Doctor Strange in the madness of Multiverse, the sequel to Doctor Strange film released in 2016, stands true to its name. It indeed is full of madness and delivers on everything that the trailer promises but at its core, there might be a little something missing.
The film follows the events of Spiderman: No way home where Doctor Strange, in a bid to help Spiderman, opens the multiverse. That was hint enough for all the Marvel fans to know what’s in store for the new Doctor Strange movie, and maybe for the subsequent Marvel films and shows to come. After battling with aliens from other planets to save the earth, Marvel is now expanding its cinematic universe to take us to different universes altogether.
As Stephen Strange attends the wedding of Christine, the love of his life, and prepares to drown in his own sorrows, enters America Chavez, a latin young woman being chased by a humongous one eyed octopus-y monster. In a bid to help and protect America, who also has a special superpower, they both set on a journey full of excitement, jumpscares and a little zombie action.
Director Sam Raimi, who gave the iconic Toby Maguire’s Spiderman trilogy, returns to the superhero genre for this film. Not to forget, he is also the pioneer of horror cinema in Hollywood who has films like the Evil Dead franchise to his credit. For the new Doctor Strange film, we get what Sam Raimi is known to deliver. There are jumpscares, creepy zombie action and ofcourse, a lot of thrill.
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The film delivers what you expect from a Marvel film. There is a lot of jumping through multiverses, it is visually extravagant and beautiful and it also has an unexpected threat. However, in superhero or sci-fi films, where a lot depends on the imagination of the filmmaker and almost anything is possible with sky being the limit, one thing that connects the audience to the film is an emotion, a feeling of uneasiness when the stakes are too high. That is what makes such films even more special, beyond the spectacle, the sound design, the costumes, the sets. But in this Doctor Strange film, that emotional quotient goes astray.
In some recent work of Marvel, we are told that the concept of Multiverse is extremely complicated and might have serious repercussions. But with this film, we see that jumping through multiverses is just a catalyst to take the film forward and to add to the madness of the film. The stakes which are set up in the beginning of the film, it gets difficult to care about them by the end of it. You don’t even care for the rekindled love between Christine and Stephen. The movie becomes so exhaustive as it progresses that you keep wondering “This is so much fun, but what is the point of it?”
In recent times, Marvel has not shied away from experimenting. Especially in its series like WandaVision and Loki, the concepts they brought were fresh and different from what they had been doing earlier. But with the new Doctor Strange film, they go back to catering their audience with just amazing VFX and all the excitement a superhero film brings with itself. But the audience wants something beyond it now, for all of it to make sense.
But hey, the film is not all bad. It has what it takes to add another feather on Marvel’s crown. There are unexpected cameos bound to fill the theaters with fans hooting, the graphics are top notch, fun and excitement have not gone anywhere. The acting performances won’t let you down, especially Elizabeth Olsen’s performance, as she completely transforms into Scarlet Witch has to be one of the best parts of the film. In a sequence, Doctor Strange and its nemesis are fighting with musical notes and magic, which is just another masterpiece to witness. Apart from a relatively weak screenplay, the film doesn’t disappoint in any other aspect. Doctor Strange and Scarlet Witch are both sorcerers which gives this film an edge to distinguish itself from the other films of Marvel.
If you’re a Marvel fan, there is no reason to not watch the film. You can go and be a part of this madness, just don’t give into the exhaustion of it all and don’t ponder over the point of it all.