Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness – Movie Reviews by Ry!

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness – Mystic Arts of the Heart: A Strange Retrospective

Marvel Studios is a staple of the film industry.  With plenty of films (and now television shows), they have managed to create a world of epic proportions.  From billionaire geniuses, men frozen in time to Norse Gods, they have managed to bring the comics to life (on the big screen).  No matter what is unthinkable, they have created a decades worth journey.  In this review, I look at the latest entry from Marvel.  Diving further into the mystic arts, this story pushes the imaginary to bring something relative to the heart.  With bombastic situations within human aesthetics, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness weaves an adventure that begs the question … who are we against our own lives?

The story follows Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) as he faces a threat beyond our own world.  As an unknown entity threatens lives across the multiverse, he teams up with an unlikely ally to find answers before all is destroyed.  Marvel Studios has created an interconnected world with each film, but always manages to have each solo film stand on its own.  Being the 28th entry (film) in the MCU, it continues that tradition of being focused (on its specific characters) while growing the boundaries with more elements from their own comic lore.  In the beginning, we learn that Doctor Strange is experiencing ‘dreams’ that showcase other versions of himself.  Through some convenient plot devices and bombastic action sequences, he encounters America Chavez (Xochiti Gomez).  After some witty and expositional like dialogue, we learn that she has powers that allows her to traverse the multiverse.  This brings about some interesting revelations about certain magical books that lead to further interactions with the Sorcerer Supreme, Wong (Benedict Wong) and Wanda Maximoff/The Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen).  Further conflicts arise which forces Doctor Strange and Chavez on an adventure layered with characterization, comic book lore and weird/imaginative world building.  From this point, my review will stay vague (to avoid spoilers) and focus on the totality of journey.  Since 2008, Marvel has shown the ability to take the unimaginable and make it relatable.  With Sam Raimi at the helm, he brings his own unique touch that strings elements of comedy, horror and suspense within a web of comic book motifs to create something that is fun, weirdly different within themes of personal growth.  Watching our characters head through the multiverse brings about new situational motifs that showcase layered conflict of worldly consequences that parallel with emotional grief.  Having faced uncertainty in the past, each character must figure out what is truly important in the grand scheme of things.  As everything drives through visuals aesthetics of mind bending situations, it all stays centralized by the internal struggles of Doctor Strange and his friends. 

As the journey moves into the latter half of the film, it stays strong in the theme of personal struggles but also introduces further elements of the wider multiverse.  With additional things from the comics coming into play (in interesting ways), it leans into general setups of the wider MCU fabric.  Things become bogged down through gimmicks and simple dialogue, but with Raimi’s own talent of blending comedy/horror/action, it lifts the sequences beyond clichés to create suspenseful moments.  Once in the third act, everyone is faced with uncertain truths within one final confrontation.  With everything on the line, Doctor Strange must make tough choices that lead to interesting ramifications for him (in the MCU).  Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is a fun comic book adventures that stays strong with the Marvel tradition.  With the ability to the take the surreal and make it relatable, there is fun to be had.  If you are a fan of Doctor Strange, Marvel, Horror/comic books in general, this is one for you.  I say it is worth the seeing on the big screen. 

Full Score – 4 out of 5 (Full Price)

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