Doctor Strange In the Multiverse of Madness
To save a young girl with incredible power, Doctor Stephen Strange must navigate the multiverse fighting one of the his most powerful foes!
Spoiler Level: Mild, Contains Spoiler section identified beforehand
Each fan of a franchise is going to have their own favorite characters and movies. Where I might have an aversion to an aspect of a film, someone else might think it is the best thing ever. So when I write this review, please keep that in mine. I have always been a fan of characters who practice the mystic arts. So, Doctor Strange has long been one of my favorite characters in comic books. And I was so thrilled with the first Doctor Strange film in the MCU. It has been exciting to have him in so many other films as well, the Infinity Saga, Thor: Ragnarök, Spider-Man: No Way Home. Even if I didn’t particularly like some of them, it was still good to see a favorite character even if it was just for a brief cameo. I was very hopeful for the follow-up to his own movie and seeing him as the main character once again. And I was not disappointed. The movie far surpasses my hopes and is a wonderful imaginative story that is nonstop action and adventure with some romance and humor thrown in. Old friends from previous movies (including some that are not strictly part of the MCU) reprise their roles and some new comic heroes make their initial appearances.
Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) while attending Christine Palmer’s wedding is called into action to stop a monstrous demon who is after a young girl named America Chavez (Xochitl Gomez), who it turns out has the power to travel through the multiverse, but has no control over her abilities. Strange and Wong (Benedict Wong) stop the demon and save the girl, only to find out that she is in grave danger from a very powerful entity who is after her powers. Her only hope of survival is to find the Book of Vishanti which can give them exactly what they need to defeat their foe. During a devastating fight, America and Doctor Strange get sucked into a portal and the rest of the story is their fight for survival, while searching for the Book of Vishanti which will give Doctor Strange exactly what he needs to defeat the big bad. Culminating in a showdown between the most powerful magic wielders in all the multiverse. Who wins, who dies, and what price is paid? Go see this movie to find out.
This movie is a new benchmark in special effect for an MCU movie, the entire movie is filled with glowing magical spells and demons, but it all felt cohesive and real. It never felt overwhelming as if the effects were there to impress, more that the effects were there as part of the story as an extension to the characters. Sam Raimi has now directed two of my favorite superhero movies. The original Spider-man with Tobey McGuire, and now Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. As a master of horror who brought us films like The Evil Dead, he was the perfect choice to direct a film that relies so heavily on the Darkhold (Book of the Damned). There are elements of horror that fit right into the story and add a wonderful edge. The music was also amazing being written by my favorite movie composer, Danny Elfman, adding layer upon layer of mood enhancing sound. But to be honest, all the technical wizardry, direction and music would be lost if not for the performances from a wonderful cast. Benedict IS Doctor Stephen Strange, he embodies the look and feel of the comic book character. Witty and arrogant but also kind and giving. There is a complexity to his performance that really adds to the character. He plays multiple versions of himself, but instead of making each one completely different, instead, in most cases, there are just subtle differences that separate the Stranges. Xochitl Gomez is so good as America Chavez. She is a rising star I am anxious to watch. Showing a range of emotion from distrust to frightened to empowered and doing it while kicking some butt! The rest of the cast is equally as accomplished.
BEWARE – Spoilers After This Point! Turn Back! – BEWARE
SPOILER ALERT! STOP READING NOW!
The hardest part for me in the movie was having one of my favorite characters from both the movies and the comics become the villain. But OH!! what a villain the Scarlet Witch makes. Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen) having lost her husband and then the children that she created by magic, is corrupted by the DarkHold and sees America as a way to get to an Earth where she can be with her sons, and she will stop at nothing to get to them. Her deep pain is what makes her such an amazing villain. The best villains don’t act out of evil, they act because the believe the ends justifies the means. Olsen’s performance is touching while being frightening evil at the same time.
One of the best parts of the movie is seeing the Illuminati on an alternate Earth, which included Anson Mount reviving his portrayal of Blackbolt from the 2017 Inhumans television series. Haley Atwell as Captain Carter the live action portrayal of her character from the What If television show. Lashana Lynch also reprising her role as Maria Rambeau, but in this world, she becomes Captain Marvel. Patrick Stewart as Professor X, which means the X-Men most likely existed on this Earth as well and my favorite, John Krasinski as Reed Richards / Mr. Fantastic. John is a fan favorite to star in a new version of the Fantastic Four, hoping real life wife Emily Blunt would join to play Sue Richards, so his appearance bodes well in keeping that hope that could happen alive. The scene does not go well for these characters and it was hard watching them fall, but I hope this isn’t the last we see of them. In addition to those heroes, there is also a cameo from Bruce Campbell, long time collaborator with director Sam Raimi and star of the Evil Dead franchise.
Make sure you stay for the mid credits scene!
Sometimes I feel like a movie is made just for me. It hits all the right notes and creates an emotional visceral response. This is one of those films. The pacing and rhythm was right on, the direction and technical aspects are out of this world, and the performances are amazing, but even with all that, there is something else, something I have never been able to put my finger on, so I often just say, it was magic!
Doctor Strange In the Multiverse of Madness: It’s Pure Magic!
- Writing - 10/1010/10
- Storyline - 10/1010/10
- Acting - 10/1010/10
- Music - 10/1010/10
- Production - 10/1010/10
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