Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is a movie only Sam Raimi could make. This is his big return to the superhero genre since 2007’s Spider-Man 3 and he took this movie and made it his own. It’s not perfect but it wouldn’t have been nearly as good as it was had it not been for Sam Raimi as the director.
THIS REVIEW IS SPOILER-FREE. IF YOU’VE SEEN THE TRAILERS AND TV SPOTS, YOU’RE SAFE TO READ AHEAD.
This movie has Sam Raimi’s name written all over it. He took the opportunity to go back to his horror roots with this film and gave us the MCU’s scariest film yet. There are some truly scary moments in this movie and several jump-scares that actually got me jumping out of my seat. Raimi wasn’t afraid to bring in the undead either. At times, it felt like Evil Dead meets Marvel.
The tone of the film is all over the place. It’s dark, scary, campy, funny, and exciting all at once. Despite the vastly different tones throughout it’s 126-minute runtime, it still feels like a cohesive movie. This movie, as the title suggests, is madness and it shows.
Visually, the VFX in the film were probably the thing that stood out to me most. If the trailers were any indication, this film relies heavily on VFX and it doesn’t disappoint. Whether it was Strange and Chavez going through a universe made from paint or the entire opening sequence (the most I can say without spoilers), the movie looked stunning! This is worth noting because this was a big undertaking for the crew and they completed their mission with flying colours. Hats off to them!
The MVPs of this movie are Elizabeth Olsen as Wanda Maximoff and Xochitl Gomez as America Chavez. Olsen gives her best performance to date as Maximoff and even though she’s clearly the antagonist in the film (the trailers are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Wanda), you actually start to sympathize with her after a while. Gomez may be new the MCU scene, but she is quick to make her mark with her performance as Chavez. She stole every scene she was in and I think the fans will love her. In my opinion, Gomez will quickly become one of the faces of the MCU going forward and honestly, I cannot wait to see more from her.
Danny Elfman’s score in the film is just magical. It’s some of his finest work in recent memory and while I don’t usually find MCU scores all that memorable, this one really sticks out. His score ranges from having a very mystical tone to the use of electric guitars. It’s a very versatile score, and it really needs to be to line up with this film’s tone.
The film’s script is where I have my problems. Michael Waldron is a talented writer, no doubt, but for some reason, it didn’t work here. The story felt clunky at times and if it wasn’t for Sam Raimi’s direction, the final product would’ve been very different. The plot felt very confusing at times and honestly, hard to follow. Thankfully, the visual spectacle that is Sam Raimi’s direction and the performances from the actors make the script work.
So overall, I enjoyed Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. It’s a supremely better film than Doctor Strange and one of the best superhero sequels in recent years. If Doctor Strange 3 isn’t a priority for Marvel Studios already, it will be quite soon.