“Sam Raimi makes a glorious return to the superhero world with Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. It is a dark, twisted, and action-packed journey with horror vibes”
It is once again time for a new Marvel movie in cinemas with Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. This is the first one of 2022 and the rest of the year is sure to be packed with two more movies. So, is this long-awaited sequel a worthy addition to the MCU?
Sam Raimi has returned to the world of superheroes and he is definitely having fun doing it. Throughout the movie, you could tell it was a Raimi movie. His fingerprints are all over it. I think a Doctor Strange movie was the perfect playground for a director like him. Indeed, he does not hold back. It is a dark and twisted journey into the Multiverse with some horror vibes. But do not worry, every MCU fan can still enjoy this movie. Plus, it is fast paced with a lot of action-packed sequences. It may only be two hours long but it does not waist any time. It fully goes into the madness of the Multiverse.
People often say sequels are never as good as the original. However, I will tell you that here the sequel is better than the first movie. And by a really long shot. The stakes are higher, we are literally talking about multiversal threats. So it sends Doctor Strange on an epic journey. What the first movie set, this one expands it.
Beyond that, it is also very much a Scarlet Witch movie. She is basically as important to the plot as Doctor Strange. WandaVision is a required viewing for this movie. Thus, as a big fan of Wanda, I can tell I was so happy about this. She is an extremely complex character with a tragic story. She has suffered all of her life living one tragedy after the other. Even though, what she does is wrong, you definitely understand her choices. She is very human and I think that’s the appeal of the character. And also the fact that she is the most badass character in the MCU with Captain Marvel. In fact, this movie delivers a lot of Scarlet Witch badassery.
The Multiverse of Madness is exactly what this movie is. It delivers in all the weirdness of the multiverse. However, be careful going into the movie. Do not believe everything the internet tells you. So, do not go into this movie with too many expectations because you will be disappointed. There are several surprises including in the post-credits scene. And these surprises are incredible. Obviously, I cannot tell you about them but there is definitely one that blew my mind. I do not say that lightly. The audience and myself were cheering when we saw it. Some of these surprises have been briefly seen in the TV spots and trailers but I do not want to mention them either so you can really appreciate them. All, I can say is that I was very pleased.
Beyond the surprises, the multiverse is also an exploration of Wanda and Strange and who they are as characters as we see different versions of themselves.
Apart from Strange and Wanda, the other major character is America Chavez who finally makes her debut in the MCU. I love the character in the comics and I was so excited to finally see her in live-action. It does bring us one step closer to the Younger Avengers. And this debut is another important one. Chavez has the power to travel through the multiverse. So, this is a powerful hero. But more importantly, America is a Latino and LGBT character. Although, her queerness is not addressed with words in the movie, she is there, she exists and that already means a lot. On her jacket, she has a LGBTQ+ flag badge and it is quite visible. She also has the LGBT flag printed at the bottom of her jacket. To quote In The Heights, “little details that tell the world we are not invisible.”
However, what is addressed with words are America’s lesbian mothers. America talks about them and we do see them. Yes, it is a little thing but it is so meaningful. Representation always matters.
Furthermore, like in Shang-Chi, America speaks her native language in the movie. Having characters speak their language does matter. I think for a lot of Latino kids this is going to be so important to them. Marvel Studios keeps going into the right direction with representation. They try to represent society as it is in our real world. The comics have a diverse world so it is important that the MCU is trying to give us the same thing.
Benedict Cumberbatch once again displays his talents as Doctor Strange. Plus, he gets to play other versions of the character, which allows him to try different things. I cannot see anyone else in the role. However, the real star of the movie is Elizabeth Olsen. She goes even further than in WandaVision and delivers a tortured and multi-layered performance. In fact, she owns every scene. Indeed, she brings this presence on screen that immediately gets your attention.
Moreover, Xochitl Gomez is amazing as America Chavez. I am so excited to see her in the MCU again. Benedict Wong is as usual delightful as Wong. He always brings both humor and seriousness to the character. There are also other actors and actresses that are simply fantastic in this movie including one that is perfect casting. But these are surprises so I will not mention them.
The score was my biggest worry going into the movie. If I am being honest, Danny Elfman’s work in recent years hasn’t always been memorable. His best work was in the nineties and the beginning of the 2000’s but after that it was a hit and miss. However, I am relieved that his score for the Multiverse of Madness is a return to Elfman’s former glory. Indeed, it is quite memorable and adds a lot to Raimi’s work.
Sam Raimi makes a glorious return to the superhero world with Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. It is a dark, twisted and action-packed journey with horror vibes. Although, Benedict Cumberbatch is fantastic as Doctor Strange, Elizabeth Olsen is the real star of this movie. And Xochitl Gomez is an amazing addition to the cast. Get ready for some great surprises. Moreover, Danny Elfman delivers a memorable score.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness releases on May 5 in the UK and May 6 in the US.