Despite the movie being one of the most awaited Marvel movies of the year, its review reception has been rather warm with many finding Wanda Maximoff’s character rather disappointing. This is because of the villainous nature of her character in this movie which seemed to completely ignore her redemption arc at the end of the WandaVision series.
However, the Doctor Strange sequel still brought a fresh change to the Marvel palette by bringing in notable horror director Sam Raimi. His grisly humour and aesthetic panache are welcomed additions to the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), and his jumpscares, which defied Marvel movie conventions, kept audiences on the edge of their seats.
Benedict Cumberbatch, Benedict Wong, Rachel McAdams, and Chiwetel Ejiofor reprise their roles as the titular wizard, Wong, and Dr. Christine Palmer, respectively. Elizabeth Olsen as Wanda Maximoff or Scarlet Witch and Xochitl Gomez as America Chavez will also perform in the dazzling pyrotechnics extravaganza.
Despite the MCU wanting a fresh change for Dr Strange’s sequel, many viewers find it to be a convoluted mess because it felt more focused on The Scarlet Witch rather than Dr Strange which made people feel that it should have been a separate movie for Wanda. Given its genre leading more towards a horror film, the plot execution was rather exhausting and messy with many pit-falls, failed plans and twists. By the end of the movie, there were multiple times where you would feel disengaged and even bored as it felt like they were just trying to lengthen the movie.
The cinematography was excellent, bringing to life Sam Raimi’s artistic vision for the film, which included dramatic Dutch angles, undead heroes, and cackling demons but when compared to the 2016’s Dr Strange movie, It seemed like a suspenseful after-school special with an adolescent protagonist who isn’t really interesting, at least not enough to carry an entire MCU film.
If you have not watched the movie, be prepared to feel gravely annoyed with the character development of The Scarlet Witch and the portrayal of America Chavez, the girl who can travel through the multiverse. America Chavez is a formidable lesbian Latina superhero who was raised by two mothers in the comics, but she's degraded to a mediocre teen donning an Old Glory jean jacket and a pride flag pin in this adaptation.
There was an opportunity to form an interesting alliance here, but it never materialised. Doctor Strange’s pity for her and her partnership with him can be awkward at times, with conflicting tones and a complete lack of chemistry. Her character development in the movie was pretty much delayed and only observed shortly at the end which frustrated many Marvel fans.
Although it had tiring exposition dumps and extra-large plot holes which drew more confusion and frustration, all of the actors’ performances were rock-solid and the movie is still something that deserves to be experienced in the theatres.