We watched "Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness" today. It was good! More interesting than Spider-Man: No Way Home, and with a couple of interesting twists.

No spoilers below, just an abstract obervation on the film and the context needed to see it.
The movie explains itself well enough and doesn't entangle itself too much with other things.

I was expecting it to be like "an episode in the MCU Season 4" where you'd be entirely lost without the full 30-something films and the several recent TV series, but actually I'd say you only need them for character depth and to catch several references.

Of course I'm saying this as someone who *has* seen all the films and TV series except Agents of Shield. But judging from the others in the group the challenge is mostly following a multiverse, alternate-versions storyline, not so much the specific backstory.

story prerequisites, very indirect spoilers, less spoily than the trailer 

If you *do* want to study up on backstory, I think it's very helpful to watch:
- WandaVision
- Infinity War
- The Dr. Strange episode of What If
- Maybe the first Dr. Strange film

The rest ... actually mostly not important. But if you want deep background to catch references etc:
- The other 8 What If
- No Way Home just for more Dr. Strange, but Multiverse of Madness is not "No Way Home II" like I thought it would be
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@clacke I'd never heard of What If. Thanks for the tip! Also for the critical review, I'm much keener to see the new Dr Strange now. I was quite disappointed by both The Eternals and No Way Home, the former having most of the failings of Justice League, and the latter, ironically, the failings of the Maguire and Garfield era Spiderman films. Loved Black Widow and Shang-Chi though, so hadn't given up on the MCU.

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@strypey Yeah No Way Home was mostly a spiderman fanbase reference fest, but not much really happened. Like, I liked it, but it wasn't objectively good. =)

Madness is not like that, it has some of that good "what capacity for good and evil do we have" and "how do experiences shape us" material that a multiverse flick is good for. It wasn't amazing (although the effects were), but it was solid and well worth the time. For people who enjoy scifi fantasy multiversy stuff.
@strypey What If is fun and interesting and less than a five-hour investment for all nine episodes.

It's animated and the storytelling is very brisk, as it'll cover a whole alternate universe in less than half an hour.
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