestly those are my biggest qualms with the movie and yeah those are decently big qualms which probably means this won't be my favorite of the MCU films this year but honestly the rest is still pretty good. For example I do appreciate how yeah the big bad of this movie and main villain is Wanda/Scarlet Witch. And yeah I feel a lesser Marvel movie would have tried more hammering "no you were corrupted by this thing and that made you bad" or just say it vaguely and just have them be evil and vicious, I think it's pretty clear that this is all based on Wanda's emotions and choices and ultimately how she has to own up to her mistakes. Like yeah WandaVision was about her seeing what she was doing with WestView and ultimately ending it as being framed as this ultimately heroic tragic thing but it was still clear there was still tragedy there and now that she knew who she was she wasn't just going about this blindly but rather ruthlessly and callously. I think Elizabeth Olsen always wanted to do a version of House of M and though there were elements of that in WandaVision it was still about seeing her as a hero but yeah no her desires and desperation have turned her into more a full on villain here and it's clear she just can't be simply reasoned with. But I also like that her original ambition likely was just to have a peaceful life with her family in another reality kind of like Kingpin in Spider Verse but this movie spends a lot more time on that goal. Actually having a moment with Tommy and Billy in that alternate reality and Wanda enjoying them sing that "we want ice cream" song really did show her motivation and what she was truly longing for well and why she would go to such desperate lengths to go for it. Plus honestly it was really nice to see Wanda go all out as the antagonist and show just how terrifying a force she can be. I appreciate how she managed to get through Kamar Taj's defenses was getting into one guy's head to run and that leading to other people running and lowering the defenses and then her being trapped in the mirror room and learning to go through reflections. And then taking over that other Wanda's body and tearing through Ultron bots before facing the Illuminati. You know might as well go over how cool it was to see that group here. Though we certainly got hints of Baron Mordo Sorcerer Supreme Maria Rambeau Captain Marvel and even Hayley Atwell's Captain Carter and yes Patrick Stewart with his comics/TV show future Chair professor X I appreciated how well the others were hidden. From John Kransinki's Reed richards (though does that mean he's not playing actual reed since the point of the Illuminati here is "these aren't the actual characters from the MCU but variants of them?) to yeah getting back Anson Mount as Black Bolt who man I never thought we'd see in proper MCU again especially since Kevin Feige hates the Inhumans. Though maybe we got it because of how easily Wanda was able to tear through Black Bolt and yeah that whole battle was really spiffy from her easily stretching out Reed and her "oh good then your wife can be there to raise your kids" and having a more full out battle with Captain Carter and Maria Marvel. And admittedly the "I can do this all day" was a bit cheesy but that's a good cheesy with this situation especially with how Carter winds up being taken out and hey I do appreciate how Captain Marvel carter lasted the longest but guess that does mean Wanda would win out in a battle with regular Captain Marvel as well which fair enough. I also appreciate seeing Xavier try and get into Wanda's mind and dig out the good version of her but that toxic cloud won out and yeah snapping Xavier's mind from the inside out is a really brutal way of taking him out... guess not as brtual as his death in Logan but still well done how it was used. IMHO I do hope someone does a joke though where Xavier finds Magneto in this unvierse and reveals this guy in this reality's is Wanda's father which temporarily stumbles her and they're able to knock her out that way but I get not doing that here. And then yeah how Wanda crawled through that basement area and grabbed Chavez especially how she appeared from the shadows was great and I have to say I really do like the resolution with how Wanda was ultimately taken out. Though the shadow Strange battle and America getting some good hits in was cool I do like how it America getting Wanda to see how she was actually tearing away her kids from other Wanda that ultimately won her over. Because it's clear Raimi wanted to do what he did in Spider Man 2 and redeem a villain by reminding them of their humanity before they ultimately take their own life. But this one made more sense with someone actually needing to take out the darkhold by sacrificing themselves and Wanda doing it throughout the multi verse. So ultimately at least doing one last good act and atoning for her sins with her death. This works even more then Ikarais's death in Eternals because it's shown more Wanda realizing her mistakes and what she's done and realizing she has to pay for her choices and what she's done so no else is tempted like her. Again it's clear it is her choice and issues so ending with her making that sacrifice works. I think some people are miffed that yeah pretty clear we aren't going to get Scarlet Witch or even her super powered kids anymore in this universe but... I'm fine with that. The movies want to balance out that though these worlds are fantastical and amazing there are consequences for choices and losses that have to be made. Heck most characters who "cheated death' still either lost or had to go down different paths so having those consequences matter and having them pay for it works. I have no idea what that means for that White Vision from Wanda Vision but eh that's a problem for another day we'll see where that goes in another story.

