‘Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness‘ is directed by Sam Raimi and produced by Kevin Feige. It is the twenty-eighth entry into the Marvel Cinematic Universe film franchise as it goes into Phase Four. Marvel Studios handled production and Walt Disney Pictures distributed it to cinemas.
After attending Christine Palmer’s (Rachel McAdams) wedding, Doctor Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) witnesses a strange creature trying to capture a young teen named America Chavez (Xochitl Gomez). With help from Wong (Benedict Wong), they defeat the creature. America reveals that she can use her powers to travel through the multiverse and that a “demon” is after her. Dr. Stange visits Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen), asking for her help as an Avenger, only to discover that she is the one trying to capture America, hoping to use her powers to travel into a universe where her children exist. After a battle with her, America and Strange accidentally end up in a different dimension where they find Mordo (Chiwetel Ejiofor) waiting for them, but Wanda is seeking them with the magical Darkhold book.
Here are some positives for the movie. I think the soundtrack by Danny Elfman is fantastic. He builds the tension when he needs to and it exists in the background just perfectly. It never feels intrusive and is mixed with the action just right.
Yes, I liked the CGI. I know it is popular right now for critics and reviewers to whine about CGI effects, but I think they are cool, especially in regards to Strange and Wanda’s abilities. That goes double for the acting. Everyone does a decent job with their character and no one cuts short.
This paragraph might contain some spoilers, but I doubt it since there were hints of it in a trailer. It was good to see Patrick Stewart redeem Professor X after the disaster that was Logan. That movie “deconstructed” him into a doddering old fool, so I was glad to see him back in action even in a small role.
The problem is with the story. The movie is actually two films crushed together, making for a somewhat inconsistent plot. I think America Chavez (nothing against the actress) should not have been a part of the movie. It should have just been Dr. Strange battling Scarlet Witch, perhaps over the Darkhold or the Book of Vishanti. Because of her part in the film, there was a huge divide in how things worked and it overshadowed some pretty cool cameos from actors playing some neat variants of Avengers and other Marvel heroes.
I have to give a little credit to Sam Raimi, he definitely tried to make it work, but you could tell this movie was conceived with two distinct visions and I have a sinking feeling that studio interference from Mickey Mouse had something to do with it. That is becoming a growing problem with the MCU. Disney and Marvel Comics are clearly on a rampage to force tropes, character changes, gender and race swaps, and more onto a fandom that is getting tired of it. It is showing and even with the obvious recuts, it could not be saved. There are rumors of course correction and I hope they are true because even hardcore MCU fans like me are getting franchise fatigue, not from the content, but what is within the content.
Bottom line, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness was a missed opportunity of a film for an MCU hero that deserved better when it came to a sequel.
PARENTAL CONCERNS: Some foul language, Violence, Disturbing images
FAVORITE QUOTE: Things just got out of hand.
Check out the trailer below:
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