It’s been almost ten years since Sam Raimi directed a movie and Multiverse of Madness is at its best when it feels most like a Raimi picture. The director’s beginnings in low-budget horror comedy are visibly evident in this Marvel sequel. The campy elements certainly entertain in Multiverse of Madness, but they also go completely against the dark tone and stakes of Elizabeth Olsen’s wholly-corrupted Scarlett Witch slaughtering anyone in the of finding a version of her dream kids in another dimension… yeah, you read that right.

The film completely undoes the beautiful, nuanced arc that Olsen’s Wanda Maximoff goes through in the Disney + series WandaVision. Here, Wanda is a corrupted by a spellbook thanks to a tacked-on post credit scene in WandaVision.

For a movie with “multiverse” in its title, we don’t really get much of an exploration of the alternate universes. The concept of a multiverse is mostly kept at a thematic level and as a delivery system for wishes. Wanda views the prospect of a multiverse as a means to fulfilling a vision of her life that is unrealized in their present reality (she has no children).

With 70% of the final film reshot, and variouos reshuffling of key scenes, it’s a wonder that any of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness works. There’s certainly a better movie buried under everything in this film, and writer Michael Waldron fails to capture the same magic and originality found in his Marvel Disney + series, Loki.

This movie was originally supposed to come out before Spider-Man: No Way Home, and America Chavez was the original reason for Spider-Man’s multiverse dilemma, but it was delayed because of COVID. Raimi has gone on record that they figured out the plot of the movie while filming and conceived of the ending halfway through the film shoot.

That’s not a position to be in, but neither is being the twenty-eighth film in an ongoing interconnected chain of franchises. Plenty of MCU movies have excelled under such conditions and requirements, none more prominent than the original Iron Man. This film is a lackluster follow up to the inventive original Scott Derrickson film, acting more as a sacrificial offering to the greater good of the MCU films to come.

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness isn’t a good Doctor Strange sequel, it isn’t a good multiverse movie, and it could have used a little more madness (and a saner Wanda). This film is in the bottom tier of the MCU, among the likes of Iron Man 2.

About The Author

Founder, Awards Editor

Byron is the Awards Editor and Founder of Awards Focus, in addition to being a National Arts and Entertainment Journalism Award winning journalist for his work at The Hollywood Reporter.

Working as a journalist and moderator, Byron hosts Emmy and Oscar panels for the major studios, featuring their Below The Line and Above The Line nominees (in partnership with their respective guilds).

Moderating highlights include Ingle Dodd's Behind the Slate Screening Series for Emmy and Oscar nominees, The ArcLight's Hitting the High Note Oscar series, The Hollywood Music and Media Academy FYC Series, and Emmy & Oscar panels for Society of Lyricists and Composers.

Byron's panels range from FX's Fargo to Netflix's The Crown, The Queen's Gambit, & Bridgerton; HBO Max's The Flight Attendant, Hacks, Succession, Insecure, Lovecraft Country & The White Lotus; and the Apple TV + hit series Ted Lasso.

In February of 2020, Byron hosted and organized the Aiding Australia Initiative; launched to assist in the restoration and rehabilitation of Australia's wildlife (an estimated 3 billion animals killed or maimed and a landmass the size of Syria decimated).

Participating talent for Aiding Australia includes Robert Downey Jr., Michael Keaton, Jeremy Renner, Harrison Ford, Jim Carrey, Josh Brolin, Bryan Cranston, Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart, JK Simmons, Tobey Maguire, Alfred Molina, James Franco, Danny Elfman, Kim Basinger, Robert Wuhl, Tim Allen, Colin Hay, Drew Struzan, and Michael Rosenbaum.

Byron is also a patent holding inventor, screenwriter, and songwriter (X-Men Apocalypse) in addition to being a proud member of The Society of Lyricists & Composers and BMI.

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