doctor strange in the multiverse of madness
STARRING: benedict cumberbatch, elizabeth olsen, Xochitl Gomez and benedict wong
REVIEWER: lyall carter
Dr Stephen Strange casts a forbidden spell that opens a portal to the multiverse. However, a threat emerges that may be too big for his team to handle.
When it comes to knocking it out of the park Marvel did that and then some with Spider-Man: No Way Home in terms of the narrative and fan service like nothing else since Avengers: Endgame. As a result there's a lot of pressure on Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. But Marvel has done it once again. While some elements of the narrative will require multiple viewings, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is an entertaining whirlwind ride through the multiverse with breathtaking sequences, fantastical visuals, plenty of surprises and director Sam Raimi’s horror fingerprints all over it.
To restore a world where everything is changing, Strange seeks help from his ally Wong, the Sorcerer Supreme, and the Avengers' most powerful Scarlet Witch, Wanda. But a terrible threat looms over humanity and the entire universe that no longer can be done by their power alone. Even more surprising, the greatest threat in the universe looks exactly like Doctor Strange.
Narratively the Multiverse of Madness works both as a piece of entertainment, fan service, and continuing the MCU story arc. Because of the nature of the film with its multiverse dimensions, the Multiverse of Madness generally does a great job in holding all of the different worlds and the complications of getting there together. But even with my knowledge of the MCU there were a couple of moments where I felt like I needed to hit the pause button and rewind to rewatch a particular point to completely comprehend it. Some of the narrative points felt a little rushed and not completely fleshed out which most probably is a result of the film running for about thirty minutes less than a normal Marvel film. Also after No Way Home I was looking for the big cameo or Easter egg moments. My biggest piece of advice: don’t do that. Just sit back and enjoy the show.
Multiverse of Madness is Marvel’s most stunning looking film yet from the vastly different worlds that Doctor Strange goes crashing through to the almost B horror movie monsters he fights in the streets, it really is a visual smorgasbord to behold. Sam Raimi’s Evil Dead horror fingerprints are all over the Multiverse of Madness bringing some truly grotesque moments and creatures kicking and screaming into the MCU. Danny Elfman’s score is brilliant and is a bit mad and heart felt all at once.
Benedict Cumberbatch is great at Doctor Strange, stirring in the more emotive scenes and commanding in the action packed sequences. Benedict Wong’s Wong is given depth and more to do, and newcomer Xochitl Gomez steals scenes left, right and center as America Chavez. But the MVP is Olsen’s Scarlet Witch building on the foundation of previous outings and the Disney Plus hit show WandaVision to give us a brilliantly complex character.
While some elements of the narrative will require multiple viewings, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is an entertaining whirlwind ride through the multiverse with breathtaking sequences, fantastical visuals, plenty of surprises and director Sam Raimi’s horror fingerprints all over it.