Doctor Strange: The Multiverse of Madness


Photo Credit: Disney

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness takes place shortly after Spider-Man: No Way Home, and our main character, Dr. Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) has basically settled back into his life. The only thing that’s off is that he keeps having a recurring dream of an alternate version of himself helping a mysterious girl avoid being captured. His dream becomes reality when both dream characters of his suddenly appear in Strange’s universe. The mysterious girl is named America Chavez (Xochitl Gomez), and can fittingly punch star-pointed portals into other universes. Strange enlists the help of the Scarlet Witch herself, Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen), to help Chavez avoid her captors, but it turns out that Wanda has her own plans for the girl. She’s finally let all of her trauma get to her head, and also been studying up on an evil book called The Darkhold. This time, she won’t let anyone get in the way of her and her two children.

As a disclaimer, this movie is not really on the same scale as No Way Home or Endgame, even though it was hyped up the same amount as those movies. Instead, it’s more of a suspenseful cat-and-mouse game between Wanda and Strange.

I think that the movie’s biggest strength is its suspense factor, as I had mentioned before. There were several scenes in the movie that had me on edge, and that’s probably for two reasons. The first is that because this story is more small-scale, as a result, the stakes feel higher and more real. Marvel movies usually lose me when they have some sort of world-ending event in the climax because everyone knows the world is not going to end because they need to keep making more movies. I also respect how the movie doesn’t overstuff itself with cameos of familiar characters and doesn’t try to be more than it already is. Another factor that adds to the suspense is the great direction from Sam Raimi, known for the original Spider-Man trilogy and also various horror movies. While the movie isn’t necessarily scary, the general tone in this one was much more unsettling than any other MCU movie, and there was one particular scene that had me wondering if they were allowed to do that in a Marvel movie.

Now onto the movie’s weaknesses. People who aren’t caught up with Marvel probably won’t like this one. While all Marvel movies require you to watch the prior ones, this one takes it a step further and ties in events from some of the Marvel tv shows. For example, if you haven’t watched Wandavision, then you won’t understand Wanda’s motivations at all because this movie doesn’t waste any time explaining how she got to where she is. Also, this movie is much less grounded and much more comic like than other similar movies. For example, while I thought that the character of America Chavez was pretty funny (especially her lines in Spanish), I think most people will probably just be confused by her name alone. It definitely confused some people in my theater when the characters said lines such as “I’m not going to let you take America.” Speaking of writing, the script in this movie is so bad that a lot of lines the characters said stuck out to me, not because they were deep, but because they didn’t sound like things that real people would say. Superhero movies are supposed to be cheesy, but this one takes it a bit too far in my opinion. Without getting into spoilers, the ending of this movie is very unclear and wasn’t satisfying to me.

In short, Doctor Strange in The Multiverse of Madness is a good time, and although there were cheesy elements that I didn’t like, it was probably the most fun I’ve had watching a movie in a while. I’d recommend watching this in a theater or with friends, so you can experience other people’s reactions to this as well as your own.