I also appreciate how Chavez did have a full on arc. I guess the lesson of "you have to confident in your own powers and not run from them" isn't the most original one but it works well here especially the idea of her being this unique singularity who isn't in other universes. As I do really dig the idea of dreams being doorways into other universes and seeing variations of yourself and I admit her actually focusing her power at the very end smashing Wanda with her fists and coming up with the plan to take her down was cool. But yeah I have to give credit to how Strange's arc was handled. I do really like the idea of tying it into Infinity War and Endgame of him always having to either have the last blow or having the ultimate plan requiring others to sacrifice something near and dear. I mean I along with I'm sure so many others did think of probably other ways that Tony and co could have won without heck Tony even needing to sacrifice himself using the stones but yeah Strange would be someone who would have that ultimate plan and hold up that hand and be so arrogant in thinking he could always think of a way out of anything. Like yeah him out thinking Dormanau in the first movie was cool but I do like the idea that this movie was about him having to come to terms with how his arrogance and thickness causes a lot of problems as well and do appreciate getting to see so many variations of Strange hammer in that lesson. From Defender Strange thinking he should steal Chavez's power for the greater good to 838 Strange (BTW I know Far From Home also said the MCU was 616 but that was when the multiverse wasn't official and glad to have it officially numbered... I guess that was also a good joke. Again guess there were still some even if others floundered) wanting to use the Darkhold to take out Thanos and ultimately doing so but becoming corrupted himself and having the Illmuniati in that universe be the ones to take him out to yeah Dark Doctor Strange who yeah isn't Strange Supreme from what If but feels like pretty much another version of the "Strange so desperate to get Christine he winds up screwing up and dooming the universe" except yeah this one doesn't wind up becoming a hero of the multi verse and winds up dying for his desperation. And yeah speaking of which the best overall battle had to be the musical battle between the two stranges literally just blasting the sound track at one another. Now that's a creative use of magic we haven't yet seen in the MCU which really does work. I also really love the idea of Strange using his Defender Strange body to do that sleepwalking through other dimensions trick and have the dark hold demons power him up and them trying to attack Wanda and them unable to be read was cool. And yeah though obvious I appreciate that the arc was Strange going "you know what? I don't know everything so I am trusting you to solve this and give you the burst of confidence to end this in your way" did work and nice we can have a climax where the main hero doesn't have the solution but knows to give it to someone else. I do appreciate him also suffering the effects of having absorbed that darkhold with the third eye and yeah the tease of him meeting up with Clea who I admit didn't recongize right away but that is a cool way to introduce such a powerful character plus yeah guess we were due for Chalize Theoron in the MCU in some form. I also appreciate that though Strange obviously cares for Christine he recongizes he can't be with her even in the 838 Universe and makes peace with that and though perhaps not properly happy is able to move on and hey with Clea may get that happiness guess we'll see on that.

So yeah good movie. The comedy not fully hitting it's mark and some other minor issues do lower this somewhat but still overall better then the first Dr. Strange and another solid Phase Four MCU movie. Shang Chi and No Way Home are still better but this does beat out Black Widow (as this makes more sense to reference The Avengers and other characters then that film) and Eternals and is worth checking out.
 
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I saw it earlier today in 3D and I enjoyed it for the most part, thanks to Sam Raimi's direction as well as the performances from Benedict Cumberbatch, Elizabeth Olsen, Xochitl Gomez, Benedict Wong and Rachel McAdams.

I was impressed with this film's depiction of the Illuminati, especially with Patrick Stewart back as Professor Xavier one last time and John Krasinski as Reed Richards, though it's a shame they fell victim to Wanda when she took control of her Earth-838 counterpart. I'm hoping Krasinski will play Reed's main (Earth-199999, not Earth-616 since I don't get why writers used the designation for the MCU since that's the designation for the main Marvel Universe) counterpart for real, starting with the upcoming Fantastic Four film.

Given that Wanda is more or less dead, I'd love to see her Earth-838 counterpart migrate to Earth-199999 along with her sons in a future instalment, maybe in an adaptation of Jonathan Hickman's Secret Wars.

I can't wait to see what the third film will be, given that Charlize Theron appears in the mid-credits scene as Clea, however there are some issues I had with the film such as that it could've been at least 20 minutes longer as well as this would've been a good opportunity to serve as an author's saving throw relating to the Pietro/Ralph twist in Wandavision.

Overall, it's a worthy sequel to the film and bring on Thor: Love and Thunder this July.
 

