Home Movie Reviews ‘Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness’ – Review
‘Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness’ – Review

‘Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness’ – Review


Phase Four of the Marvel Cinematic Universe continues to bring amazing new possibilities to the big screen as Marvel Studios continues the stories of these incredible characters, and in their 28th film, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness legendary superhero director Sam Raimi takes audiences directly into the Multiverse and showcases seemingly endless universes where the possibilities are unending, and which test our titular hero, Dr Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) to the very limits of his power, as he faces a dark new entity who is bent on total dominance of the entire Multiverse!

Following the events of Spider-Man: No Way Home and Loki, Dr. Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch), with the help of both old and new mystical allies, travels into the multiverse to face a mysterious new adversary.

Climbing into the director’s chair and taking the reigns of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is noted filmmaker Sam Raimi. An artist whose career has spanned decades across multiple genres and who approaches every film with a fresh eye and unmatched creativity, Raimi makes Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness his own. And long time fans will be thrilled with how he goes to work with this one. Some filmmakers, including the likes of James Gunn and Taika Waititi, have their unique style that blends itself into the MCU seamlessly and that is exactly what we see here in Raimi’s work. Fans who are familiar with his work will note his kinetic action style and seamless mix of good old-fashioned action and quippy dialogue, along with his use of classic crash zooms and whip pans, marks this film as uniquely his.

Raimi’s stance as a horror filmmaker also comes into play in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness in a big way, and audiences are up for a serious fright in this latest chapter of the MCU. While I don’t want to jump too directly into the realm of spoilers, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is a serious horror film and crosses its dimension-hopping science-fiction elements with utter dark magic, and the horror elements are off the chart. With classic callbacks to the likes of Carrie, The Exorcist, and his classic Evil Dead films, Raimi goes to work on bringing out the horror of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness and there are some jump scares that will make you leap out of your seat. This presence of the horror genre in a Marvel Studios film is something completely new and different, and this exploration of an underlying dark supernatural edge is a key component of the film’s intriguing narrative.

The presence of the Multiverse itself also brings about a wonderful place for exploration on Raimi’s behalf and the sheer visual presence of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is striking to look upon. Raimi, along with cinematographer John Mathieson and production designer Charles Wood use up every piece of the screen’s canvas to bring this story to life and the possibility of a seemingly unending series of universes is rife for creative expression. The laws of physics and reality are pulled to extremes in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness and it’s a very wild show. One of my favourite moments of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is a presentation of these different universes and it’s an utterly visual marvel to look upon, your eyes will be wide with excitement and the visuals that we see on the big screen are a key part to the excitement of this epic film.

Benedict Cumberbatch once again returns to wear the cloak and command the vast magic of the Multiverse as Dr. Stephen Strange and we find him in a brand new place in his life. Having saved the world at great cost due to the events of Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame, he’s now a man who is looking for a new path to travel in his life. Until he is pulled directly into the fight for the very existence of the Multiverse itself. As always, Cumberbatch is completely at ease with the action and heroics of Doctor Strange and Raimi’s presence as a director allows the actor to bring out more of his comedic side and there’s a great witty sense of banter that is infused with his performance this time around. The presence of the Multiverse also allows for different sides of Cumberbatch’s Dr. Stephan Strange to be seen on screen and the actor has a grand time getting to portray these different versions of himself which include the heroic ‘Defender Strange’ and the corrupted ‘Sinister Strange’. And audiences had better watch out for these new Strange entities.

Also playing a key role inside the events of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is Elizabeth Olsen as Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch. And she’s in a very dark place this time around. Following on from the tragic events of WandaVision and the loss of her children, Olsen’s Wanda is now overcome by grief, loss and obsession. And it’s these emotions that compel her actions throughout the film’s narrative. Not wanting to run into spoilers, the best way to describe Wanda’s presence within the film is that of a literal ‘force’ and Raimi gives Olsen room to move in a brand new direction. And she utterly excels in it. Olsen’s performance in the film was one of my most enjoyable parts of watching this film, and I liked how dynamic and intriguing her character was. She did something completely and utterly different with the role and this makes a big impression on-screen.

Those audience members seeking a rush of action with Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness will be well rewarded for their presence with this film and Raimi fills the screen with full-on magical combat. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is an utter fight as the forces of evil battle the balance of light, and aspects of dark magic and sorcery are brought forth and Raimi’s unique cinematic style aids in bringing his own certain blockbuster feeling to the big screen. The film’s drive towards the horror genre also has a big impact on the storytelling that we see here in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness and it’s edgy at times to watch. And while I can’t dive into it, the introduction of the Illuminati is a pure WOW factor moment and audiences will be spellbound.

As a long time fan and viewer of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, I have found that my tastes for its stories lend more toward the fantastical. Films such as Guardians of the Galaxy, Guardians of the Galaxy Vo. 2, Ant-Man, Ant-Man and the Wasp, Thor: Ragnarok and the original Doctor Strange are films that have made the biggest impact on me and I love the mixture of fantasy, science fiction and just the pure escapism that is a central core of these films. This is exactly what Sam Raimi gives us in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness a film of utter grand wonder and visual splendour and there’s so much to be excited by with this film. And in a post-script, make sure you stay till the end credits, as some terrific post-credit scenes tease at the possibilities to come.

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is an utter rush from beginning to end, and long time MCU fans who are looking for excitement and some solid and edgy thrills will be rewarded greatly by this experience. With its scope and vision, this is a film that needs to be viewed on the biggest screen possible and you’ll truly feel the marvel with this genuine blockbuster.

Image: Walt Disney Pictures