The lastmastodon but the examination receipt for wasn’t quite hot. A Major Criticism: Wanda Maximoff’s (Elizabeth Olsen) Storyline, Her Villain Role Seemingly Undoing Her Painful Journey To Redemption In The Disney Plus Series .
Still, the Doctor Strange sequel brings a new voice to the Marvel palette in acclaimed horror director Sam Raimi. His bloody gags and stylistic panache are welcome nuances in the Marvel Cinematic Universe – at least according to some of our CNET staffers in their reviews from different parts of the world.
Into the Multiverse of Madness definitely drove me a little crazy – and not in a good way. Wanda’s Distraught Mom’s story felt painfully forced – it was clear from the start that she could never steal another Wanda’s children. Then there’s the multiverse aspect. After adding its trailer to the end of the No Way Home credits, this film did seem to open up the multiverse. Instead, Jamie Lee Curtis is right: Everything Everywhere All At Once is a much more fulfilling multiverse movie exploring endless possibilities, not just about three universes.
All that being said, I loved Sam Raimi’s horror touches.
–Jennifer Bisset, Sydney
I’m a big fan of the first Doctor Strange movie, and I appreciate a good horror movie, so Multiverse of Madness seemed to be tailor-made for me. Instead, it was… vaguely disappointing? Don’t get me wrong, it was fun to watch a horror-influenced superhero movie, and Xochitl Gomez was awesome as America Chavez. But the overall experience felt rushed, as if the film was afraid to spend too much time on its characters. I really wanted a sequel that delved deep into the themes of self-sacrifice and grief from the first Strange movie and WandaVision, exploring them through a horror lens. And while there were certainly elements of that here, the final product ultimately felt much more about weird wizarding battles, without the same emotional weight we had in No Way Home.
–Adam Benjamin, Seattle
I really liked Into the Multiverse of Madness. Raimi’s touches, Xochitl Gomez’s portrayal of America Chavez, the campy dialogue, all the body horror — all the things I was expecting and excited for. But there were also a lot of things that I really didn’t like. The biggest thing for me was that ultimately the movie had the wrong villain. Elizabeth Olsen was amazing, but I spent the first two acts actively waiting for the turnaround, for Wanda to eventually align with Doctor Strange to take on a bigger foe. Maybe Chthon, given the location. Or maybe even one of Stephen’s own variations. Much of Stephen Strange’s battle is internal and ego-driven, and What If has shown us its ability to do evil with a push. It would have been a lot more dynamic for me, instead of backtracking Wanda’s character progression with a convenient “crazy woman” trope. It deserves better, and that undoes much of what WandaVision has done best.
–Steph Panecasio, Sydney
“Raimi’s style hides behind the MCU model”
In the multiverse, anything is possible – and somewhere there’s a Doctor Strange sequel with a lean, sensible plot and some in-jokes that land. Instead, we’re in a better universe where just enough Raimi-style looks behind the MCU’s template to make another marathon of cameos and nods to future spin-offs worth watching. . It’s far too inconsistent for the grandeur and often just plain bad, but the brain blasts, Bruce Campbell, hands-on zombie effects, and spectral dead wannabes make it all worth it.
— Morgan Little, San Francisco
Worried about the future of the MCU
Like some die-hard MCU fans, I viewed the Multiverse of Madness as Avengers-esque in scope with expectations of it being the first big jumping point in Phase 4. Didn’t be so thrilled with the movie once it was finished. Don’t get me wrong, seeing an MCU movie with a proper horror feel was awesome, however, I was expecting something bigger. I think what this movie really did was make me worry about the future of the MCU. Right now, Kevin Feige is spinning a lot of plates, and they’re getting a little too wonky.
–Oscar Gonzalez, New York
“Thrilling and deliciously silly horror”
The Multiverse of Madness isn’t what many people expect, and that’s a good thing. Director Sam Raimi spills his macabre bag of tricks into the MCU, bringing heart-pounding horror and delightfully silly, gory gags to a movie franchise oversaturated with superhero action and devious banter. Like Taika Waititi breathing new life into Thor, the MCU thrives on new blood, and it’s good to see producer Kevin Feige loosen the stylistic reins. Not enough to let the film do more than push the franchise cart forward and drop some nerd-friendly cameos, but any novelty is badly needed as the MCU pursues a post-Endgame focus.
— David Lumb, Los Angeles
Movies coming in 2022 from Marvel, Netflix, DC and more
View all photos