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Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness - May 2022


Captain Kelsten
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10 hours ago, freezycold said:

Did anyone else get that bloody awful Topgun preview before?

 

Yes. I'm not sure it had the desired effect, as any interest I had in watching it totally evaporated.

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1 hour ago, Gabe said:

I think my general Marvel fatigue has come from the fact that so many teasers, loose ends and plot threads just go nowhere or take years to come to fruition, or require you to watch 3 TV shows, a couple of films and still have some comic knowledge to really 'get it'. 

Ha - a lot of this is basically why I love it!  I actually don’t think, historically at least, they’ve left that many loose ends, or plot cul-de-sacs.  For me the coherency of how you can go back to the early films and see things planted that don’t bear out for films and films is nothing short of astounding, particularly in an age where Michael Bay and Roland Emmerich are still allowed to make films.  I will also say I have no in-depth knowledge of the comics and don’t feel like it’s ever hampered my understanding of the films. 
 

I‘m not trying to convince you to see something you’re not seeing, though - different horses for different courses.  And if you’ve got fatigue, I say take a break from it. 

 

 

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2 minutes ago, Kodamarama said:

Ha - a lot of this is basically why I love it!  I actually don’t think, historically at least, they’ve left that many loose ends, or plot cul-de-sacs.  For me the coherency of how you can go back to the early films and see things planted that don’t bear out for films and films is nothing short of astounding, particularly in an age where Michael Bay and Roland Emmerich are still allowed to make films.  I will also say I have no in-depth knowledge of the comics and don’t feel like it’s ever hampered my understanding of the films. 
 

I‘m trying to convince you to see

something you’re not seeing, though - different horses for different courses.  And if you’ve got fatigue, I say take a break from it. 

 

 

You're quite possibly right, I should say I'm aiming my criticism at post-Endgame stuff, where it feels like every film needs to leave a breadcrumb trail to at least 5 new characters and/or plot strands. It doesn't help that I genuinely haven't like 90% of the Phase 4 films & TV shows.

 

I stand by having no clue who the core team is meant to be though when they do have some kind of team-up film. It feels like there's this whole group of biege, with no standout characters. But, again, that could just be because I am a bit tired of it at the moment.

 

Roll on July ;)

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It is starting to feel a bit like every movie only got the instructions “feature multiverse” and “introduce 3 superheroes”. Surely some sort of connecting tissue beyond “a multiverse exists” should have appeared by now? A villain or a gizmo or something? I thought they’d already picked one in Loki but apparently not.

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6 minutes ago, Gabe said:

You're quite possibly right, I should say I'm aiming my criticism at post-Endgame stuff, where it feels like every film needs to leave a breadcrumb trail to at least 5 new characters and/or plot strands. It doesn't help that I genuinely haven't like 90% of the Phase 4 films & TV shows.

 

I stand by having no clue who the core team is meant to be though when they do have some kind of team-up film. It feels like there's this whole group of biege, with no standout characters. But, again, that could just be because I am a bit tired of it at the moment.

 

Roll on July ;)

 

Kate Bishop and her merry men + girl.

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Yeah - all totally valid IMO @Gabe.  I suppose I would agree there’s less apparent coherency now, and I’m quite surprised that they haven’t capitalised on the covid “break” to get ahead with lining some things up and signposting where this is all heading (including what you say about core team).
 

They’ve become absolutely top-notch at keeping secrets in the bag as long as they possibly can, but perhaps they’ve become so good at it on a film-to-film basis that they’ve forgotten the art of building hype for the longer-term goals. 

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1 minute ago, Kodamarama said:

They’ve become absolutely top-notch at keeping secrets in the bag as long as they possibly can, but perhaps they’ve become so good at it on a film-to-film basis that they’ve forgotten the art of building hype for the longer-term goals. 

 

As people have said (here or resetera) - there wasn't really an overarching goal that was *that* obvious in the first set of films up to Endgame. There were some glowy stones running around, and Brolin would turn up occasionally in an end credits scene. But until the end of Thor:Raganrok I don't think he really appeared on screen in full - and then Ant-Man and the Wasp had the barest of tie-ins. Other than that, it was just the occasional superhero crossing over and people getting annoyed with Tony.

