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The Madness of Doctor Strange and the Maddening Multiverse of Madness


By BoblobV2Published 2 years ago 33 min read

We start with a hearty chase in, somewhere. Dr Strange and an unassuming teenager are running away from a tentacle monster, and I have seen far too much on the internet to know where this is going. Oh good god no. Anyway they have their path cut off by said monster, and Doctor Strange proceeds to trap it, clever. If you, like me, thought they would use this opportunity to have the teen go beyond and try to get to their destination, you would be completely wrong because Strange decides to suck the life out of the girl instead. Confusion is a good word to use here. This process is interrupted by the fact that the monster stabs Strange through the heart, following which she manages to monkey bar her way through the monster and get there anyway. She did get caught, but she got there. Imagine if she did that when the monster was trapped. The film would have been over. And we cannot have that now can we? Regardless, she panics, opens a star shaped portal and pulls herself, the tentacles, and the corpse of Strange to another reality.

We transition to Dr Strange waking up, implying what we just saw as a dream. Perhaps he is shocked by the sheer level of stupidity he was acting under. Regardless he gets ready, and goes to a church. Nicodemus sits next to him, and admits things are not going great. Did you have to google who he was? I did. They enjoy Rachel McAdams’ wedding, and Strange has a conversation with her at the reception, where she asks if he is happy. Clearly things are unresolved between them. This is not a bad moment, what I would criticise is the setting at which this conversation is occurring, of all the times to have this conversation this is where you have it? Things are interrupted because we have to get the adrenaline pumping. The tentacle monster and the teenager make themselves known, and Strange is pulled away from the wedding. Rachel is less than pleased giving us a look as if to say this is Strange's fault. In the grand scheme of things, this is the last time we see Rachel so it really doesn't matter all that much.

While the monster is invisible at first, Dr Strange uses a spell to reveal it. Why have this additional step at all? Why not just have the monster visual to everyone to begin with? Regardless, the monster swipes a tentacle and Strange is knocked out in a coffee shop leading us to the teen calmly jogging away from the monster, while it chases her hard. She is eventually rescued by the Sorcerer Supreme, why Wong is the Sorcerer Supreme when Strange has returned, I do not know. Either way, Wong does better than Strange in this fight, because he did not get knocked out in seconds. However the monster still manages to catch him and rather than killing him, holds onto him, because the writer has plans for Wong in the future, and so cannot die, this ladies and gentleman is what we call beskar armour. I mean plot armour. Same thing really. If things go as they should Wong should be dead by this point. Meanwhile, the cloak cannot wake up Strange, so goes on its own to save the Teen.

Strange finally wakes up and saves Wong. Following this something curiosity occurs. Wong remarks that it is customary for sorcerers to bow to the sorcerer supreme. Considering the situation they find themselves in, there are more pressing matters to attend to, yet this back and forth in dialogue proves to act as a moment of levity because god forbid we take things slightly serious for a moment. This also makes me wonder if Wong is the type of General that would expect his men to stop fighting to salute him in no man’s land. Absolute melon.

After this, they do something quite profound, they try to pull the monster back in a game of tug of war. Considering these two have fought aliens, hulks, and dimensional creatures, how is this their best idea? Just how dumb have they gotten? The monster takes about as much notice of this as a tornado would to a piece of wet noodle, and carries on with its chase. After a brief struggle Strange realises this is a Resident Evil boss, and goes straight for the eye.

Once the monster has been downed, they approach the teen who steals Strange’s slink and runs away, I can see why he was demoted. Strange says ‘She took his slink’ and Wong repeats this line. As if the simple act of repetition is funny. Despite the crime against comedy, they get ahead of the teen and asks her questions. By the way, her expressions rarely, if ever, change, and the same goes for her delivery of lines. Make of that what you will. We are then told that dreams are a window into the lives we live in alternate universes.

They hold off on carrying on the conversation until they get to a cafe, where she asks if they have any experience with multiverses. They then bring up the incident with Spiderman. If they deleted people's memories of Spiderman, thus resulting in Strange himself forgetting who he is, then how is this remembered? Shouldn’t the event also have been wiped from memory? Or is that too inconvenient for the writer to think about? They get interrupted by a passerby who wants a photo. The status of heroes in this universe is never explained, they are simultaneously celebrities known to all, and penniless, unable to afford a bank loan.

