The return of filmmaker Sam Raimi brings a heavy dose of horror and a ton famous cameos to the MCU. Here is my full review of the latest Marvel masterwork, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.
Dr. Stephen Strange casts a forbidden spell that opens the doorway to the multiverse, including alternate versions of himself, whose threat to humanity is too great for the combined forces of Strange, Wong, and Wanda Maximoff.
Sam Raimi’s run as director of Spider-Man was filled with extreme fun moments and a bit to ridiculous elements. The long standing master of horror has returned to the MCU in what appears to be the perfect superhero’s tale. In Doctor Strange 2 we now are fully impacted by the multiverse and all its wild implications. Raimi and writer Michael Waldron (Loki & Rick and Morty) are allowed to dive into the darkest and scariest elements of the Marvel lexicon. The beauty of this film though is all the non-Marvel connections and nods that are sprinkled into the film.
We are treated to a lovely cameo from Sam’s bestie Bruce and numerous horror film tropes and sequences throughout the 126 minutes of this sequel. Wanda’s full dive into the Scarlet Witch allows Elizabeth Olsen to embrace her inner demons and gives Benedict Cumberbatch a hell of a run. The usual Strange connections all seem game for this film, especially regulars Rachel McAdams as Dr. Christine Palmer, Chiwetel Ejiofor’s Mordo and of course the all ways hilarious Benedict Wong as Wong. But the real highlight of the entire film has to be Xochitl Gomez’ scene-stealing performance as America Chavez. The young talent tackles the Raimi/Waldron one-liners just as fluidly as Cumberbatch and the regular gang. She also is the most intriguing new intro into the MCU in a long-time. The America Chavez character is not just a side character or cameo level part but a fully fledge lead alongside Benedict’s Doc Strange. Now Benedict does get to show his chops in his many incarnations of the multiverse versions of Strange. Overall the film is one of the most star-filled casts since the Avengers had to brawl the big purple titan. I won’t spoil the who and what of all that is revealed in this latest MCU work, but lets just say the Multiverse opens so many story lines its a bit crazy to imagine what’s next. Or What IF…
This film is as visually stunning as anything we’ve seen in the Kevin Feige world, but Danny Elfman’s musical touches are a true gem. The sound design of the film is what lingers and seems to really put this film over the top. The horror tropes are perfectly accented by Elfman’s notes. There is even a musical battle not seen on screen in a Marvel film that really will make you cringe or laugh out loud. In the end, the Elfman touch is the perfect compliment to Raimi’s rambunctious nature.
Here’s to seeing Sam in more Marvel movies.
The film is out everywhere now so grab your cape and find a screening!
Directed by: Sam Raimi
Written by: Michael Waldron
Selig Rating: 4 Stars
Running Time: 2h 6min
Action / Adventure / Fantasy
In Theaters Everywhere
Starring: Benedict Cumberbatch, Xochitl Gomez, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Rachel McAdams, Benedict Wong and Elizabeth Olsen
The Selig Rating Scale:
5 Stars – Excellent movie, well worth the price.
4 Stars – Good movie
3 Stars – OK movie
2 Stars – No need to rush. Save it for a rainy day.
1 Star – Good that I saw it on the big screen but wish I hadn’t paid for it.