Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness

#Review: Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness

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Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) has returned. That’s right Doctor Strange is back after the events of Spider-Man: No Way Home where he brushed with the concept of the Multiverse. Now in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness Strange has to deal with the full unbridled insanity of the Multiverse. Along this journey with him is universe hopper America Chavez (Xochitl Gomez) who is trying to escape the clutches of an immensely powerful, dangerous and familiar force. If this force of evil gets America in their clutches then they will likely control all of reality for their own twisted needs.

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is a lot of fun. With Sam Raimi at the helm, there is a distinct vision for this film. There is a style that is unlike other MCU films. Think of it in the same vein as Taika Waiti’s Thor: Ragnarok. Raimi brings the distinct vision fans have known him for over the decades.

There are moments that feel reminiscent of films like The Evil Dead, Spider-Man 2 and several of his other pieces of work. Though this is a refreshing change of pace from the norm it does feel like at times that Raimi is pulling from his greatest hits. What this means is you’ll have scenes that feel like homages to his previous work as opposed to wholly original set pieces. It’s a shame because this film excels when it is the perfect fusion of the characters of the MCU and Raimi’s feverish style.

You’ll have to do better than killing me to kill me

This perfect fusion is best exemplified in the final climactic battle. All the most intense imagery mixes with Benedict Cumberbatch’s over the top acting to give a compelling and interesting final battle. Cumberbatch is clearly having a lot of fun in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness getting to play a multitude of Stranges each with his own unique turn on the character. Regarding his travelling partner America Chavez unfortunately Xochitl is not up to the task. She is simply a macguffin. The heroes must keep her out of reach of the villain and that is pretty much it. She doesn’t have any particularly interesting moments in the film and most of the time is spouting exposition. It’s a shame as fans of the character will likely feel there was a missed opportunity here.

The film clocks in at a surprisingly tight 126 minutes but even that unfortunately doesn’t stop pacing issues from cropping up. The second act of the film slows down to try and extend Wanda’s role and give more depth to America’s backstory. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work out for either of them.

Try not to break the multiverse

Now on a subject a lot of people are wondering about. How is Wanda (Elizabeth Olsen) in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness? Honestly, the film handles her with better care than WandaVision did. Raimi understands what she is and her journey in the film is interesting even if it’s predictable. Olsen brings her best with this latest portrayal of Wanda.

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is a visually engaging film with some of the most distinct and wild imagery in the MCU. It pushes the darkness of the MCU as far as it’s likely ever to go and doesn’t try to make light of its situations with poorly placed jokes. Also with Danny Elfman composing the score of the film he lends a disturbing as well as eccentric feel to the whole film especially when some of those more intense scenes happen.

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is out Thursday, April 5th. Stay tuned to Scannain for more news, reviews and interviews.