She brings up the book of ultimate good, to which Strange says the existence of this book is pure fiction only for Wong to say otherwise, admitting it is knowledge only the Sorcerer Supreme is privy to. You know the thing Strange was? Why did he not know? Marvel keeps making a joke about how he is no longer the Sorcerer Supreme without acknowledging the fact he was the Sorcerer Supreme. Anyway, he also says it is unreachable, a statement she agrees with, only to say, ‘Except we reached it’ What is this dialogue? Why agree with an absolute, only to immediately contradict it? Also why are they making fun of the fact that Strange cannot speak Spanish? I guess it’s meant to be humour.

Strange wants proof of the dream theory, and the teen shows him the body of the even stupider Strange, this explains why his body was dragged into the portal. Wong then asks about a dream where he is chased every night naked by a clown, and the teen confirms it is out there somewhere. I now have many more questions about this mechanic that I do not think the film is equipped to answer, nor does it attempt to. He then asks for her name, and after taking a moment, she proclaims America Chavez. As if I’m meant to know who that is.

Wong offers to protect her in Kama Taj, and Chav questions if she could trust Strange, to which he says, you’ll just have to trust me. I shall make a point of this a little later when I have more evidence. They talk about what to do with the body, and Strange bafflingly hides it under cobblestones on the roof. Why bury it there? Why not dispose of the body? Why not take it back to Kama Taj?

When asking about the type of magic the monster was under, Strange admits to Wong that they are Runes. In response, we find out that there is a difference between sorcery and witchcraft in this franchise. I know I am asking a little too much of the writer., but what are the differences and similarities? Can they be learnt interchangeably? Where are their roots? When the world was in trouble why did only those who practice sorcery help? What are their creeds? Who actually cares?

We then come to the spawn of Satan and things are quite jolly indeed, only for her to realise it was all a dream. Meaning it was an alternate universe. It appears she has made a nice place for herself when she is approached by Strange. They talk about the time she trapped and tortured 4000, men, women, and children. You know a mistake, which Strange accepts as the past because she has learned and now knows better. There are no words.

Despite claiming to have given up magic, Strange asks her for help, considering themselves Avengers, and joking about the other members. Do they know each other? This is the first time we have seen them speaking. What happened? How does Strange know about the extent of her powers, and why is he so casual about what happened in Wandavision? Actually you know what, there are words. Strange had Loki falling for thirty minutes while having a stern word with Thor simply for the fact that they came to Earth because that was how serious he is about protecting the planet, and here you have someone that went out of her way to torture and choke people out in public because her vibrator broke, and he is doing nothing. Who is this imposter, and why is he calling himself Steven Strange?

Upon inviting her to Kama Taj, she instead proposes they bring Chav here, referring to her by name, when he did not bring up her name. The conversation becomes less friendly, and she reveals what this place was all along. Considering the scope, how was Strange oblivious to what it was. He is outright inept in this film. After this reveal, a book hovering next to her, because, reasons, and they explain it is the Necronomicon, a book that corrupts everything, and everyone it touches. Wanda explains that she is using it to find a multiverse where she is able to live with her children. You know the ones that she made up with magic and a bit of imagination. Strange says as much, only to have Wanda respond with, isn’t that what every mother does? Almost. You see, there's this thing called biology, where the man and woman need to wrestle for a bit so that the baby has a chance of being created in the first place. Unless she splits apart like an amoeba, I’m not sure how she can procreate alone.

Following this idiotic statement, Wanda asks if he would go to a universe where he was happy if he knew it existed. This is the second time the idea of what it means to be happy is brought up in the film. In a better film there could have been something to this. After hearing his answer she admits she knows better than anyone what self deception looks like. She is consistent in not making any sense whatsoever. Post Endgame at least.

