It would be Madness to Skip this one
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.
This was mine and many other’s second most awaited film in this Phase of the MCU. The producers of this film knew that and originally, they had lined up this film BEFORE Spiderman No Way Home.
Because they knew this movie wouldn’t be able to top the three spidermen and the unity of all Spiderman’s previous famous villains. However due to some reason, these movies were shifted around. So now people expect Multiverse of Madness to top Spider-man’s 3 Peters cameos.
Well, good news is, it has some great cameos. Bad news is, they are just that. Cameos. Nothing more than that.
With that out of the way, the movie is surprisingly standalone in nature and one needs to have seen only Wanda Vision previously (and obviously the previous Dr Strange movie) for it all to make sense.
For a deeper dive, I will add a list of movies to check out AFTER the review. This list might be considered a spoiler.
Coming back to the movie…
There was so much discussion about the possible cameos in the film that no one stopped to ask, Wait? What’s the story? Is it just Dr Strange wandering through the multiverse and meeting different superheroes?
Thankfully that is not it.
However The story is a bit weak, but good direction by First Time MCU director Sam Raimi (Veteran Director of the first Spiderman Trilogy) elevates the average material into an above average film. That’s what good directors do. Even if the script is a bit weak, they direct away into making an engaging, superbly entertaining film. Dr Strange 2 is certainly those and more.
The movie doesn’t let go of your attention even for a moment. The first half is more or less breathless and the second half is only calmer by a degree. There is a scene in the movie which would excite musicians and how the film’s score is used in a very unique manner.
I am not going to discuss the plot and story of the film at all, keeping things spoiler free. The new character America Chavez (very poor choice of name really) is rather good. She feels settled into the MCU without any effort. She is the soul of the film and the actress Xochitl Gomez does a good job of portraying this new MCU hero. Her character arc is central to the film’s premise.
Dr Strange himself is now emerging as the de-facto leader after Iron Man. Benedict Cumberbatch is a splendid actor and he is totally settled into his role as Strange. I hope he continues to be Dr. Strange for many more years to come.
Other side characters like Wong and Christine are also present and do a decent job. Overall acting is not what people would notice in this film.
The action, the 3D is mind blowing. The multiverse is used relatively less, but it sets up a lot more to come in the MCU. This was supposed to be BEFORE the Spiderman movie, so relatively its scope and scale is slightly smaller than that film.
However that is not a bad thing. The plot stays focused on its main characters without wandering and by the end of it, you need like you have to see it again, just to get all the details.
Rating: 8/10 Easily. The 3D viewing experience is totally needed. The scenes are cut well for 3D and it doesn’t pain the eyes at all.

Overall : After a ok-ok Shang Chi, below average Eternals, this is a Solid entry into the MCU. (Not counting Spiderman as that is joint Sony and Marvel). This is so far the best Phase 4 MCU film by Marvel. For all fans this is a must watch in theaters. For non MCU fans, here is a list of movies to catch up to before this film.

Must Watch:
1. Doctor Strange (2016)
2. Avengers Infinity War / Endgame. (2018-2019)
3. Wanda Vision (2021)

Deep Dive
1. X-Men (2000)
2. Captain Marvel (2019)
3. Marvel’s What if (2021)

Deeper Dive
1. Fantastic Four
2. Inhumans
3. Evil Dead 2

It was hard to sit through this movie.