TL;DR – This is a perfectly okay film, it is not one of Marvel’s best, playing it safe, but solid visuals and cast bring it together.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5.
Post-Credit Scene – There is a mid and end-credit scene
Disclosure – I paid to watch this film.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness Review –
Back all the way in 2016, pre-covid times, Marvel released this new film based on a wizard and full of magic. That first Doctor Strange film was full of beautiful visuals and a bunch of fun once Benedict Cumberbatch found his feet. Since that time, we have had 18 different entries into the MCU, and now it is time to jump back into the weird world.
So to set the scene, since the fallout from Spider-Man: No Way Home, Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) has tried to find some normalcy even though he is famous after the events of Endgame. However, he has to deal with the legacies of his actions or inactions, including being a guest at Christine Palmer’s (Rachel McAdams) wedding and not a part of it. To say it was awkward, well, that is an understatement. Thankfully the wedding is interrupted by screams from the street as there is a disturbance in New York. Which turns out to be a giant one-eyed tentacle monster chasing after a girl. This is normal for an Avenger, and Wong (Benedict Wong) shows up for the team-up. The only difference is that Strange has seen this girl before, in his dreams, and she was there when he died.
TL;DR – In every way, this film stuck the landing, but I can’t help but feel that part of the ending didn’t sit well with me.
Rating: 4 out of 5.
Post-Credit Scene – There is a mid-credit scene and a post-credit scene that you do not have to stay for
Disclosure – I paid to watch this film
Spider-Man: No Way Home Review –
It has been a while since I have seen a film with so much hype building before release like I think not even Avengers Endgame had this much pressure behind it. As I walked into this film, there was a fear that they would never be able to stick the landing because there was such wide expectations as to what this film was meant to be. However, now that I have seen and had some time to ruminate on it, I think they were able to stick the landing, which is almost remarkable.
So to set the scene, in the closing moments of Spider-Man: Far From Home, internet conspiracy nut J. Jonah Jameson (J. K. Simmons) revealed doctored footage alleging Spider-Man was a murderer, but also showing to the world that Spider-Man was actually Peter Parker (Tom Holland). The adverse reaction is immediate and vicious as public opinion shifts against Peter even though he did nothing wrong. The response is so bad that even his friends MJ (Zendaya) and Ned (Jacob Batalon) can’t get into college because they are caught in the blowback. Not wanting his mistake to hurt his friends, Peter makes a trip to 177A Bleecker Street to meet Dr Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch). Strange promises to cast a spell, so everyone forgets that Peter is Spider-Man, but things go badly wrong. Okay, so this is a difficult film to talk about because you can not really discuss it without getting into spoilers at a frighteningly quick pace. So with that in mind, we will give some general impressions and then dive into full spoilers.
Sometimes you go into to see a film and you have no idea that what you are about to watch has been almost tailored just for you. In this case, we have a war film, about just two characters, presented as if it was all filmed in one take. If I was explaining to you what would be the perfect film for me this would not be far off. I bring this up to put some context down before we dive into the world of explosions, gun shots, and every trench under the sun.
So to set the scene, we are in the heights of World War One on the front lines in France, with Germany and their allies on one side and Brittan and their allies on the other. This is trench warfare and every centimetre of territory has been won through a considerable loss of life. It is here where one day Lance Corporal Blake (Dean-Charles Chapman) is roused from his sleep and asked to go on a mission with Lance Corporal Schofield (George MacKay) by General Erinmore (Colin Firth). For you see, overnight the German forces have retreated and many commanders believe that they have them on the run. However, it is actually a ruse, the Germans have just retreated to a more fortified line and they are leading those chasing them into a trap. The boy’s mission is to cross into no-man’s land, travel through enemy controlled territory so they can make it to Colonel Mackenzie (Benedict Cumberbatch) in time to call off the attack and save 1600 lives. Now due to the nature of the film and that it has a staggered release date across the world, I am going to be a bit more cautious with my examples so as to not spoil anything.
