The Marvel Cinematic Universe is a busy place.
There are sequels that leap over each other, superheroes who constantly fly in and out of each other’s films, all kinds of intricate rule systems, totem worship, and space beyond the universe and beyond.
With all this, the Marvel Universe becomes a playground that can be moved at any time, so that even the most ardent comics fan needs to be fully focused to keep up with its rhythm.
But if you’re the kind of viewer who dives into the Marvel landscape, the Marvel Universe has good news for you: It’s going to get busier.
Last year’s box-office hit “Spider-Man: No Way Home” was a multiverse fantasy that felt like a Rubik’s cube.
“Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” is such a Marvel movie that spans multiple universes, constantly switches moods, and lacks a coherent story.
Marvel’s bringing Sam Raimi to its fold is exactly what that relationship suggests: a blockbuster that’s at odds with itself, the company, and its director, but beyond the fun that such a hybrid product can provide.
Following “Spider-Man: No Way Home”, Doctor Strange finds himself haunted by multiverse dreams.
The protagonist of these dreams is America Chavez, a hitherto unknown teenage girl across the universe.
During his waking hours, when he was not yet haunted by the consequences of his more selfish tendencies, he happened to see the octopus Gargantos taking control of America.
Gargantos is a one-eyed squid monster who obeys Scarlet Witch.
To stop these pursuers, Doctor Strange’s and America accidentally embark on a journey across dimensions and acquire a mysterious book that will empower them to save the girl and the multiverse itself.
“Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” influenced the physical world, and it also influenced the story.
Its story takes place in several universes at the same time, constantly advancing into ever crazier parallel dimensions of reality. This kind of story cannot be said to be the development and advancement of the plot, but a kind of “reproduction”.
In theory, this should add to the fun of the film, but it doesn’t.
“Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” is a journey, a dizzying journey, a terrifying special-effects brawl, a Marvel problem, and sometimes a test.
It’s a somewhat glamorous mess, but as glamorous as it is, it’s still essentially a mess.
If the narrative goal is simple, then the plot design is redundant and boring.
Forced to rely on elements from various streaming spinoffs (like “Wanda Vision”), the key conflict of “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” is missing from the film itself.
Viewers are left with hours of homework just to fully grasp the motivation at hand.
The two heroes are left with only the most basic character traits, which feel like an afterthought.
There was even a time when the movie used a perfunctory flashback to provide an emotional context for their pain.
This is the laziest script creation since Self-devouring Primordial Beast.
The plausible, flashy clues that weave through the film’s routine are either written on a whim or in order to accomplish a obligatory task.
The film as a whole is largely incoherent due to the organizational issues of Disney+ and the extreme conservatism of the company simply trying to do a screen test.
Rhythm is an eternal issue.
The beginning of the film is sloppy, but the plot moves fast enough to control the pace of the film (a cross-dimensional montage and a necessary and interesting cameo from Bruce Campbell), allowing the audience to appreciate the eccentricity of the film’s premise. taste.
The second act, which consists entirely of remakes and Marvel footage, eschews the previous quirky fun in a way that probably hasn’t been seen since “Iron Man 2.”
The cameos of old and new characters seem to be a sort of “Spider-Man: No Way Home” narrative.
This technique rewards believers who simply recognize things, rather than producing fully deserved or emotional moments.
Before Sam Raimi is able to conjure some last-minute magic and save something, the film slows down the entire rhythm of the film with a catastrophically empty, bland special effects visual preview.
Mi Lei’s way of directing this time seems to be in direct conflict with the impulses brought by his various powerful roles before.
In the process, he unearthed more from the “The Evil Dead” trilogy or “Drag Me to Hell” than the previous superhero movies.
The result is some palpable tonal dissonance, but the seasoned horror director, who infuses the entire sequence with a brutal vitality that not only provides the best moments of “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” , also offers some of the more interesting stuff we’ve seen in this 14-year-old series.
While previous press invites didn’t promise Mi Lei would make the film exactly his style, thankfully he has more of a combative, villainous style than you might think.
With ghosts, hellfire, demons, and of course the undead at his disposal, he uses it all to turn the film itself into an attempt at demonic possession.
Through his own sorcery, Mi Lei attempts to transcend a soulless corporate product with demons and ghouls.
It works at times, too, and ultimately pays off by bringing the film back from the monotony with a third act.
The whole combination is like a battle of wills between its makers, a wardrobe full of Trojan horse-inspired monsters.
The morbid joy Sam Raimi shows here is undeniable.