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Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, 2022 – ★★½

Spoilers follow.

Disappointed. This would have been one of my favorite Marvel movies but nope, gotta revert Wanda’s growth arc from Wandavision and let her get corrupted again. To be fair, this movie doesn’t make the classic mistake: Strange is just as corruptible as Wanda, so it’s not just a female thing. It’s also good that Wanda reclaimed herself, quite literally. But I never need to see or read another story where Wanda gives into temptation no matter how well it’s handled.

I kinda suspect that this would have worked better in the original order, with Wandavision coming second. You do more or less the same plot, without the death at the end, except she’s looking for a world where she can be with Vision. Then Wandavision is the meat of the redemption arc, culminating with her final acceptance of her loss. That also avoids a second MCU movie in which the woman sacrifices her life to prevent the universe from being destroyed.

I enjoyed literally everything else about this one. Cumberbatch has figured out how to play the role, perhaps through exploring another couple of different versions. The Strange/Wong friendship managed to be a partnership of equals. Most exciting mid-credits cameo casting reveal in a while! The Illuminati pleased me a ton, each for their own reason. Sure, they wound up dead, but Raimi found time to give each of them characterization.

Lots and lots of Sam Raimi flair. He’s so good. Give him more of these.

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