TL;DR – While at times this film has moments of technical brilliance, huge issues with tone, and a story we already know to death means that the film ends up being just dull.
Score – 2 out of 5 stars
Post-Credit Scene – There is no post-credit scene
There are warning signs in the industry that happens sometimes that lets you know a studio is not really confident with what they are about to release. This could be not screening it for critiques,or putting an embargo on reviews before release, or in this day and age it is a film suddenly disappearing from the cinema schedule and being sold off to Netflix. Now, this is not always a case of it being a bad film, just a case of the distributors not knowing what they have, see this year’s Annihilation(see review). However,today we look at a film that probably falls squarely into this category.
TL;DR – Infinity War brings everyone together and then tares them apart leaving you with a foreboding as to what will happen next, but also an excitement as they try to work it all out.
Score – 4 out of 5 stars (this is a tentative score, it might change after Part 2)
Post-Credit Scene – There is an end credit scene
It should be no surprise that I have been eagerly awaiting the new Avengers film. In preparation not only did I map out the Marvel Cinematic Universe (see here) but I also ranked every film released in the build-up (see here). However, if I am to be perfectly honest, part of this stemmed from a nervousness, could they stick the landing, could they create a story that would give justice to all the desperate characters they were involved, could they actually bring on Thanos? Well as you can probably tell I have seen the film now, so I can now answer those questions … sort of. Now a quick note today, there will be [SPOILERS] for several of the recently released Marvel films including Thor: Ragnarok (see review) and Black Panther (see review). As well as this, I will try to avoid most of the major spoilers until a paragraph at the end when we discuss the ending, but because of how quick the film moves this is just a general [SPOILER] warning if you have not seen the film yet.
TL;DR – A visual extravaganza, Taika Waititi with the cast and crew gave their all to this film, and it amazing to watch.
Score – 4.5 out of 5 stars
P.S. – There is a Mid and End Credit Scene
Wow, what an amazing end to a film trilogy, and one of the strongest so far for Marvel. I’ve always had a kind of indecisive feeling towards the Thor films so far. They have been a case of fantastic casting matched with just ok storylines. Now when you have Anthony Hopkins going gangbusters, then even a bad script will look good, but overall I just thought the Thor films were ok and nothing more. To be fair, I think it was a testament to the quality of Marvel’s films that while Thor might have been my least favourite Marvel films it was because they were only ok, not fantastic. However, I was honestly wondering with everyone doing their big Cinematic Universes now if superhero fatigue would set in given my relationship with the films so far, but nope this film was a riot from start to end and I highly recommend it. So today we will set the scene, and then have a look at all the factors that went into making the film work. However because of the nature of Thor Ragnarok and its story, we are going to hit spoilers much earlier than we would normally do, so to be on the safe side I am implementing a [SPOILER] warning from this point onwards.
TL;DR – This is visually one of the best Marvel films ever produced, strong cast, overall a great film, though I do have to say these Marvel films are starting to feel a bit safe.
Score – 4 out of 5 stars
P.S. There is a mid and end credit sequence
Well, this Marvel machine keeps on churning, earlier this year we had the fantastic Captain America: Civil War [See Review] which at the time of writing is still on track to be my film of the year, but now Marvel takes a different tack and jumps into the world of the ‘mystical’. In many respects, Doctor Strange is an interesting film because at times it is almost at arms distance from the rest of the cinematic universe, yet also it is almost the most ‘Marvel’ film Marvel has put out.
TL;DR – It’s not the worse film I have ever seen, but it’s not that great, the last third is even pretty good, it is unfortunate that you have to sit through the rest of the film to get to it.
Score – 2.5 out of 5 stars
So at the start of this film, you are reminded that the first Zoolander came out in 2001, wow, it has been a long time between sequels. So the question is, was it worth the wait? did we need a sequel to a reasonably good comedy from 2001?, will the fact that they killed of Justin Beiber in the first 5 minutes of the film absolve it of all wrongs? well not really. With that being said it’s not the worse film I have ever seen, it is just, well, to be honest, a bit of a disappointment.