‘Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness’ REVIEW: A Frightening, Yet Flawed, Marvel Epic
After months of theorizing and anticipation, the long-awaited sequel has officially arrived; this is our Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness review!
Riding a wave of excitement since its trailer arrived at the conclusion of the record-breaking Spider-Man: No Way Home, it is not hyperbole to say that Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness was among the MCU’s most hyped works.
It was primed to conclude the multiversal storyline that has been showcased throughout the MCU’s Phase Four and promised to take audiences through the boundless and endless potential that lies within the uncharted unknown of alternate realities.
The film that arrived this May has made good on a lot of those promises, and brought to life a clear vision of the esteemed and legendary director Sam Raimi, but wasn’t to be spared from the pitfalls of that same vision.
The performances that are offered in this Marvel epic are fantastic; Benedict Cumberbatch continues to be one of the more underutilized talents in the MCU, Elizabeth Olsen is absolutely tremendous, and Benedict Wong continues to be an underrated asset.
America Chavez will certainly gain some new fans, as Xochitl Gomez was fantastic in her MCU debut, boasting a power set that is as visually stunning as any.
Sam Raimi gave fans what is clearly the most horror-centric MCU film; with a commitment to scaring, and at times disturbing viewers as to truly bring to life the stakes of the story, as well as the incredible power of one character in particular.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness clearly succeeds in that goal, as it beautifully crafts an unsettling atmosphere that has yet to have been achieved by any Marvel project; all while creating a villain that feels truly insurmountable.
The music was also fantastic in adding to the atmosphere, as Danny Elfman delivers an incredibly unique score; what Doctor Strange 2 does incredibly well, however, doesn’t negate its deep flaws that are nearly impossible to overlook.
The greatest issue with Doctor Strange is that the film’s eponymous character, at times, seems to get lost in the shuffle.
It isn’t because he lacks involvement- it’s because, unfortunately, his own story arc isn’t interesting enough to create a firm connection worth caring about; often taking a back seat to more interesting narrative threads.
The film is plot-centric, with certain things happening just because the story needs them to (which feels like an even deeper problem with this story), and there are visual effects moments early on that just don’t look great.
But there are also moments- call them fan service- that feel disingenuous; with Raimi certainly focused on subversion in a way that doesn’t necessarily pay off at all.
There is no denying that Raimi had total control over this film- for better or worse- and the reality is that Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is a fantastic ride with moments that will make you jump, laugh, cringe, and cheer; in a way that feels great, but ultimately a little underwhelming.
That’s our full Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness Review! What did YOU think? Let us know below!