I have now seen Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness twice, and I feel like it’s the first time for me where I am starting to feel burnout from all these superhero films. I felt it pretty early on with Star Wars and after Episode 9: The Rise of Skywalker and as much as I enjoyed The Mandalorian, I couldn’t get hyped for any more Star Wars content. I needed a break.
But I thought it was strange I didn’t have the same feeling for superhero films, whereas many people already started feeling it pretty soon after Endgame. Unfortunately, much like they did with Star Wars, Disney has just gone ahead and given us so much content it feels extremely overwhelming, to try to keep up with the TV shows on Disney+ as well as the films. It doesn’t help they intertwine the narratives, so you feel like you’re missing out if you don’t watch the shows. And with Multiverse of Madness, WandaVision is the link between the two.
I truly do miss the days when superhero films just tried to make a good film without trying to get it to link to other source material within the timeline and didn't have a big company like Disney behind it. The original Spider-Man films are a perfect example. They are beloved films that aren’t trying to link to an extended universe and include characters from other films. It is well-known Sam Raimi had issues with Spider-Man 3 and Sony wanting to put Venom in the film, as the original film was just Green Goblin and Sandman. As a result, the film is the most divisive films in the trilogy and the film suffered because of interference.
And I feel the same happened with Multiverse of Madness.
A few months before the films release, it was announced Raimi was doing reshoots to include some fun cameos in the film. And after seeing it, I found it painfully obvious what part is the reshoot and the whole segment feels out of place. The film is very much its own narrative and other than Wanda’s story from WandaVision being part of her arch, it is solely a Doctor Strange movie and doesn’t link too much to the extended universe. But it feels like Disney feared it wouldn’t be loved as much because Marvel fans (like myself) have become so reliant on the films linking together and the fact that there were so many theories on Twitter saying Deadpool was going to turn up in it, when in fact the biggest link I’d say is Professor X (as in Patrick Stewart from Fox’s X-Men) which was revealed in the first trailer. I don’t know how important the other cameos will be in the future given how the story plays out, but I did feel it slowed the film down and wasn’t necessary.
I feel like when it’s a Sam Raimi movie, it thrives as a psychological horror film, and it often refers to his previous films such as the Evil Dead films. But when its being a Disney Marvel film, it feels bogged down and, unfortunately, doesn’t stand out amongst the MCU films as one of my favourites, which, as a horror lover, breaks my heart.
But the post credit scene was when it truly lost me.
So, if you haven’t seen it then don’t read further.
It features the character Clea (I have never heard of her and was very confused when she turned up because I thought for a second, she was from Eternals and then realised she wasn’t) who is apparently important to the Doctor Strange story in the comics. But I find that because Marvel is such an expanded universe now, they are introducing so many unheard-of characters, whilst great, does mean I can’t get excited in the moment because I have no idea who they are. I look forward to seeing how she plays out in the MCU, but I miss when it was as simple as Nick Fury coming to Tony Stark to talk about the Avengers or seeing Thanos at the end of Avengers.
It does seem to be a divisive film amongst Marvel fans from what I’ve seen and maybe I was just hoping it would be more of a Sam Raimi film than a Disney film, but unfortunately not