Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness Review
Director Sam Raimi, most known for directing the iconic Tobey MacGuire Spider-Man trilogy has finally returned his signature style to superhero films with Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.
The film is the second Doctor Strange film and the 5th film and Phase 4 of the MCU’s ever-expanding franchise following Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) and his new acquaintance America Chavez. America(Xochitl Gomez) was first introduced in the Marvel comics in 2011 with a star emblem on the jacket representative of her power (in the comics) to punch her enemies into star fragments.
In this film, America has the power to travel the multiverse but she has trouble controlling her powers. Strange and Wong (Benedict Wong) must travel to distant places to save America and the multiverse. The film tackles themes of love, loss, teamwork, and many other classic Marvel subjects and Raimi uses his impeccable style to further illustrate these themes. The film takes many unexpected twists and turns being a film that utilizes the vast concept of the multiverse as a setting, Marvel fans can count on being pleasantly surprised by certain character cameos.
Films regarding convoluted topics such as time and or multidimensional travel can be gratuitous in its use of special effects while not really taking ample time to flesh out the rules of the universe. Multiverse of Madness, however, uses the already established rules and laws in the Marvel universe to provide context for those who are familiar and tries to limit the amount of exposition for fans who aren’t familiar with the MCU. Since Doctor Strange is the practicer of the mystic arts and Wanda Maximoff/The Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) also appears in the film. So there are plenty of fight scenes incorporating magic and revealing just how powerful certain characters are.
The main plot of bringing America to safety is balanced nicely alongside Strange’s inner turmoil regarding his ex-girlfriend Christine(Rachel McAdams) moving on with her life since the events of The Snap in Infinity War. Cumberbatch’s ability to shift from an insanely powerful superhero to an emotional everyday man dealing with the same issues we all do. Olsen also delivered an incredibly raw and haunting performance.
In comparison to other MCU movies, this one definitely falters in the humor department, trying to harness the “quippiness” of multiple Marvel characters, mainly reminiscent of Iron Man and Star-Lord from the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise. However, the film makes up for its failures with world-building, prolific character development, and overall moving the MCU in a thrilling and anticipating new direction.