We now come to the hallowed line. ‘You break the rules’. First off. He did not break any rules. Even if he did it was because of Kang. In all seriousness, in the context of the film, what he did was motivated out of a desire to save and protect rather than personal gain. He sacrificed, in the hopes of victory down the road, while she is torturing, and willing to kill out of personal desire. A villain, and it is absolutely fair. She threatens Strange and everyone else at Kama Taj, demanding Chav, and walks away, while Strange does nothing, standing still with about the same usefulness of a mannequin.

Wong gives us the first of many exposition dumps on the plot. This time filing us in on the Scarlet witch for anyone who did not see WandaVision. Chav is not at all pleased with the current situation they are in. Anyway, battle preparations ensue. The sorcerers of the Hong Kong and London sanctums arrive to help in this defence. All six of them. Do not worry. They are never seen again. If you take out the scenes that are completely pointless in this film, the runtime might be ten or fifteen minutes shorter.

A dark cloud emerges, and from within it Wanda floats out. Strange goes to meet her hoping to change her mind. He says she is justifiably angry. I disagree. She brings up the fact she had to kill Vision, and how it meant nothing. This is true, however Vision is still alive and well, somewhere out there. If only Vision told her that. She offers him happiness with Rachel, however he refuses her offer. To which she calls him a hypocrite. While her hypocrisy is easy to distinguish, I am yet to see how he is being hypocritical.

Despite the reasonable conversation, the battle begins. When bombarding the shields does not work, she decides to manipulate the sorcerers instead. Wong in turn tells them to fortify their minds, and here I’m wondering, why if they are aware of the Scarlet Witch's power, are they not shielding their minds to begin with? Why the sorcerers use bows and arrows when they have the ability to use magic I will never know. But despite their efforts, Wanda tanks everything they throw at her, and strolls her way into the temple where she gets trapped in a cage, only for her to use reflections to pull others inside, and force herself out like Sadako. I must ask, why were the guards standing in puddles? That seems odd in general. Purely from a visual point of view, I do like the way she pulled herself out of the prison. There was a bit of Raimi there, and it's just a shame it was so rushed.

When addressing the fact she killed so many people, she claims she is not a monster, she is a mother. Well, when you say it like that I guess it’s ok. Strange tells her her children don't exist and she proceeds to show them visions, or memories, or windows into a new reality? Whatever they are, they are of a Wanda playing with children. Strange asks her a great question. What happens to their mother? She does not say anything stumped for words, and the moment is interrupted by Strange shooting a hydra at her, which works about as well as a flood being stopped by a piece of wet paper. Strange is tossed aside, Wong is knocked out, and in the midst of the soul sucking, Chav opens a portal in her stressed out state, and Strange tackles her through it, taking a hit from one of Wanda’s energy balls in the process.

They go through a handful of different universes, ending up in a very green New York, and Strange asks her to take them back, however she reiterates she cannot control it. When asked about this universe's version of her she states she is one of a kind. Learning he cannot go back immediately, Strange admits he has no way of fighting Wanda anyway. Imagine if it was infinity war Strange here instead, he would put up a decent fight. They then bring up the book of pure good and admit they have no idea where it is. So, how did Chav end up so close to it? Does she remember how they ended up there, if so she could tell Strange about it to see if any bells are rung, but she does not and instead they go in search of the Doctor Strange of this universe.

They make their way through New York, and everyone dresses as if they were an extra from Equilibrium. Thanks to Chav we understand that Strange knows nothing while waiting to cross the street. We then get a neat cameo by Bruce Campbell. While this is meant to be a funny moment, I want to highlight a massive issue with regards to character. When Chav steals food when under the assumption food is free in most other universes, she is stopped by Ash, rather than figuring out a way to fix the issue, Strange decides to put a spell on him that forces him to hit himself for three weeks, and her reaction is to laugh. Why is hurting people the norm when it comes to hero behaviour now? What’s worse is that they were the ones in the wrong, and this is seconds after Chav looks down on Strange, telling him that in a new universe, you know nothing. Yet here she is going against what she knows. Idiot. I can see why people want to suck the life out of her. Don’t worry I got the Evil Dead reference, or Idle Hand if you want to be 90’s about it. But context matters, and the context here is hurting the characters. Also food can be free here too, we can grow our own, if she is talking from the point of view of consumer distribution, I would love to know the economics of how that works because right now. (Some commie gobbledygook)

