Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness review: A dark turn for Marvel ★★★★☆

7 mins read

Doctor Strange makes his return and finds himself on an unexpected journey through the multiverse in this thrilling sequel.

Dr. Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) finds he is in need of help after stumbling across a troubled teenage girl, America Chavez (Xochitl Gomez), who is being chased through the multiverse. Strange decides to go to fellow Avenger Wanda (Elizebeth Olsen) for help but soon finds Chavez is in far more trouble than he once thought.

Directed by Sam Raimi, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness really does break away from your typical Marvel Cinematic Universe film with a heavy theme of horror. The film was given a 12A age rating, however, it really pushes that rating to the extreme. Some of the scenes in the movie will be disturbing for younger audiences so if you are planning on taking younger children to this film, you may want to reconsider.

(L-R): Rachel McAdams as Dr. Christine Palmer, Benedict Cumberbatch as Dr. Stephen Strange, and Xochitl Gomez as America Chavez in Marvel Studios’ DOCTOR STRANGE IN THE MULTIVERSE OF MADNESS. Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios. ©Marvel Studios 2022. All Rights Reserved.

Critics gave the film a score of 77% on Rotten Tomatoes making it one of the lower scored Marvel Cinematic Universe films on the site. Despite a low critic score, the audience score is currently at 89%, which places it higher up on the list.

America Chavez made her first appearance in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and stole the show. She was a key character in this movie and was given her time to shine. Sadly, the actress playing Chavez has recently received some negative comments due to her character having two mums, leading to the film being banned in some countries.

Marvel faced similar issues last year with Eternals as the film included the franchise’s first LGBTQ kiss, which lead to the film being banned in multiple countries, but Marvel stood their ground and refused to remove the scene. Marvel again refused to remove the 12-second clip of Chavez talking about her mums, which shows that the franchise will not cater to those who don’t agree with homosexual relationships.

Elizebeth Olsen delivered an outstanding performance as Wanda yet again and portrayed her in a new way. Wanda has changed so much since she was first introduced into the Marvel Cinematic Universe and Olsen has done an amazing job in every production her character has featured in including WandaVision which was released earlier last year.

As expected, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness was heavily promoted by Marvel. With the film being labelled as being on a similar level as the Avengers films and with it being highly anticipated by fans, it is not a surprise as to why they pushed it so much. However, this did have consequences when it came to actually watching it. 

Elizabeth Olsen as Wanda Maximoff in Marvel Studios’ DOCTOR STRANGE IN THE MULTIVERSE OF MADNESS. Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios. ©Marvel Studios 2022. All Rights Reserved.

The trailers simply revealed too much. Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige stated at the world premiere of the film that “there’s been too much in the trailers”, and he is right about that. With so much coming out of subsequent trailers for the film it left few surprises for the audience.

The film would have hugely benefited from keeping many of the ‘big surprises’ for the film itself instead of including them in the trailers, such as the mention of the Illuminati. If they had also kept quiet about certain cameos in the film like those of Spider-Man: No Way Home, it would have been less of a disappointment to find they didn’t have much more to offer than what appeared in the trailers.

With a runtime of only 2 hours and 6 minutes, the film felt rushed, which leaves the question of why the film wasn’t longer? Marvel doesn’t shy away from having long runtimes with many of their biggest films having a runtime of up to three hours long. A little added time to the film would have allowed for better pacing overall.

Benedict Cumberbatch as Dr. Stephen Strange in Marvel Studios’ DOCTOR STRANGE IN THE MULTIVERSE OF MADNESS. Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios. ©Marvel Studios 2022. All Rights Reserved.

The visuals in the film were spectacular. Just like the original Doctor Strange film this one includes trippy scenes that mess with your head. Like most other Marvel films the CGI is impressive, however, there is just one scene that needed a little more TLC. With CGI being a big part of most Marvel films it is a shame to see it slip in one scene when it is perfectly used in all the rest.

There are two post-credit scenes for this film. The first one may show us what might be in store for a possible third Doctor Strange film. The second one on the other hand isn’t worth waiting for the credits to roll and was rather disappointing for those who did wait. If you don’t have the time or don’t want to wait, don’t worry, you aren’t missing anything.

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is a must see for your typical Marvel fan with the multiverse being a big focus with the franchise at the moment, however, while the film was enjoyable for the most part, there were many major disappointing parts throughout. The film certainly wasn’t on the same level as the last two Avengers films which many people were hoping it would be.

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is in cinemas now.

Featured Image Credit: Marvel Studios

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Lifestyle Editor • Fourth year Journalism student

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