DOCTOR STRANGE IN THE MULTIVERSE OF MADNESS review

It’s Madness in the Multiverse!

After the past events of the MCU involving the multiverse (“WandaVision”, “Loki”, “Spider-Man: No Way Home”), the anticipation and stakes have been building-towards a culmination of Epic proportions as the consequences of previous actions must be confronted.  After a mysterious dream, Dr. Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) is confronted head-on with the contents of what he thought was his imagination; meeting America Chavez (Xochitl Gomez) and learning about her ability to travel-through different universes unscathed.  With a highly powerful enemy after her ability, Strange needs assistance from the only other being strong enough: Wanda (Elizabeth Olsen).  Her true intentions are quickly revealed and Strange, Chavez, and Wong (Benedict Wong) must utilize every source of power they have to stop the Scarlett Witch.  “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” follows their journey and their attempt to stop the most magically-powerful being alive.

It goes without saying, Marvel films are always the hardest to review as there are very few details that can even be mentioned.  This goes double this time around, as Sam Raimi wastes very little time throwing us right in the action.  As expected, Cumberbatch and Olsen carry the load and both are clearly reveling in that fact; each of them showcasing broadened range and find themselves more sinister than ever.  Newcomer Xochitl’s America Chavez is a very intriguing, well-structured character that we can only hope to see again.  Of course Wong is charming and entertaining as ever as well. 

As I mentioned, the contents of the film are difficult to discuss but they are very fitting of the film’s title.  Without question, “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” is the darkest and most-gory Marvel film yet by-far.  Raimi has given us an MCU film infused with “Evil Dead” vibes throughout.  For those of you planning on bringing your young ones, this offering is very much deserving of the PG-13 rating.  One of the most anticipated aspects of the film has always been its surprises; and they do not disappoint.  I cannot recommend this enough: PLEASE avoid as many spoilers as you possibly can!  While the film is a lot of fun and very entertaining, it’s far from top tier MCU.  Raimi’s fingerprints are abundant and it often feels like a horror film, but the stakes never seem paramount or overly-important.  Instead, a couple of zany one-liners or side developments are used to overshadow the importance of their success.  Again, it’s a fun ride, but it doesn’t feel like the ride we were promised.  At 126 minutes, not a single moment is wasted as Raimi starts the chaos almost immediately and doesn’t relent until the credits roll.    

“Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” uses but doesn’t capitalize on the groundwork that was laid by “WandaVision”, “Loki”, and “Spider-Man: No Way Home”, but one can only imagine we’re not quite finished with the Multiverse.  Instead, the film is a vehicle to showcase Cumberbatch and Olsen’s talent with plenty of fun along the way!

   4/5

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action, frightening images and some language, in theaters MAY 6th!

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