In Marvel Studios’ “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness,” the MCU unlocks the Multiverse and pushes its boundaries further than ever before. Journey into the unknown with Doctor Strange, who, with the help of mystical allies both old and new, traverses the mind-bending and dangerous alternate realities of the Multiverse to confront a mysterious new adversary.
What We Thought:
First, if you haven’t seen WandaVision on Disney+ you are going to need to see that before seeing Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. Despite it being a Doctor Strange film, Elizabeth Olsen’s Wanda Maximoff / Scarlet Witch is a central character and is very important to the plot and seeing WandaVision will explain a lot that those who haven’t seen the show won’t understand. Can you see the film without knowing how she became the Scarlet Witch and knowing about her two sons? Probably, but it’s a lot easier to follow along knowing her development after Avengers: Endgame.
Second, if you are a Sam Raimi fan you will totally dig it. Disney loves to tinker with Marvel movies and you can see some Mickey Mouse and Snow White Easter eggs in the film, but it is 100% a Raimi movie. You get his mix of horror and comedy, his camera tricks and style and maybe a surprise cameo you will definitely know is coming if you have seen all his movies. As a Raimi fan myself, I recognized as many Raimi Easter eggs as there were Disney/Marvel ones.
As for the film, I liked it. I think I liked it a lot. I understand why others didn’t like it though. It’s the least MCU-type film in a long time. If you are expected the lightness of Endgame or Shang-Chi, that’s not happening here. Raimi brings his horror background to the Sorcerer Supreme. It’s creepy and dark and has flying demons and is nightmarish and all of that is why I liked it. I think Benedict Cumberbatch is a fantastic actor and was born to play Doctor Stephen Strange and he takes him to another level here because of Raimi. This is a much different Doctor Strange than what we saw in his first movie and Avengers flicks. This is the version I like with crazy adventures and Vincent Price style hair. Cumberbatch is a chameleon of an actor and despite playing this character numerous times already, he brings something new to him.
It has its flaws of course and again I understand why people might not like it because of them. It’s a bit jumpy at times and the first quarter of the film feels so much different than the rest. It opens with an action sequence, introduces us to America Chavez and throws her in the universe of our heroes. She can travel through the multiverse, but doesn’t know how to control her powers. Then it takes a hard left with the majority of the film being about Doctor Strange and Wanda. Wanda wants America’s powers and it comes down to Strange trying to protect her throughout the multiverse. In all honesty you could have cut the Chavez character completely and just had Wanda trying to travel the multiverse and Strange chasing after her with spells and magic. I heard complaints about the writing and story and I understand that, but I can get passed that because of Raimi’s touches.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is about to make a ton of money. It won’t do Spider-Man: No Way Home money, but it’s gonna make bank at the box office. People love their MCU flicks and have to see them all in order to follow along. Now you can add Disney+ shows to that list of necessary viewing to understand storylines. Despite its flaws, it’s something I’ll definitely watch again and own on home video when it gets released. Raimi takes us on a fun adventure and brings horror to the MCU. Danny Elfman’s score is absolutely brilliant and brings another level to the film as well. It will be a movie MCU fans debate over, but I’m on the side of enjoying it and there are a couple of cameos the audience will scream over that I won’t even hint at. Come on, you already know if you are going to see it or not.