Review: Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is a trip (Spoiler Free)

May 5, 2022 | News



Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is in theatres now and it’s a pretty wild ride!

If you are weighing up whether or not to see the latest film to join the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s already massive slate, keep reading.

And don’t worry, no spoilers in this article.

Something Strange is happening

The long-awaited sequel to 2016’s Doctor Strange has a lot to live up to and an extensive library of work that it’s following.

Unlike other franchises, this film almost acts as a sequel to several separate projects, Spider-Man: No Way Home, Avengers: Endgame, WandaVision and the original film all heavily influence this one, all while also working with an entirely different director making his MCU debut.

Sam Raimi, famous for a number of horror films and the early 2000s Spider-Man trilogy replaced Scott Derrickson. Both worked on a number of horror titles, yet this latest instalment really feels the influence that those roots provided.

From trailers, audiences will know that this film features zombies, evil copies of our heroes and potentially some violent and terrifying scenes. All of this was delivered and then some, this film is not for the faint of heart, but it doesn’t sit into a category like true horror either.

Fans of the genre will recognise tropes and some scenes could strike genuine terror in the viewer, but overall, we know we are in a movie with heroes and villains, stakes are high, but redemption and virtue are still the order of the day.

Multiverse hopping

This film, as the title suggests, deals largely with the multiverse that has been seeded and introduced with Loki and Spider-Man: No Way Home but fans are pleased to learn more about the workings of the multiverse and how that may impact the future of the MCU.

Especially with the introduction of America Chavez, played by the incredible talent that is Xochitl Gomez. Chavez wields the power to travel the multiverse through star-shaped portals she can conjure up.

Blatant patriotism aside, this power is pretty impressive and with villains like the almighty Kang just around the corner, she could be a key player in the events to come throughout Phase Four and Five.

Gomez and the rest of the cast give an excellent performance with many playing several versions of themselves and really putting their acting chops out there. Special shout out to Benedict Wong who provides a counter to Stephen Strange, comic relief and often the voice of reason throughout this film.

Stunning Visuals

One thing this film had very much in common with its predecessor is the absolutely breathtaking images and CGI throughout.

For a film that is forced to spend much of its runtime largely computer-generated, this movie really stands out with vibrant colours, wildly imaginative settings and non-stop thrills whether we are staring at a reflection in the mirror dimension or leaping through low gravity in a world with no ground.

In addition to the visuals, this movie paid special attention to its use of sound with music often priming the audience for what is coming on screen before anything else. Not in a James Gunn, this is the soundtrack we should fight space monsters to kind of way, but in no way less overt.

My rating?

Personally, I thoroughly enjoyed this film. At the same time, I felt it is the most densely MCU movie to be released so far.

What I mean by that is, Marvel Studios now has well over 30 projects and the number is growing constantly, this movie is very connected to the rest of the franchise and if you haven’t followed the journey so far, I don’t know that this movie is for you.

It doesn’t sit fully in the horror genre and so it is unlikely to tick that box for you, it’s also not a light-hearted family film like many of the earlier MCU projects. But, if you have followed the MCU this far, this movie moves the story along in very significant ways and provides satisfying growth to a cast of characters you already love while brand new heroes are introduced.

So, for that reason, I’m giving it two different ratings:

  1. For non-MCU die-hards, 2 out of 5. You don’t want to watch something that feels like work and if the story isn’t already in your head, I don’t think the visuals, acting or theme is going to make this worth it for you.

  2. For the MCU mega fans, 3.5 out of 5. It’s not the next endgame, and following No Way Home, this movie had a lot to live up to. It’s awesome to see Marvel experiment a little more and this provides important set-ups for future movies, but I don’t know that this as a self-contained work felt all that complete. Who knows, maybe his would have been better spaced out as a Marvel series on Disney Plus so we could take our time with Doctor Strange and fill in important details for future projects.

There you have it, our rating for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, but we want to hear what you think of the film, if you’ve watched it, tell us what you liked/disliked over on our socials, and remember, no spoilers!

By Ben Gibbons

Linktree: @benjaminblogs1

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