While on their walk Strange asks how many universes she has been to, 73. During this conversation, they happen upon a memory shop where you get to see your past memories. While at discounted price, neither pay, so they have stolen twice in five minutes. Anyway, the Memory lane is used to tell us about how Strange got his broken watch, and Chav’s origins. Rather than having a moment where the characters organically open up to each other, Strange happens to step on a button. When characters open up to each other, we get to see them in a vulnerable manner, willing to open up when in the past they have been closed off. It is intimate, and given enough time these characters could get there, but that would require time. As a result, characters and plot are machine gunned onto the screen so we can get to those five obligatory action set pieces.

Regarding Chav’s origin. If her parents are both women how was she conceived? From my understanding, she is from a community of women, and we all know where that leads to according to Mad Max. Anyway, last I checked there is still a turkey baster required for procreation. Ten points for anyone who got that reference. You filthy degenerate. Also her first portal opened because she saw a bee close to her hand. Not even sting her. As far as traumatic events go, it's hardly being blasted by your own weapons now is it? She admits her parents are dead, but he assures her that they are not. Now we as the audience know they are not because under the house of mouse, no one is ever really gone. But how is he so sure? Again this is very unlike Strange. I guess when he was brought back, a part of his brain was left to wander the aether. They then talk about Rachel again and clear up he is not with her. I’m glad we sorted that out.

They see a large statue of Doctor Strange outside the sanctum sanctorum, a memorial for having given his life in the battle against Thanos. Revealing that Mordeau is the Sorcerer Supreme. We waste some time with the Han and Lando reunion and promptly get to the next exposition dump. I know I made fun of the Han and Lando thing, but it really does seem as if Chiwetel Ejiofor is here to serve the same function as Billy Dee Williams in TROS. Give the information so the protagonist can continue their quest line. The point is he explains what day walking is. I mean Dream walking. Where Wanda is able to possess another universe's version of herself. Imagine if there was no Wanda in this particular universe, the entire plan would have been screwed. It turns out the tea was drugged, and so Chav and Strange are knocked out. You would think Strange might be familiar with things he knows about.

Elsewhere we see Wanda doing precisely what the exposition was about. Dreamwalking into another universe, and the start of the sequence is yet another Evil Dead reference, yes film, I should be watching that instead. After a lengthy trippy sequence where Wanda possesses Wanda, she is called over by her children where they sing about their undying love for Ice Cream. I can relate. Meanwhile in the room where Wanda is meditating it is revealed she is still in Kama Taj. out in the open, without any defences, because that is smart? Why not take the book and tie up Wong with a couple others as bait back home, in safety? Why not make sure everyone was dead first? Why not leave Kama Taj and do the spell from a location hidden by magic? Well, the reason is because we needed this mcmuffin to be destroyed so that she could force Wong to take her to the real Necronomicon where she can continue as she did before, because we had to delay Wanda a little bit, otherwise she would have gotten to Strange sooner than needed, ensuring she would win, resulting in a much shorter film, and we cannot have that now can we?

Strange wakes up in a plastic cell, with Chav in the cell over banging for attention. They call out for the scientists and it turns out Rachel 2 is in charge of this facility. She reveals the numbering of the multiverse and that this is 616. (Jonah laughing). Regardless, this universe knows a lot about the multiverse, which is a great little coincidence. Imagine if they ended up in a universe where superpowered beings did not exist, they would have been screwed. Strange asks Rachel what they were to each other, and the answer is as expected, they do not know. Moving on, he explains that the situation they are in is quite dire as a result of Wanda getting less patient by the minute, however they do not care, and is instead taken to the members of the illuminati to stand trial. Meanwhile Wanda goes to the tomb of her past self, gets a few henchmen, and proceeds to dream walk again, after tossing Wong off a cliff because he is making too much sense.

