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Movie Review

Release Date: 04/22/22
Genre: Action/Adventure/Fantasy

Studio: Marvel Studios


"Dr. Stephen Strange casts a forbidden spell that opens the doorway to the multiverse, including alternate versions of himself, whose threat to humanity is too great for the combined forces of Strange, Wong, and Wanda Maximoff."


Doctor Strange may be back but it’s truly Wanda’s turn in the spotlight. Raimi delivers some truly worthy performances from all involved, but Cumberbatch and Olsen are better than ever as they continue to dissolve themselves deeper into their characters. 


Sam Raimi has a distinct horror style behind his direction, you can see it in parts of his original Spider-Man trilogy as well, but here Raimi has riskily blended comic book with horror in possibly the most creative MCU film to date. His camerawork here is second to none and really brings the energy the last few films in the MCU have been lacking behind the camera. However just because it decides to mix genres in a fun and dynamic way isn’t a reason to think it doesn’t have some serious story flaws. 


The film is messy in its pacing - this is a fact, but in the wonder of the multiverse they’ve created you can sometimes forgive it. The story is practically (or should I say mainly digitally) a big chase scene between Doctor Strange and Wanda (yes, she’s the big bad…it’s not like you didn’t see it coming). As we jump around from universe to universe, there’s some fantastic visuals present but I expected more in the form of cameos to distinguish these particular universes’ heroes.


We get a splattering of some really great cameos all shoved in one scene and a brilliant cameo by Bruce Campbell that calls back his Evil Dead / Army of Darkness days, but with all the hype surrounding the cameos - it was a major letdown. Rachel McAdams is back in a lengthy supporting role and Wong is back as the Sorcerer Supreme but don’t expect too many of the identities you’ve come to know from previous MCU films make a return. 


Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness introduces us to a new character in the MCU, America Chavez played by Xochitl Gomez. Gomez’ presence as the young and naive Chavez really works here as we get to see her hone in on her powers and watch them evolve. She’s introduced to us as a mystery for people unfamiliar with the comics (raising my hand) so I’ll keep this vague just as the film did from the start; however the way she’s introduced alongside Doctor Strange felt manic and haphazard in its execution. From the opening scene we are thrown into a huge CGI battle, something Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 did as well but with much more charm, here it’s almost numbing and that’s how the film begins. Luckily the film drifts away from these types of monster setpieces rather quickly in favor of more Wanda centric villainy and the film is so much better for it. 


Sam Raimi has delivered a perfect embodiment of his superhero days and horror legacy in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness’ aesthetic, but its depth is not nearly as expansive as a story existing in the infinite multiverse should be.

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