The last one a miracle Jaggernaut won a big cash prizebut the reception reception for Dr. Strange in the multiverse of madness it was not completely warm. Main criticism: Wanda Maximoff’s (Elizabeth Olson) storyline, her villainous part seemingly cancels out her painful journey to redemption in the Disney Plus series WandaVision.

Still, Dr. Strange’s sequel brings a fresh voice to Marvel’s palette of renowned horror director Sam Raimi. His bloody jokes and stylistic appearance are welcome nuances in the Marvel cinematic universe – at least according to some of our CNET staff in their reviews from around the world.

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Into the Multiverse of Madness definitely made me a little angry – and not in a good way. The plot of Wanda’s Upset Mother was painfully forced – it was clear from the start that she would never be able to steal another Wanda’s children. Then there is the multiverse aspect. After its trailer was released at the end of the No Way Home titles, this film looked like it would really open up the multiverse. Instead, Jamie Lee Curtis is right: Everything Everywhere at Once is a much more complete film about the multiverse, exploring endless possibilities, not just about three universes.

Given all this, I liked the touch of Sam Raimi’s horrors.

“Jennifer Bisset, Sydney.”

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I’m a big fan of Dr. Strange’s first film and I like a good horror movie, so Multiverse of Madness seemed to be made especially for me. Instead, she felt vaguely frustrated? Don’t get me wrong, it was fun to watch a horror movie superhero, and Xochitl Gomez was as great as America Chavez. But the overall experience felt hasty, as if the film was afraid of spending too much time on its characters. I really wanted a sequel to dive deep into the themes of self-sacrifice and grief from the first Strange movie and WandaVision, exploring them through the prism of horror. And while there are certainly elements of that here, the end product ultimately felt much more interested in weird battles with wizards, without the same emotional weight we got at No Way Home.

“Adam Benjamin, Seattle.”

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I really liked Into the Multiverse of Madness. Raimi’s touches, the portrayal of America Chavez by Shochitl Gomez, the camp dialogue, all the bodily horror – everything I expected and was excited about. But there were a lot of things I really didn’t like. The biggest thing for me was that in the end, the movie had the wrong villain. Elizabeth Olson was amazing, but I spent the first two acts actively waiting for the rollover, while Wanda finally agreed with Dr. Strange to face a bigger enemy. Maybe Chthon, given the location. Or maybe even one of Stephen’s options. So much of Stephen Strange’s battle is internal and ego-driven, and What if showed us his ability to deal with complete evil with pressure. This would be far more dynamic for me, instead of reversing the development of Wanda’s character with a comfortable “crazy woman” trope. It deserves better, and that cancels out so much of what WandaVision did best.

“Steph Panecasio, Sydney.”

Marvel Studios

“Raimi style is visible behind the MCU template”

In the multiverse, anything is possible – and somewhere there is a sequel to “Doctor Strange” with a thin, meaningful plot and jokes in this direction. Instead, we are in a better universe, where enough of Raimi’s style rises behind the MCU template to make another marathon of cameos and nods to future spin-offs worth watching. It’s too inconsistent for grandeur and often just completely bad, but the brainstorms, Bruce Campbell, the practical zombie effects, and the ghostly dead want it.

Morgan Little, San Francisco

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Worried about the future of MCU

Like some die-hard MCU fans, I watched Multiverse of Madness as the Avengers in its range with the expectation that it would be the first big jump point in Phase 4. It was this expectation that made me less excited about the film after it was over. Don’t get me wrong, watching an MCU movie with a proper sense of horror was great, but I was expecting something bigger. I think what this film really did worry me about the future of MCU. Kevin Feigi is spinning a lot of records right now, and they’re getting a little too shaky.

“Oscar Gonzalez, New York.”

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“Exciting horror and delightfully stupid”

The multiverse of madness is not what many people will expect and it is a good thing. Director Sam Raimi is scattering his horrible bag of tricks at MCU, bringing some thrilling horror and delightfully stupid and bloody blunders into a movie franchise oversaturated with action for the same superhero and vicious jokes. Like Taika Whitey, who breathes new life into Thor, MCU is thriving on new blood, and it’s good to see producer Kevin Feigi loosen his stylistic reins. It’s not enough to allow the film to do more than push the franchise cart forward and release some maniac-friendly cameos, but any novelty is essential as the MCU seeks a goal after the game.

David Lamb, Los Angeles

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