The Council of cameo’s is composed of Captain Peggy, Coach Boomer, Maria Marvel, Jim from the Office, and the Poop emoji. This is an odd scene because a moment ago Strange was desperate to communicate Wanda is after them. Yet now he is cracking jokes, insulting everyone as best he can, only for the tone of the conversation to shift dramatically once again when Jim explains the longer he stays and the more he impacts their universe, risking their destruction. When Wanda is brought up again Maria says she is of little trouble. In this universe Doctor Strange was a sham. Like a certain two faced individual. Strange the 3rd played with the Necronomicon and ended up going a little tipsy on power. As such after finding the book of absolute good and defeating Thanos, he is killed by Coach Boomer, making sure he does not abuse the power he has attained for himself or reuse the power within the Necronomicon. This conversation is interrupted by Wanda invading the base. Got to fill that quota.

She rips her way through the defences with ease, and one has to ask, how did she get so powerful? Anyway, the Council of Cameos head off to face her, and the Poop Emoji gives Strange the next waypoint. In the holding area Rachel has everyone evacuate and tries to open the doors to Chav’s cell. It does not open. For reasons. That is until Wanda herself stops the machinery from working. The cameos arrive and stop her in her tracks. Jim appeals to her humanity, saying he himself is a father, and knows what she is going through, but Wanda is having none of it. Jim resorts to threats saying Coach Boomer can destroy her with a whisper, only to have Wanda take his mouth away leaving him completely useless, and popping his head. He did not even put up a fight. Jim attempts a punch only for Wanda to repel it along with his body stretching him and unwrapping his very existence like a christmas gift and popping his head like a balloon. Do not worry, neither Maria, nor Peggy did anything to help. But now that the men are dead, and out of the way, we can have a proper fight. Wanda makes sure the fight with the girls last as long as possible, and so refuses to exert her power as she has done till this point, giving Chav a head start to make things interesting. When she gets bored Peggy gets cut in half, and Maria is crushed. Do not worry, no one’s ever really gone.

Meanwhile Strange taunts Mordeu into a fight, and escapes leaving him in a ditch alone. Why is Mordeu here instead of helping his team? Why is he still worried about Strange when there is a greater threat? Why is he behaving irrationally? Well you see, it is because, reasons. Moving on. As Wanda is approaching Rachel tries to break the cage, and in their desperation, Chav punches it and it cracks in the form of a star. This is a set up for how she will use her powers. Literally punching portals into existence. How has she not figured that out in the years she has been running from Multiverse to multiverse?

The Poop emoji then has a crack at fighting Wanda in their minds. Deep within he finds true Wanda buried deep in her consciousness, and tries to pull her out to free her. I guess psychic powers do not work when he is in someone else's mind? He stops when the witch is close, doing nothing to fight her back, because that would require imagination, and she breaks his neck. I think I prefer his death in the last stand. This final encounter leaves Wanda bleeding in various places, including the soles of her feet.

Chav and Rachel manage to break out glass and run away, and it just so happened Strange was also running in the general area, finding each other with ease. Chav hugs Strange, because, and we have yet another scene where someone is reluctant to help Strange because of what another Strange has done in a different universe. Thankfully this does not last long because they realise a crazy witch is chasing them. They go through underground tunnels and blockages, which hold up as well as butter resisting a warm knife compared to Wanda’s power. What is disconcerting is the fact that while the three are running full pelt for, and Wanda is limping, the distance between them is not getting any bigger, if anything, she is gaining on them. Also Wanda can fly, so why drag her feet inflicting more pain on herself, when she could float and travel faster? Why is Wanda stupid?

After closing another blast door, the three stop running to see if Wanda is still chasing. Why are they not running towards the destination, she is stalled for all intents and purposes, so use this time to get whatever advantage you can. Why are they not doing what they should be? In addition there is a strange moment where time slows down, or at least I think that is what happens, but it can’t be slow motion because Chav is speaking normally when the droplets are slowed down. The two speeds do not line up. Anyway, after a jumpscare, where personally, I liked how Wanda looked in that moment, appropriately demonic, one could say, or you know an extra from a Rob Zombie film. Strange floods the tunnel and they come to the final door, why was there a delay in this? Because.

