Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness Review

Benedict Cumberbatch and Elizabeth Olsen at San Diego Comic-Con in 2019

Benedict Cumberbatch and Elizabeth Olsen at San Diego Comic-Con in 2019

Alyx Pawlawski, Editor

Benedict Cumberbatch and Elizabeth Olsen at San Diego Comic-Con in 2019

One of the most anticipated Phase 4 Marvel films has finally been released, and the discourse regarding it has been extremely mixed among fans. Multiverse of Madness had many great aspects to it, but it definitely had its flaws. Today I am going to be giving my opinion on the sequel.

Quick spoiler-free summary: Dr. Strange opens a portal into the Multiverse and has to fight alongside America Chavez against the biggest threat either of them have ever faced.

The best performance in the film was undoubtedly Elizabeth Olsen as The Scarlet Witch/Wanda Maximoff. She expertly conveyed intense emotions and gave her best performance in the MCU yet, while providing additional depth to the development that was established in the WandaVision Disney+ series.  Benedict Cumberbatch’s Doctor Strange maintained his sarcastic and relatively cocky demeanor, but showcased a gentler side of the character that has only been seen briefly in other films. Benedict Wong (Wong) and Rachel McAdams (Christine Palmer) both gave great supporting performances, and seeing them both have slightly larger roles in this film than previous films felt well deserved. And the newest addition to the MCU, Xochitl Gomez, did an amazing job as America Chavez. She was a joy to watch, and I hope to see more of her in the future. 

Spider-Man director Sam Raimi has returned to Marvel and brought his signature horror/thriller style to this film, which had its fair share of gore and jumpscares. The cinematography provided by John Mathieson was phenomenal, I loved the overall look of the film. I was especially impressed  by how beautifully he was able to capture the darkness and corruption of The Scarlet Witch.

One of the main complaints that myself and many others have is that for a film titled Multiverse of Madness, the expectations for extreme madness in the multiverse were high. This is not to say that the movie was boring, but it did not spend too much time exploring possibilities of alternate realities in the multiverse. There was still multiversal travel, but it was definitely limited. Another complaint that many had was the huge expectations for cameos versus the cameos that actually happened. Again, with “madness” in the title, fans naturally let their minds run wild and hoped for every character Marvel has ever created to appear. There were still cameos, but many were disappointed by not seeing certain characters. This is not an issue with the film itself, it is just what happens when fans cling to their hopes instead of accepting the movie for what it is. However, fans were definitely pleased with the presence of a couple iconic characters that were teased, which I like to think makes up for the disappointment. 

Overall, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness was a mind bending, surprising, and thrilling adventure that felt unlike anything the MCU has ever made. While not perfect, it is still an enjoyable film, and I can’t wait to watch it again.