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This was a bit of a mess. The gigantic sprawl of the whole multiverse concept is cool, but I fear it’s a bit unwieldily. That said, there are lots of cool things in it. It was a blast seeing Stewart again, a treat to see Campbell (Motor City represent!), and while I wish there’d been more Raimi-ness (He’s a little reigned in by the blockbuster demands of the franchise.), there is still some. I’m not sure how I feel about making Wanda a villain or the tie-ins to the TV shows; a huge cinematic universe of movies is already a big ask, I think wanting us to watch TV shows too feels like homework.
 

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Waldron reveals he was interested in getting Tom Cruise as Iron Man based on old rumors back in the 2000s but Cruise was simply unavailable because he was filming the two Mission Impossible movies back to back.
 
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Waldron reveals he was interested in getting Tom Cruise as Iron Man based on old rumors back in the 2000s but Cruise was simply unavailable because he was filming the two Mission Impossible movies back to back.
While it would've been interesting to see him as Iron Man for this, I'm kinda glad that this didn't happen at all.
 

-batmat-

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Just watched it. It was great, very entertaining. A lot to take in, too.

My first main issue with the movie was making Wanda the villain. She already did some very questionable things in Wandavision and I thought they were gonna redeem her. But guess not. She's most likely not dead though, given that red flash after the rocks fell, and the fact that the Darkhold that was with Strange in the other universe started to fall apart after that, too.
But she did horrible things in this movie and is far beyond redemption in my eyes now, which is sad.

And my last main issue with the movie were the trailers. They spoiled too much. They didn't give away the plot, but showing mostly everything meant there were very few surprises. All of the Dr. Stranges. Both Wandas. ALL of the Illuminati except Reed Richards and the Inhumans guy, which all should have been kept a surprise, with the exception of Mordo. I only watch trailers and usually avoid TV spots but I saw a few seconds of one on Facebook and they showed Captain Carter there. So, lame. Also the scene that didn't end up in the movie, with the corrupted Strange saying "things got a little out of hand". One of the Illuminati says it, so I thought "oh great, they're setting this line up for later but we know the payoff already", but nope, it doesn't happen at all, which distracted me from the movie "when's the line coming?"

I disliked Mordo being an alternate version in this film. Basically the only thing we got from the main Mordo is that it seems he's been trying to kill Strange all this time? Would have liked to see him.

A small nit pick, the fight between Strange and Dark Strange when they threw music at each other was little corny. This was supposed to be a serious fight between them, yet what they were doing felt really corny and took me out of the movie a bit.

And finally, it wasn't a fan of the score /music. Except for the X-Men Animated Series little thing when Xavier was introduced, a lot of it felt very cheesy.

Other than that, I was all very enjoyable. I enjoyed the mix of action, comedy and horror, trade mark of director Sam Raimi. The CGI was spectacular, I loved the giant one eyed monster at the start. The emotional stuff between Strange and Christine was really good, I was touched. When he says "I love you, in all universes" I thought that was beautiful.

Overall I feel like I need to see it once more to settle on it, but it was very entertaining, and thank god it wasn't 2 and a half hours long, or more. I hope the 2 hour movies runtime (except in really big team up movies) can be the norm again.
 
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My first main issue with the movie was making Wanda the villain. She already did some very questionable things in Wandavision and I thought they were gonna redeem her but guess not. She's most likely not dead though, given that red flash after the rocks fell, and the fact that the Darkhold that was with Strange in the other universe started to fall apart after that, too but she did horrible things in this movie and is far beyond redemption in my eyes now, which is sad.
Well, I could see her Earth-838 counterpart migrating to the Sacred Timeline, so that way we can still have an heroic Scarlet Witch in the MCU.
 

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Didn't expect that :p.
I can't say he would seem out of place from what I've heard, but maybe he would distract from everythign else too much...
Mordo, er 616 Mordo, was in early drafts. (I think I saw a rumor somewhere that he tries to sneak onto Wanda's property to kill her but she gets the drop on him and takes his head off)
It's weird he's not in this, but better not than dead :(.
I was expecting to see him after his brother bought it in the first movie. Honestly it seems like this sequel kind of got hijacked by other stories (the Multiverse, America Chavez, Wanda, etc.) :(.
 

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Yojimbo

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Neo Ultra Mike

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It's on Disney Plus right now BTW. Kind of weird honestly to premiere it today as that not only blocks attention away from the Obi Wan Kenobi finale but Miss Marvel episode 3. Like I get Marvel and star wars being forced to share dates with their shows at points but it shouldn't be the case with a major movie coming to disney plus as well.
 

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