Rachel admits Strange the 3rd is the only one who has opened it. Curious. After Strange tries to unlock the door, Rachel gives him the broken watch, the gift. Placing it on the door it opens. Now, why did she have that? If she had it, and it was available all along, why has Strange the 3rd been the only one to open this door? Why would the Cameos give her something so important? Did she take it? Did she even know its importance? It’s like giving teen spiderman access to a global defence system, there are certain things that just do not make sense. In fact, were the rest of the team even aware that this is the key? Surely not because they would have to put the book back after using it to fight Thanos, so he can’t be the last one to open the door. Or did Stephen use the book from there, kill Thanos, and then go to Titan to make sure the job was done? There are so many questions and I do not think the writers are equipped to answer them.

Opening the door, they see the goal right in front of them. When they drop down they do something interesting. No one closes the door behind them, leaving it wide open for Wanda to come through and be a nuisance with, which she does, by taking Chav hostage and destroying the book. She manipulates Chav to send Strange and Rachel to a universe that is falling apart. Afterwards she tosses Chav to the tomb and releases her hold of Wanda 2. Thinking immediately of her children she leaves, without wondering how she ended up here or even questioning where she is, as if it was an average wednesday.

Strange and Rachel are trapped in a multiverse with no way out, while Chav is at Wanda's mercy. Technically, by the time Strange finds a solution Chav should be a husk. However, we must remember that when something is not on screen the rest of the universe is static, meaning nothing will happen unless it is shown, so, Strange has all the time in the world, because the world within the film does not exist independently of what is shown on screen.

They make their way through the broken world to the sanctum, and find things are slightly gloomy here. At the sanctum, Strange comes face to face with another Strange, who is quite alone here. You would think trying to find the sanctum in a decimated universe would be difficult,but in actuality it's round the corner. Strange 4 asks for proof that Strange is a Strange, so Strange recites how their sister died. There was no set up for this story, and it is sprung up on us, apparently this is a part of his backstory, and an important event such as that is relegated to a plot mechanic without exploring it in any detail at all. Also, are all these people identical in every universe? As it stands it is a lot like playing the Arkham games as Batman 66. If all these characters are identical to each other, then it is simply the visual presentation that is different, meaning this multiverse, while vast, has about as much depth as a drop of sweat on a dry floor. The multiverse in The One is better realised.

Strange 4 gives some exposition on how the necronomicon works so we understand the implications well. Strange 4 also asks Strange about being happy, and this is the third time this question is brought up, the idea of what makes someone happy is something interesting to explore. Here’s the thing though, just because you are asking the question, it does not mean you are exploring the question. There may have been a version of the film that does a far more thorough job in exploring Doctor Strange as a character, it is just not this version. This is also the scene where we find out that no Strange is with Rachel in the entirety of the multiverse, curious, also Strange 4 is killing Stranges throughout the multiverse. Because.

Strange 4 is a kind Strange and offers the necronomicon in exchange for Rachel. There is no deal, and so a fight ensues. This fight, while creative, I do not see the practical purpose, why materialise notes from a paper and throw them, when you could pick up various objects and throw them instead, skipping a step in the fighting process. The fight ends with Strange 4 being tossed out of the window, getting impaled in the process.

Back at the tomb Wong survived the fall by landing on a precarious piece of rock jutting out. Gathering himself, he starts climbing. Meanwhile, Wanda starts sucking the Chav, after five to ten minutes of runtime, not even counting how long it has been in the world. If you have been wondering why Strange hid the body of the other Strange where he did. It is so he would be able to possess the dead body and fight using it. How did that body end up getting so decomposed in the space of two days? Because.

After teleporting to the mountains, he is attacked by demons, why did they wait till now? Who knows, but strange is immediately overwhelmed. As Strange is having a freak out, Rachel fights three of them with a magical flame thrower defeating the demons with ease, then proceeds to give Strange a pep talk, giving him a second wind, binding the demons to his control and flies over to the tomb where Wanda is still sucking the life out of Chav. During the approach her henchmen get ready to attack, only for Wong to kill one, grabbing their attention, which allows Strange to kill the rest. Its a good thing the henchmen are as dumb as doornails, if not this might have actually been a fight. Why were the henchmen here in the first place? If they were absent, nothing would change.