 

Civil War - follow on to everyone hates Tony.

Doctor Strange - bugger all connection except there's a glowy stone.

GoTG Vol 2 - ditto, but don't even remember the glowy stone.

Spider-Man Homecoming - no connection, but a Tony.

Thor R - Thanos turns up at the end, but we know Endgame is next year.

Black Panther - no connection.

Infinity War - obvious connection.

Ant Man and the wasp - end credits only.

Captain Marvel - only connection is the end credits from Infinity War, and that didn't pay off.

Endgame.

 

Hell, if we look at Phase 2, there's pretty much nothing much outside of Iron Man 3 (and barely) leading into Age of Ultron.

 

It's not a "film by film" build - outside of a couple of macguffins that often aren't even necessary to the plot or the motivation of the characters -  and never really has been.

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It’s obvious the multiverse is being setup so we can have the reset button pressed on loads of the main actors and recast them in some way. 

 This is just the initial  - get the audience that don’t read comics used to the concept phase. 

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1 hour ago, Gabe said:

I've been reading the massive thread over on Era and the reaction has been quite mixed too, with a lot of criticism of thin character motivations/development, many who love it just because it's a Raimi film and those who love the potential set ups that it might bring. 

 

 


I noped out of the thread at Era, they seem happy ripping this film to shreds, and I really don’t think there’s a happy soul on that forum sometimes. But, I didn’t have a problem with Wanda’s role either, these are movies where I’m just along for the ride. 

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I won't be watching until it's available to stream but did America Chavez do ok? She's an absolute badass powerhouse in the comics. Very self confident.

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56 minutes ago, Gabe said:

I think my general Marvel fatigue has come from the fact that so many teasers, loose ends and plot threads just go nowhere or take years to come to fruition, or require you to watch 3 TV shows, a couple of films and still have some comic knowledge to really 'get it'. 

 

That, plus I genuinely have no idea who the 'main' team-up crew is meant to even be now, because there are too many characters and none of them have an ounce of the charisma, confidence (/arrogance) or just screen presence as RDJ or Chris Evans. I can't think of anyone out of the many we've seen and been introduced to are big enough to hang an ensemble cast around. Anybody know? 

 

I really enjoyed Dr Strange for its 2 hours (that really helped, it not being bloated) as a standalone story.  It's a good, exciting and entertaining movie.  I think it's tighter and more coherent than No Way Home and is a better movie as a result.  I was actually expecting/hoping for something wackier - the title 'multiverse of madness' perhaps oversold how crazy it would be.

 

However, in the grander scheme of the MCU it has continued the trend which leads to me agreeing with the above.

 

I've kept up to date on the TV shows and movies, but they no longer have a feeling of co-existing in a coherent storyline to the degree that they did pre-endgame, and crucially as pointed out above I can't see how they're going to gather together a collective team that it's worth caring about for a larger story.

 

Despite going through the events of the Infinity Saga, very few of the surviving 'Avengers' seem to give a shit about each other, despite the fact that it was assembling as a team that saved the universe.

 

Having created this 'everything matters, everything's part of one story' type universe, I don't think that it's wrong to criticise them when it appears they're dropping the ball in that regard.  The events of Eternals, for example, which were obviously meant to be quite epic, seem to have taken place in a total bubble with earth's great protectors seemingly not interested or even aware.

 

As for people trying to criticise this film for political reasons, that seems like utter nonsense to me, both from the 'right' and the 'left'.  Just as people of varying backgrounds can appear in these movies without that being 'forced diversity' or 'woke' I think there also needs to be an acceptance that female characters can go through certain journeys without that being 'mysoginistic' just because one may have hoped for a different fate for a certain character.  It is, afterall, a kid's movie about wizards and witches travelling through a multiverse, not a gender studies thesis.  It's just inoffensive entertainment that gives off virtually no moral messages at all, let alone immoral messages.

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28 minutes ago, Flub said:

I won't be watching until it's available to stream but did America Chavez do ok? She's an absolute badass powerhouse in the comics. Very self confident.


This is basically about her finding her mojo.

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46 minutes ago, Flub said:

I won't be watching until it's available to stream but did America Chavez do ok? She's an absolute badass powerhouse in the comics. Very self confident.

