The action sequences are fun—a spoiler-free review of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. The film has both the visual style and horror elements, and it does quite well, though the personal journeys are missing.
The Marvel Cinematic Universe MCU meets horror in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. Directed by Sam Raimi, whose last foray into the world of superheroes was with Spider-Man 3 from a script by Michael Waldron, Doctor Strange 2 is visually stunning. It dares to do what other MCU movies haven’t, elevating its effects and cinematography to set it apart from its predecessors. The action sequences are fun and coupled with the film’s visual style and horror elements. It does quite well, though the personal journeys are lacking.
Dr. Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) is having unclear strange dreams. He sees America Chavez (Xochitl Gomez) and a ponytailed version of himself running towards something and away from the horrible monster chasing them. In one of the moments, Doctor Strange soon realizes that it is not a dream, and he is experiencing another universe entirely. But it doesn’t take long for the sorcerer and Wong (Benedict Wong), now the Sorcerer Supreme, to meet America in his world. Creatures, who work for someone trying to steal America’s powers are chasing her, allowing her to travel between all dimensions of the multiverse. She joins Wong and Doctor Strange, who attempt to recruit Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen), now turned Scarlet Witch, as they work to find the Book of the Vishanti.
Apart from review, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness leaves a lot to be desired on an emotional level. Doctor Strange always repeatedly asks himself if he is happy. It is a valid question, but the problem is that the stakes personally for Stephen Strange, being a superhero, are beyond. They are non-existent because the first movie failed to establish such things. The MCU hasn’t been excellently following up on the emotional line. Doctor Strange 2 would like the audience to believe that the wizard regrets not having done enough to save a relationship with Christine, a regret he look to harbor throughout the film.
However, if the MCU had better laid the groundwork for it, it would have been more emotionally effective. It is more of a shrug than anything substantial here, lacking the necessary depth and feeling to make it resonate. The same thing goes for America Chavez’s arc. While the character gets some fantastic scenes showing what he’s capable of, the history of America changes briefly, with most of his backstory relegated to one brief scene. While there’s never a dull moment, the sequel moves pretty quickly in an attempt to push its plot forward, leaving almost everyone’s character development by the wayside.
Doctor Strange 2 is more of a showcase for Wanda, an extension of the story that began in Wanda Vision. She has come a long way since Avengers: Age of Ultron, and this movie shows her powers to the full extent of her powers, which have grown since the end of her Wanda Vision series. Exactly how she wears them and why she is sure to excite audiences, though her actions here are better understood having seen Wanda Vision .first. However, unlike the other characters, Wanda’s story comes full circle, and Elizabeth Olsen makes the most of it to work in terms of delivering an emotional performance. Rachel McAdams has more to do in this movie than Christine Palmer does in the last one, which is a refreshing and better use of her talents.
Visually, the film takes a journey to another level. Raimi weaves in horror elements that are just fantastic, elevating the film from a cheesy multiverse adventure to a creepy and somewhat unsettling horror ride. One scene shows America, Doctor Strange and Christine standing, waiting before a shadow runs past and a figure, drenched in blood and angry, appears in front of them. It is a fabulous scary moment, and scenes like this help build tension throughout the film. It is definitely a Sam Raimi movie in that sense. Cinematographer John Mathieson does a wonderful job with the multiverse. He distinguishes each world from the others with splashes of bright colour or dark, steely grays in places that have seen the better screen. A scene that sees America and Doctor Strange traversing the various dimensions of the multiverse is tremendous. It gives the audience a glimpse of what’s out there in a unique way. While the multiverse is a nice playground, it still doesn’t feel like using it to its full potential. It is as if Marvel wanted to play in the sandbox of the multiverse without taking too many risks or going all-in.
Overall, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is solid, if not innovative. The movie focuses mostly on its plot, which forgets to give the characters, except for Wanda, any real development. The pacing moves very fast, and while there is never a dull moment. There are many points where the story could have slowed down a bit to allow for more of a relationship between the characters. It is a major weak point in an otherwise good film. The sequel features enough information to move forward into the future of the MCU while telling a relatively closed story. However, what sets Doctor Strange 2 apart is its aesthetic and horror elements, which makes me glad Raimi decided to direct it.
On May 6, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness opens in theatres. It is 126 minutes long (2hours 6 minutes) and is rated PG-13. And the conclusion of the review of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is Sam Raimi brought his horror presentation into a superhero movie which makes the movie very interesting.