***This is a spoiler free review.***

Last night I saw the Doctor Strange sequel and let me say this right off the bat, it’s nothing like you’re expecting it to be. This could be seen as a good, or a bad thing, or both.

It’s a good thing because this is a pure Sam Raimi movie. It has all the Raimi nuisances and style you’re expecting. It’s over-the-top, a bit corny at times, as well as a hint of campy. Think back to his EVIL DEAD and SPIDER-MAN movies and you’re getting a lot of influence from his old films. Especially some of the horror elements from his older work.

It’s a bad thing if you’re looking for something fresh from the filmmaker that you’ve never seen before because you’re not getting that. Although it is a fresh take for the Marvel Cinematic Universe because we have yet to see real horror elements in this universe.

One thing I have to note is how much more horror there is than weirdness. I expected a ton of weirdness in this sequel and sadly that did not happen. Sure there’s a little bit here and there, but way less than I hoped for going into my press screening. But the lack of weirdness is made up for with those much needed horror moments finally seen in the MCU.

The movie finds Doctor Strange learning way more about the multiverse than he ever knew. The main plot line of the movie is that America Chavez can open portals to travel throughout the multiverse and because of that power she is being hunted for it. She’s special, and one-of-a-kind, but does not yet know how to control her power outside of when she's in fear. Strange must protect her because of her unique ability.

Both Strange and Wong quickly realize they are dealing with demons and witchcraft and who better to get help from than Wanda Maximoff.

Wanda, when we last saw her after the events of WANDAVISION, has the Darkhold in her possession and the book has made her more powerful than ever. She is still very sad about losing her children she manifested in WANDAVISION and the Darkhold is teaching her about the multiverse to show her a way to reconnect to her children. This is Wanda's driving force. 

The pacing of this movie might be one of the fastest paced films Marvel Studios has ever released. Right after the Marvel Studios logo you are thrust into the action and it is really non-stop from the start making this movie's two hour and six minute runtime fly by. There is so much going on throughout when the credits roll you don’t feel like you were shorted at all from the fast pacing. But buckle up because you’re in a for roller coaster ride that gets you everywhere you need to go in the story very fast.

While I am trying to stay vague as possible to allow you to see all the reveals and surprises, the Illuminati scene will get cheers and applause but it will also get many the gasps, too. I’ll let you experience all that for yourself.

This next paragraph is to temper your expectations. All the cameos and guest appearances you think you might get… you will not get. There’s not a crazy amount of cameos from other universes outside of the roster of the Illuminati. Sorry to rip that bandaid off for you but I am doing this so you can lower those overly exciting expectations and theories you have about possible hero appearances. That really special cameo you are hoping for during Strange's trips through the multiverse... will not happen. Again, sorry to be the bearer of this news but better to know this now so you're not disappointed at the end when you didn't get to see Deadpool or whoever else you might think could appear.

Finally, I expected this movie would deal with the events of Doctor Strange opening the multiverse in SPIDER-MAN: NO WAY HOME and this is not the case. This is definitely a direct sequel to WANDAVISION way more than anything that happened in the most recent Spidey movie. The marketing of this sequel has not set the right tone for what you think you're expecting and what you're actually getting.

Overall, this is such a fun movie that has director Sam Raimi's stamps all over the place it should be a big hit for MCU fans. It won't make SPIDER-MAN: NO WAY HOME money in the box office, but not many more than a handful of movies have ever done that much anyway. 

One last thing, there’s two credits scenes with the first progressing Strange’s story forward and the second being some more of that good old Raimi slapstick humor.

Review written by Daniel Wolf, Founder and Publisher

[Official images courtesy of Marvel Studios and Disney]