Friday, May 13, 2022

Now For A Break From Seriousness

Long time readers know I'm a sucker for the Marvel Cinematic Universe movies - at least since 2008 and the first Iron Man movie with Robert Downey Jr. that resulted in his owning the character.  I'm pretty sure we saw every one of those Phase 1 through Phase 3 movies.  

After Avengers Endgame in 2019, I believe they started working their way into Phase 4, but I'm not at the fanboy level where I keep track of exactly what movies make up Phase 4.  Of course, the Covidiocracy hit in 2020 and impacted movies as much as anything.  The only movie they've released that I'm pretty sure marks Phase 4 is Eternals, which we saw back in October of '21.  I thought it was messy in having far too much detail in it, so much that I kept thinking "what was that all about?" or "why are they telling me this?" You got the feeling they were setting up some epic story line but it was distracting.  Plus, they worked some obvious attempts at being "edgy" into it.  For no apparent reason, one of the Eternals ends up being a gay man, and there's a fairly well-handled scene in which two of the Eternals make love.  That Just Doesn't Happen in comic book movies.  

Today we went to the current big blockbuster that has been out a week, now: Dr. Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.  There might well be spoilers here, so be forewarned and see you tomorrow if you want to avoid spoilers.  

To begin with, in the lead-up to this movie, there were implications that Dr. Strange's antics in last winter's Spider-Man: No Way Home, caused some sort of rip in the multiverse that led to this movie.  There was no reference to those things that I caught.  The single Marvel "event" that's closest to causing the events of this story, instead, is the world that Wanda Maximoff created in the Disney Plus TV series WandaVision.  This might be a good time to add that several months ago, our streaming service "Hulu + Live TV" added Disney + as part of the package, so we watched WandaVision among the first things we ever watched on D+.  (For the entire time we've subscribed to Hulu, they offered that price as a deal on Disney + but we never signed up.) 

The idea of a Multiverse permeates two of the Marvel TV series: WandaVision and Loki.  I recall a rumor that Loki would be in this movie, but if he was, it was in some very minor, non-speaking role and I didn't notice. 

The Multiverse of Madness story itself, though, is largely centered on a girl that looks to be high school age - played by a kid named Xochitl Gomez whom IMDB points out just turned 16.  Her character has the ability to somehow jump between parallel universes in the multiverse.  She doesn't know how she got the ability and doesn't really know how she does it, but Wanda Maximoff wants that power and in her alter ego of The Scarlet Witch sets out to capture that girl and take her ability.

The movie wasn't even remotely what I expected in the overview/big picture sense.  Some of what I was expecting was there, but in the fine details, not major plot elements.  It was a visual feast, as most of these movies are, with some effects that we've seen in the original Dr. Strange movie (and since then).  I was expecting a much more convoluted plot and went in thinking "prepare to be overloaded and confused" maybe to the point of needing to see it more than once.  The plot was pretty much Dr. Strange vs. The Scarlet Witch.  Rather straightforward.  We'll undoubtedly watch it again - it's worth it - but chances are high we'll wait till it's not a premium charge to watch on Disney+. 

On five letter grade scale, it's a solid B.  I recommend it if you like the characters and concepts, but if that's the case you're probably going anyway.  As usual, we went to a matinee, 1PM this time, and there were on the order of 20 people in a theater that can seat 300.  

Marvel Studios artwork.


  1. 'Dr Strange vs the Scarlet Witch?' Too much sorcery for me. I'll pass.

  2. by continuing to pay for marvel content and d+ you are supporting the enemy. don't get pissed off but honestly, giving people that hate you $$ is contributing to the cultural losses of traditional americans. find other diversions brother

  3. I'll probably be there by Monday just to see it for myself, but I'm not surprised.

    1) Once Stan Lee died, Marvel wokeism jumped the shark, and it's accelerating into the ground on a parabolic arc.
    2) Captain Marvel was simply awful and childishly written. Thor or Hulk should have slapped the silly smirk off her face. And then gone after the writers.
    3) The Endgame double-orgy killed off most of the characters that made the whole thing work to that point.
    4) The Black Widow backstory flick, which would have been nice ten years sooner, and which I wanted to like, literally put me to sleep, twice: once at the theatre, and again on Blueray Disc. Shades of Wonder Woman: Anthing they ever did. When you can't keep me awake for your movie, even with Gail Godot or Scarlet Johansen, you flat out suck.
    5) Spider Man-No Way You'll Like It continued the Lucas-esque "let's piss on and piss off all the fandom, because we can" tradition.

    So it sounds like the same awfulness that used to be reserved for the DC movies has now crossed over to the Marvel-verse. Oh well; they had a good run. But even Coppola couldn't make three good Godfather movies.

    All they need to do to run this franchise totally into the ground, is either to Sam Mendes it, or turn it over to Jar Jar Abrams, to do to it what he did to the Star Trek:Beyond Belief reboot-via-booting into a bucket. Those two could kill Christmas, and pound a studio's tentpole franchise so deep you couldn't resurrect it with a strip mine dredge and atomic demolition munitions.

    6) FWIW, Dr. Strange vs. Scarlet Witch prima facie violates a long-held as sacred screenwriting precept: No Double Mumbo-Jumbo. E.g.: you can make the pirates in POTC cursed undead, but you can't then tack on making Keira Knightley's character a witch who can teleport you to space. Only one impossible concept per screenplay. The audience's suspension of disbelief goes only so far.