Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness: Worth the wait?
With the huge success of Spider-Man: No Way Home still fresh in the memory of fans and the hype of one of the best Marvel TV shows ever, Moon Knight, fans were eager to see what Marvel had in store with Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.
No Way Home had set expectations to a very high level for the upcoming Marvel titles as anything was possible. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness did not live up to the same standards as No Way Home, but it's doubtlessly a good addition to the MCU.
The story follows Doctor Strange after the events of Spider-Man: No Way Home where we see him dealing with the guilt about the reality he chose in Avengers: Endgame. The story begins with the goateed sorcerer meeting a girl by the name of America Chavez, who has the power to hop from one universe to another and is being chased by demons for her power. With the help of Wong, Strange seeks out help from Wanda Maximoff, The Scarlet Witch, to save Chavez.
As America's strength taps into the multiverse, opening portals to who knows what kind of dimensions, the directors and creative team have infinite possibilities to make something completely random and special pop-up on the screen. Combined with Doctor Strange's magic, director Sam Raimi delivered some of the most stunning visuals on the big screen.
Aside from the visuals, one thing that sets this apart from other MCU films is how violent it is. People's heads are crushed, heroes are cut in half, and corpses are burned to a crisp with their arms and legs missing. It's very safe to say that this movie is on the edge of PG-13. Director Sam Raimi also adds his signature touch of horror themes to the movie with subtle jump scares and unsettling images, crowning this movie as the very first Marvel horror movie.
As always, Benedict Cumberbatch plays Dr. Strange brilliantly while Elizabeth Olsen finally captures the true essence of Scarlet Witch on the big screen. One standout performance for me was of Xochitl Gomez, who played America Chavez as she debuts as the first Latinx and LGBTQIA+ superhero of the MCU.
To add the cherry on top, this movie provides just the right amount of fan service with many guest appearances.
With all of the pros, you might be wondering what the movie's flaws are. To be honest, I would say the movie was not bad, but it was not as good as expected.
Marvel set a standard with its past releases which is both a good and a bad thing; the bad thing is that it is difficult to reach that standard. However, if we are looking at it objectively, the MCU is on the way to becoming something like the anime One Piece; it will have thousands of hours worth of movies which will always maintain a specific standard and will have an occasional drop or a massive stagger.
Another component of the film that I didn't care for was the villain. Now, as seen from the trailers, this movie is heavily connected to WandaVision and if you have not watched it, you will be extremely confused throughout. The movie essentially ignores the villain's character development in WandaVision, as they just transform into a ruthless murder machine who will not hesitate to murder children or puppies to obtain what they want.
All in all, the movie is a very important MCU film. It is stunning to look at, entertaining to watch and makes you leave the theatre wanting more. If you're a hardcore Marvel comic fan, the first post-credits scene teases something that will be much bigger than Endgame or No Way Home ever was. The second post credits scene is also trivial and worth the wait.
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