While I enjoyed 2016’s Doctor Strange I wish that it had been…well…weirder.
And to be fair there was quite a burden on director Scott Derrickson’s shoulders, namely now to introduce a character that’s amongst the weirdest in Marvel’s stable, but do so in a manner that doesn’t turn off people who’re grown accustomed to their superheroes being less weird.
And in the end it was fine though never quite managed to stand out.
Now with Sam Raimi directing the sequel? It’s a new, stranger Strange and I’m here for it though there’s a dark side in that when Raimi is able to moderate some of his more off-kilter tendencies really good movies tend to be the result, such as The Evil Dead (1981), Spider-Man (2002) and Spider-Man 2 (2004) (A Simple Plan (1998) was also well-reviewed, though I haven’t seen that in so long I’ll have to revisit it to form an opinion).
Though when he has too much control you can get Drag Me To Hell (2009), which comes off not only as self-indulgent, but suffering from an identity crisis (is it a horror movie? Is it a comedy? It doesn’t appear to know so why should viewers care enough to find out?)
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness doesn’t suffer from any such problems in that is definitely about superheroes, though it’s also well in touch with its inner horror movie. So much so in fact that it ‘threatens’ at times to become one (which for me would be awesome. For a younger person or an older one not into horror? Probably not so much).
And in case you’re wondering, there’s no required viewing for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, though it would help if you had seen Strange’s solo movie.
And Avengers: Infinity War (2018) and Endgame (2016).
And most definitely, Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021), which sets in motion the whole multiverse through line that will probably run through Marvel Studios movies for years to come.