“Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness”

MOVIE THEATER REVIEW: “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” stars Benedict Cumberbatch (Star Trek Into Darkness, The Power of the Dog), Elizabeth Olsen (Wind River, Godzilla [2014]), Benedict Wong (Annihilation [2018], The Martian), Xochitl Gomez (The Baby Sitters Club [TV series], Roped), Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 Years a Slave, Dirty Pretty Things), Rachel McAdams (Game Night [2018], Mean Girls), Michael Stuhlbarg (Call Me by Your Name, The Shape of Water), and Bruce Campbell (The Evil Dead, Bubba Ho-Tep). It is directed by Sam Raimi (Spider-Man [2002], Oz the Great and Powerful), and written by Michael Waldron (Loki [TV series], Heels [TV series]).

When Doctor Strange (Cumberbatch) crosses paths with a girl who uncontrollably travels through the multiverses, he must protect her from The Scarlet Witch (Olsen), who seeks to use her power for personal gain.

The multiverse is here and ready to take your hard-earned cash and time. Because if there’s one thing to say about the MCU, it’s that it takes a lot of committment to keep in the loop of things.

Guys, I think I’m done with the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Not the most chipper way to start off a review, but these days I just don’t get excited over a Marvel movie. “Spider-Man: No Way Home” surprised me, and I wouldn’t mind seeing “Thor: Love and Thunder” or “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3,” but am I really clamoring to get a seat for these big budget superhero capers? Not really. At this point, it’s all about being in the know. And I had to watch a whole season of “WandaVision” to even be in the know of “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.” It’s all serialized. People still love it, but as for me, I’m just punching my clock.

It’s been roughly six years since Strange had his last film. Even though we’ve seen him guest on several other features, “Multiverse of Madness” dips back into his realm that was planted in 2016. I hardly remember what happened in that movie, as I only saw it once (the cameo of Michael Stuhlbarg confused me until I looked up that he was in the first outing). With these films though, it’s not like you can jump from one movie to its sequel. You have to watch all that’s in-between. Everyone thought that this adventure would be riddled with cameos of heroes across the last twenty-something years of Marvel, but I must inform you that this is not the case. What works in favor of “Multiverse of Madness” is, while it does tap into different universes, it isn’t a means of flashing familiar faces. For a guy who just wants a character piece that dives into Strange more, this was a sigh of relief.

Sam Raimi returns to the Marvel throne in this sequel, infusing his horror style that, as the movie progresses, becomes more and more dark. It’s honestly one of the most different looking MCU flicks of recent memory, as I can tell that Marvel gave him some leeway. The cinematography of this is great, with fun visuals, worlds, and production design to “ooh” and “ah” over. Of course, this is what is to be expected from a big-budget greenscreen blockbuster, but it is cool to see some moments stand out as something more… experimental than safe. The muliverse, while not as explored as one would expect, is fun to see unfold; the montage of Strange and America (Gomez) traveling through several of them was pretty dope.

Strange isn’t the only character in the limelight here, as Scarlet Witch is pitted as the ultimate villain. Elizabeth Olsen does a bang-up job, carrying over the weight of the events in “WandaVision” to this outing. Of all the characters, she had the most depth (which isn’t saying much), though I wish she wasn’t relegated to some horror witch most (if not all) the time. As the film progressed, the style became more horror than anything, diving in witchcraft, sorcery, and all the like that could make those more wholesome a little uneasy. I enjoyed the more personable moments. The stuff involving her and the kids she looks to be reunited with can be gripping, but we are continually pulled out of that to the same action and CGI spectacle that is to be expected from Marvel. I commend the talent, though it is the fuel to my fatigue.

“Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” is yet another well-made movie from Marvel. However, the story doesn’t give me jitters. Cumberbatch delivers as Strange in this, but in the same token I don’t feel like I’ve grown closer to the guy. His dilemma with Christine (McAdams) is yesterday’s news, as the first movie came out so long ago; and what he is struggling with just doesn’t hit as hard as what I’d want. While Raimi does a bang up job making a film that hits all the necessary beats and cool stylings, I just wasn’t as thrilled with the story. This is most likely due to my fatigue in the superhero genre (as I’m sure others will love it), but I did want character growth and personal stakes that weren’t really present. All in all, it’s a entertaining ride. I simply wish I cared more. FINAL SCORE: 74%= Juicy Popcorn

Here is the trailer:

One response to ““Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness”

  1. Pingback: May Movie Rankings | Juicy Reviews·

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