#Film, #Horror, #Cinema, #movie review, #Superhero, #Action
Jul 2, 2022
Review: Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022)
Review by: David North-Martino
Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness (2022) is a superhero film directed by Sam Raimi (The Evil Dead, Spider-Man), Written by Michael Waldron (Loki), and stars Benedict Cumberbatch (Star Trek Into Darkness), Elizabeth Olsen (Godzilla), and Xochitl Gomez (The Baby-Sitters Club).
This film is one of the better superhero movies of recent memory, but I still found it lackluster. It was designed to be a safe vehicle to expand upon the MCU’s multiverse, introduce America Chaves, and wrap up Wanda Maximoff/The Scarlet Witch’s character arc that began in WandaVision. It succeeds on all these levels but relegates the title character to the backseat albiet with a lot of screen time.
Not so much a sequel but an expansion of the character, Cumberbatch was born to play Doctor Strange. Although, it’s weird not having him as Sorcerer Supreme. I don’t like it, not one bit.
Xochitl Gomez as America Chaves does her best with what she’s given, which isn’t much. Word is, they toned down her dialog to remove annoying character traits and it seems in so doing she was robbed of any personality. They set up a similar mentorship as Tony Stark/Peter Parker in Spiderman: Homecoming, but without the chemistry, heart, and charm of that movie. America Chaves is fine as a secondary character but would need to be beefed up to take on her own film. Could she front her own TV show? I guess, only time will tell.
Elizabeth Olsen as Wanda Maximoff/The Scarlet Witch is probably the best here. So much so that she steals the movie. I noted a disappearing accent, but this type of thing happens regularly in film and I’m just sensitive to it. Confession time: I never watched WandaVision. So, I can safely say that you don’t need to sit through that program to understand what’s going on here. As a mater of fact, this movie was easy to follow and doesn’t get muddled or bogged down in the plot. Although, it could have used about a thirty minute trim. However, it should be noted, if you watch this film before WandaVision, you’ll get a major spoiler. If it’s important to you to watch WandaVision, I’d suggest watching that first.
Sam Raimi took the reins after the original director, Scott Derrickson (Doctor Strange, Sinister), stepped down due to creative differences with the studio. Would his vision have been better? I’d love to see his cut, if one exists. As it stands, it was fun to see Sam Raimi’s horror stamp on the finished product, and the cameos were a welcome edition. I’ve been a fan of The Evil Dead since the 80s.
All in all, this was an enjoyable, if a little bland, outing that ticks all the boxes for the MCU to continue on with the vision Disney has set forth. Maybe I’m suffering from superhero fatigue, but I was underwhelmed.
I give Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness a solid 3 out of 5 stars. It’s definitely worth a watch even if there’s not a lot of replay value.
Doctor Strange in the Multiversie of Madness is streaming on Disney+ and is still in some theaters.
Story Doctoring Doctor Strange? Haha! This is a hard one. I would rewrite the film to focus on Doctor Strange and have him reclaim the title of Sorcerer Supreme. Without studio meddling, I would have left Wanda and America Chaves to their own vehicles.
Rating: Three out of five stars