For years Doctor Strange has been a supporting character helping to either save the world from a giant genocidal purple alien or aiding a teenager with a personal conundrum. But now we’ve finally been brought back into his world and whoa is his side of the universe a doozy.
Multiverse of Madness lives up to its title in every way possible because that is exactly what it is. Madness! With a two-hour and six-minute runtime, the film moves at a high-speed pace that is both exhilarating and at times, a tiny bit frustrating. The film jumps from scene to scene with relative cohesiveness, except for a few quickly edited moments that don’t quite blend together right.
The highlights of this film are undoubtedly Doctor Strange and Wanda who jockey for MVP of the movie on a quarterly basis. While Wanda Maximoff plays a major role in this film and shines in every scene she graces this is very much a Doctor Strange movie.
The story revolves around him and his place in the multiverse which is, surprisingly, quite controversial. Apparently, Doctor Strange is a guy who either can do a great deal of good or a great deal of harm. The question is, what will become of our Doctor Stephen Strange and what path is he forging for himself?
Newcomer Xochitl Gomez stars as America Chavez and unfortunately, I wasn’t a fan of her character. It’s rare for me to be a bit bummed about MCU casting but honestly, I almost wish the role had gone to someone else.
Unlike Tom Holland who brought such an instant likability to Peter Parker/Spider-Man Gomez doesn’t fully convince me as the powerful heroine. There were even moments where it felt like she was acting the way the script told her to instead of flowing into the character in a way that was lovable. I just hope she grows on me like Captain America did.
Does the movie have great action scenes? Yes. Yes, it does. There were a lot of moments where I was staring at the screen in pure awe thanks to the spectacle.
Is the movie scary? Very much so. My younger self would’ve been absolutely terrified but thankfully, I’m older and the horror was a bit tamer than I expected. But yes. Be prepared to stare at the screen terrified through a few scenes.
But most importantly, how was the movie? Multiverse of Madness is good, not great. Despite being a rather fascinating film that ultimately shines because it’s two hours of Benedict Cumberbatch being a great superhero there are some elements to the film that I can’t ignore. Like the lackluster humor which I was a bit surprised by considering how great Marvel Studios is with melding legitimately funny moments in the middle of these epic stories.
Like I said earlier, the editing was a bit disjointed at times. There were some moments that felt a tad bit corny. But overall, the film is a fantastic, totally Doctor Strange-ified ride that left me wanting more.
And if you decide to watch this film make sure you stick around for the post-credit scenes. They’re both really fun in their own ways.
I’ll give this movie 93 out of 100 and 4.5 out of 5 stars. What a thrill ride.
I thank you for reading and I hope you have a fantastic day.
2 thoughts on “‘Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness’ Is a Wild Ride In Every Sense of the Word”
I felt like the gratuitous MCU comedy was replaced with gratuitous horror here, and I was happy about that. There was a lot of imagination put into the horror elements and other special effects here. The movie is one of the best visually in the MCU. I’m not a fan of too much comedy in superhero movies, which just tends to undermine the tension and believability. Roger Ebert made a great point in his review of Iron Man which some recent MCU films have forgotten:
“It’s prudent, I think, that Favreau positions the rest of the characters in a more serious vein. The supporting cast wisely does not try to one-up him. … What a horror show it would have been if they were all tuned to Tony Stark’s sardonic wave length. We’d be back in the world of “Swingers” (1996) which was written by Favreau.”
I definitely felt Cumberbatch carried the movie successfully, and came off more likable and relatable here than he did in No Way Home. He was very effective at distinguishing the alt universe versions of himself too. I was glad to see he got some meaningful dialogue with Rachel McAdams, and that she wasn’t just forgotten like so many civilian love interests have been in MCU sequels. Elizabeth Olsen was pretty good as Scarlet Witch. Nothing award-winning but she did okay as someone who was supposed to be more of a corrupted good person than a completely irredeemable baddie.
America Chavez was absolutely the weakest link in the movie. As I understand it, she only had a solo comic series for 13 months before it got cancelled. That is not a sign of a character who has a compelling enough backstory and attributes to merit co-starring in a movie. Hate to pick on an actress who was 14 at the time of filming, but a lot of her lines failed to have the proper emotion or humor due to subpar delivery. She also suffered from Mary Sue problems. She appears out of nowhere, and all the heroes and villains are immediately obsessed with her. Then, in the end, she becomes overpowered without any training, just from the power of positive thinking. That undermined the whole ending of the movie, which is the one spot that I think needed a serious rewrite. It’s also just a violation of superhero movie code to have a superhero feature prominently in your movie and not explain how they got their powers.
I really enjoyed the Illuminati cameos. I think Brie Larson should be worried about her job, because this alt version felt more lively and compelling in 5 minutes than Larson did in her entire movie. I joined in on the applause for the reveal of the newly cast actor who will hopefully go on to play the regular universe version of his character in his forthcoming movie.
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Yes I’m hoping the newly cast cameo is going to be that character because he was perfect!
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