 

Nope gutted we didn't see that version of her, she's the complete opposite until the end. Even then its not the bad ass we know yet.

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Didn’t expect that to be so Evil Dead or who the Big Bad was gonna be and how Bad they were going to be. Which is surprising as I rinsed all the trailers. Was alright though, plenty of fan service tick boxes to go “yeah I know that thing!”, e.g the TV theme song blast.

 

re: woman, they totally sacked off and reversed the character development and nuance of the TV series, where she had accepted her fate in the end, just so that she could go H.A.M. with power in this one. Best/worst bit was making the multiverse expert wait outside so that the men could have a chat.

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1 hour ago, mikeyl said:

re: woman, they totally sacked off and reversed the character development and nuance of the TV series, where she had accepted her fate in the end, just so that she could go H.A.M. with power in this one. Best/worst bit was making the multiverse expert wait outside so that the men could have a chat.

This is one of the big things in the Era thread - the point being that this films tone was actually clearly signposted in the tv show (via the end credit scene, admittedly). There was no redemption in the series at all. 

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2 hours ago, Flub said:

I won't be watching until it's available to stream but did America Chavez do ok? She's an absolute badass powerhouse in the comics. Very self confident.

Short answer, no.

 

Longer answer (no specific plot spoilers but some character spoilers)

Spoiler

She is a plot device with no real agency for 95% of her screen time, existing mainly to look scared. 

 

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9 minutes ago, Gabe said:

This is one of the big things in the Era thread - the point being that this films tone was actually clearly signposted in the tv show (via the end credit scene, admittedly). There was no redemption in the series at all. 


yeah that’s the problem. The end credit scene has no relationship to the stages of grief and acceptance they series was going for throughout the 6 episodes. Clearly inserted by the Machine afterwards to sell a movie.

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28 minutes ago, mikeyl said:

 has no relationship to the stages of grief and acceptance they series was going for throughout the 6 episodes

 

I think you watched a different tv show to me.

 

Spoiler

In the tv show:

- The main character held an entire town in thrall because they were both sad and powerful.

- They conjured a family out of thin air.

- Their next door neighbour was an evil witch, who'd quite like the powers of the Scarlet Witch (and note it was always the Scarlet Witch and not "wanda") for herself. The evil witch used, I think, RED magic. Red magic is the worst magic.

- People really didn't like witches.

- Wanda ran away from town thinking everyone hated her: and she was right, they did because she'd tortured them.

 

(end except for the end credits scene - but there's no external consequences for Wanda at this point, or anything to suggest she's actually given up or has remorse for what she's done)

 

- And went away to live in a cabin, with her new big corrupting book of evil from next door. Glowing Red, and becoming the Scarlet Witch in truth.

 

there was little acceptance, and - more importantly - no consequences  to stop them doing this again. it didn't have closure. This did.

 

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i mean from the avclub review of the last episode of Wandavision: my reading isn't entirely just because I've since watched Dr. Strange - it was all there, on the page, at the time.

 

 

Spoiler

Wanda doesn’t need Agatha, or anyone else, to tell her who she is. She’s the Scarlet Witch, with power beyond measure, and she’s not afraid.

 

---

 

It’s not all “she lived happily ever after,” though. Wanda must finally let go of Vision and their children. Olsen and Bettany are wonderful in a heartbreaking scene that’s possibly the last time we’ll see them together. The White Vision or Cataract (also Bettany) is still out there, with his memories restored, but the Vision Wanda and the viewers have grown to love is but a memory.

 

The final scene is classic Marvel. As Wanda leaves Westview after removing the Hex, she walks past the residents who still bear the psychic scars from her breakdown. No one says anything—who would dare?—but their contempt is obvious and understandable. Mutants might not exist in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (for now) but Wanda lives the mutant life from the comics: hated, feared, and misunderstood.

 

---

 

Agatha called the Darkhold the “book of the damned,” so it’s probably not a good sign that the Scarlet Witch is studying it so obsessively.

 

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She tearfully gave up the family she had conjured up out of thin air after coming to terms with the hellish, irrevocable damage that it had caused.

 

So her next move is to just jump right back on that same train? It’s an interesting character turn, like if the end of A Christmas Carol Scrooge poisoned the Cratchett turkey to collect their insurance money.

