'Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness' Dives Down a Wormhole of MCU References Directed by Sam Raimi
Starring Benedict Cumberbatch, Rachel McAdams, Elizabeth Olsen, Benedict Wong, Xochitl Gómez
Published May 09, 2022Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is a solidly entertaining entry that will delight diehard fans of the MCU. There are cross-references across films, so having a great deal of knowledge of the MCU universe is key as viewers dive across multiverse.
The film follows teenager America Chavez (Xochitl Gómez), who is on the run from demons trying to kill her because of her unique power of being able to travel across the multiverse.
When she finally steps foot into our planet within the MCU, Earth-616, she is pursued by a giant octopus demon, and Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) and Wong (Benedict Wong) save her before she's devoured. This happens just as Strange is attending the wedding of his former love interest, Dr. Christine Palmer (Rachel McAdams).
In order to keep America safe, they send her to the magical fortress of Kamar-Taj to protect her from the demons. America's power is coveted by Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen), who will do anything and everything to get her children back (as they exist in other multiverses) and become a mom again.
This sequel surpassed the original 2016 film. This version is darker and weirder, with more shocking deaths, violent kills and surprise twists. The idea of the multiverse is equally exhilarating. Like with any multiverse film, it can be convoluted at times, but seeing alternate versions of familiar characters is incredibly satisfying.
Cumberbatch is at his best as he steps back into his Doctor Strange role — fully letting audiences forget his sadistic role in The Power of the Dog from a few months ago. Here, he gets a stronger character arc, and it's fun to watch his alternate versions across the universes.
You can clearly see director Sam Raimi's horror influences on the film, as he previously helmed Evil Dead. His infusion of macabre moments are far from maddening, fully immersing us into the rollercoaster of the multiverse.
The only drawback to Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is that it's very much connected to WandaVision so moviegoers who haven't watched or are aware of what went down in WandaVision might be scratching their heads at times.
Overall, this entry is extremely entertaining, fun and a ride that get dark at times — and that makes it all the more fun to watch. Raimi leaves his fingerprints all over this, and the multiverse madness makes it one for the books. (Marvel Studios)