Strange then uses the demons to occupy Wanda, so he could make his way to Chav. She is willing to give up her life so Strange would be able to use her power to defeat Wanda. Even Wong tells him to do so, interesting. However, Strange instead gives her a pep talk, saying everything she has done until this point has been on purpose. He is factually incorrect so I have no idea what he means by this. Either way this does the job.

Wanda breaks out and one of her energy bolts hits Strange, beginning an accelerated decomposition process. This gives Chav time to punch Wanda into a literal another dimension. The volcano planet does not work, so she opens another portal to Wanda 2’s home. She then tosses Wanda 2 to a side, scaring the children in the process. As a result she has things thrown at her by them, showing she has been thoroughly rejected by them. This leaves her completely distraught, and upon seeing what her reaction is, Wanda 2 reassures her the boys will be well looked after. I should hope so.

This brings Wanda back from the path of evil and lets everyone go, destroying the tomb,and any trace of the necronomicon from every universe in existence afterwards, because that’s apparently something she could do. Strange and Rachel 2 talk about going to their respective universes, and they behave as if they have really gone on this great arc where they come to terms with where they stand with each other. But the problem is, this is Rachel from a different universe, not the Rachel he knew, so while we got a pay off to a character relationship, it's not related to the characters that actually have a relationship. Once that is done, Chav finds them, and we move to some time in the future. Back at Kama Taj, where they are rebuilding while Chav is training. Wong proceeds to ask how Strange is feeling after possessing his own dead body. Strange in turn asks if he is happy, to which he admits yes with a decent reason. He then bows to Wong before heading off. Strange and Chav have a touching moment where they are glad they found each other, and goes on to fix the watch, symbolising his life has started anew, that he is now moving forward, and while moving forward, he gets a slight headache causing the film to end. Which is how I felt.

Goodness me that was a ride if ever there was one. The narrative is all over the place, with a continuous string of mcmuffins needed to make the plot progress. With every location the character arrives at we have a new cameo explaining what the next stage of the plot is going to be about. This happens, then this happens, and then this happens. It is the equivalent of listening to an over excited kid after consuming 10 kilos of sugar trying to tell you a story. Not to mention the sheer amount of plot armour where a character is prevented from being killed when they obviously should have been, all in the service of making sure the film kept going, coincidence and contrivances driving the narrative, building the plot on quicksand.

Strange is now completely unrecognisable from who he was in Infinity war. Making nonsensical choices, being bounced around by the plot and having no agency of his own. Which is quite the opposite of the Strange we knew. His own arc, if one can even call it an arc, is buried under what Wanda Chav are going through. This is a Doctor Strange film where Strange is a glorified cameo. This is instead far more akin to a WandaVision follow up.

Wanda following the evisceration of her character in WandaVision, has been ground to dust, and tossed to the winds. Whatever made her interesting once has been utterly decimated. A character that was a victim of a civil war, moulded by hydra, fighting alongside the Avengers, watching her brother die, and killing the vibrator she loved. An incredibly tragic character with so many things to explore. If turning her into a villain was the plan, the groundwork is laid so that she could one day become one. But to turn her into one in such a contrived manner, and clumsy way is a massive disservice to the character.

Chav was present, and learned she needs to punch and believe in herself. Rachel was missing, and Rachel 2 was there instead. Wong did make sense, but how he survived is questionable.

With regard to the universe mechanics, they are completely contrary to the mechanics presented in Endgame, which in itself is nonsensical, and unrecognisable from the one presented in Loki, which basically comes down to, Kang did it.

Visually there are two instances that stood out. The first being the gong, and the second being the underground tunnel because it was different from the usual sludge, but it was two minor moments lasting seconds in two hours worth of content. As a result of the nonsensical nature of the narrative, there is nothing for the visuals to stand up on, because visuals alone are not that deep, it is the strength of the writing that creates the building blocks for the visuals to thrive on. There's only so much pretty colours can do to mesmerise the audience to a mindless stupor before that too becomes dull.

As has been the case with the entirety of phase four, these are characters with tremendous potential, all squandered, by a distinct lack of imagination, because content takes precedence over creation.


About the Creator


Writing about anime, and anything else I find interesting.

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