 

I guess if you just want your movies to be about Bad Guy doing Bad Things because they own The Bad Book That Makes You Evil that seems like a good choice?

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I’m not even saying necessarily that “Wanda breaks bad because of the unspeakable horror she has caused” is a bad choice. But this specific “Wanda literally dives headlong in to a worse version of the thing she just realised had too high a cost” is moronic. It’s something fucking Skeletor would do.

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TBH if the (male) Christian/religious Right keeps trying to fuck with women’s bodies, I could see me picking up a copy of the Darkhold in Waterstones and getting some Big Wanda Energy. 

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37 minutes ago, Alex W. said:

She tearfully gave up the family she had conjured up out of thin air after coming to terms with the hellish, irrevocable damage that it had caused.

 

So her next move is to just jump right back on that same train? It’s an interesting character turn, like if the end of A Christmas Carol Scrooge poisoned the Cratchett turkey to collect their insurance money.

 

I guess if you just want your movies to be about Bad Guy doing Bad Things because they own The Bad Book That Makes You Evil that seems like a good choice?

That's the whole point though, it's not really a character turn. 

 

Spoiler

She gives up Vision and the kids because she gets caught and knows they aren't real, not because of remorse.

 

She also inflicts a horrible torture on Agatha before she has even touched the book, let alone read it, then swans off into the sunset without any repercussions, aided by a truly terrible little speech from Monica that I guess some took as being her redemption ("They'll never know what you sacrificed for them" is just awful writing when she had a whole town in thrall and mental torture.) 

 

Wanda wasn't 'good' at any point in her own series, just shades of bad.

 

1 hour ago, mikeyl said:


yeah that’s the problem. The end credit scene has no relationship to the stages of grief and acceptance they series was going for throughout the 6 episodes. Clearly inserted by the Machine afterwards to sell a movie.

Based on what has been said over at Era (I can't recall if it was based on what show runners have said or not) that end credit scene wasn't added post-haste to fit this film, it was always intended to be there.

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Furthermore, the end credit scene clearly spells out that nothing was learned during the show:

 

Spoiler

We see what we think is Wanda walking into her cabin but then see her actually studying the book - so she has created another false reality to exist in.

 

You don't even need to see this film to understand things have gone bad, because it is right there on screen at the end of Wanda Vision.

 

Edit: I am enjoying this conversation more than the actual film! 

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If Wanda’s not meant to be sympathetic, they wasted an awful lot of that series and its cast telling the audience she is.
 

Not that Wandavision’s got some perfect story and character arc figured out - it’s lumbering on top of stumbling really. But it’s hard to square a show that ends with her sitting in the ruins of tragic hubris trying to figure out what to do next, and a movie where she’s seemingly concluded that actually she was right in the first place.
 

She works fine as a grief-deranged movie villain, and who in a delicious end-of-movie turn realises the bitter irony in her pursuit, and so on. But you can’t honestly look at the film and the series and go “yeah, that journey paid off”.

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I think the series did a fine job of

 

Spoiler

giving her a reason to be a baddie. I also think it's fine for us to have sympathy with her at the beginning and then not by the end. Look at pretty much all of the big TV hitters of the "Golden Age of TV." The issue is when you spend so much time giving someone the motivation to be a baddy baddie and then throw that out of the window and have her spend a whole film saying "my boys my boys I need to look after my boys!" 

 

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There's a huge disconnect between where we leave Wanda at the end of WV and where she is at the start of DS2.

It's a journey that arguably "makes sense" but we're told not shown

 

Spoiler

Her study of the Darkhold "corrupts" her. It's never really explained what this means but it all happens off screen

She finds out her invented kids are real in other (every?) universe

She 'dreams' of her invented kids real alternatives every night.

 

This pushes her from "can't control an entire town for a fantasy" to "can take one life to have her new reality' (and keep it safe. That's why she wants the power rather than AC's help) - might be 2 lives as its not clear where the Wanda she'll replace will go.

 

(Note - I really wasn't a fan of the move from WV where she want's Vision/their future to DS2 where she wants kids. KIDS. A woman wants kids to be happy. KIDS! KIDS! VIsion who? KIDS!)

 

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