Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, the review of the new Marvel adventure

Phase 4 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe also continues in the cinema with the new adventure of Doctor Strange: here is our review.

A little over ten years ago, Iron Man appeared to the world on the big screen when none of us could imagine that Disney would buy Marvel and invest in the so-called. Marvel Cinematic Universe. Today, after more than twenty films and several television series, we have even come to speak of the Multiverse: a concept that Marvel Studios have begun to explore for some time and that allows several loopholes in terms of casting and storytelling. In the comics, the Multiverse is pretty much a trivia, but those who follow only the cinema may have only heard of it in Spider-Man: No Way Home.

The good news is that you don’t need to have seen Spider-Man, nor the TV series focused on Loki and the parallel universes: absurdly, it is of little use to have even seen the first Doctor Strange, given that the new film is more than anything else. the sequel to WandaVision.

Here, that is a series that you should see before going to the cinema, otherwise you would understand half of what happens in about two hours of film: a gamble, which intertwines the cinema with the Disney streaming service, but which in the end embellishes what it’s definitely one of the best Marvel movies we’ve seen in years.

Also thanks to Sam Raimi, of course, as we will explain in this one review of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness in which we were very careful to dose spoilers and previews!

The return of Sam Raimi

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, a scene from the film with Benedict Cumberbatch

Who knows if it is a coincidence that in these days, exactly twenty years ago, one of the most beloved cinecomics of all time was projected on the big screens for the first time: Spider-Man. She ran it Sam Raimithe very same director who had signed the saga de The House and that shortly thereafter he would have shot the excellent first Spider-Man 2then the highly criticized Spider-Man 3interrupting the collaboration with Marvel for years.

In reality, between 2007 and the present, Raimi did little at the cinema: just the best Drag Me to Hell and the mediocre The great and mighty Ozaddressing the small screen more than anything else with its series Ash Vs. the Evil Dead and little else. It was since 2013 that Sam Raimi no longer made a film for the cinema and, when Scott Derrickson – the director of the first Doctor Strange – gave up working on the sequel due to creative differences, the opportunity was too tempting: after all, the mega producer Kevin Feige he wanted this Doctor Strange 2 to be a horror-tinged experiment, but still needed a touch of humor and lightness, a combination in which Raimi is a master.


Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, Wanda in Scarlet Witch version
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, Wanda in Scarlet Witch version

And Raimi, believe us, hasn’t lost his touch. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, in this sense, is one of the least … Marvel films, so to speak, to come out on this label. IS dark and violent, desperate and frightening, with a hint of humor – but so delicate it almost seems out of place – and a level of introspection that only a master of timing and editing would have been able to guarantee despite the characters and the context. And nevertheless, it is still a film not suitable for everyone, although it seems quite daring to advise children to watch it: some scenes are actually very strong, whether the violence is explicit or just suggested off-screen.

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is a Raimi film. It is also his filmography stuck in a Marvel Studios film through references, quotations and audiovisual suggestions, starting with the soundtrack of his favorite composer, Danny Elfman. If we really wanted to make a comparison, the new adventure of Doctor Strange is closer to Army of Darkness than to an Avengers spin-off.

WandaVision 2?


Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, the demon Gargantos attacks the city
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, the demon Gargantos attacks the city

In case you didn’t know it, and you should be blind because it is practically on all the posters, not to mention the trailers and promotional photos, the other great protagonist of the film is Wanda Maximoff, who in WandaVision we discovered to be the prophesied and very powerful Scarlet Witch. In retrospect, what we just wrote is not entirely accurate. Elizabeth Olsen, who plays her masterfully, has almost the same screentime as Benedict Cumberbatch and at times it is difficult to understand who the film is: Raimi handles Michael Waldron’s script with great skill, finding the time to outline all the main characters, explaining the motivations that move them, their traumas and finding a more than satisfactory closure for each of them.

America Chavez is one of them. Played by the pleasant Xochitl Gomez, this new entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe was in danger of being incredibly cloying – she’s a teenager who can punch through the Multiverse, literally – and instead proved to be a notable addition to the expanding cast of Phase 4.


Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, Xochitl Gomez plays America Chavez
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, Xochitl Gomez plays America Chavez

Is exactly America to start the story, swooping into our universe as Strange is at the wedding of his former flame Christine Palmer (a gorgeous Rachel McAdams). America is hunted by an enemy who wants her powers from her and so far has found help in the Doctor Strange of the Multiverse: this is why ours decides to help her too and to do so she turns to the most powerful Avenger she knows. These are the first ten minutes of the film and in the remainder everything really happens.

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is a rather straightforward film in terms of narrative. Once the threat and the stakes are outlined, it continues in a linear fashion to the end, jumping from one stage to another in an organic and never confusing way. The twists, if we can call them that, are designed for true fans of comics or the Marvel Cinematic Universe who also follow the multimedia scene, the wishes of the fandom and the rumors about the next films.


Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, Doctor Strange meets the Illuminati
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, Doctor Strange meets the Illuminati

If there is a more critical aspect to the film, it is perhaps just that: a giant wink – call it fanservice, if you want – perfectly contextualized, not free of charge, but also incomprehensible to a large section of the public. And then, above all, Doctor Strange.

Cumberbatch is excellent as always and Raimi’s film carefully outlines the inner torments of Doctor Strange, only we are talking about Doctor Strange, the first film, of which this film does not seem to be missing at times. Apart from some references – the slingring, which is now called fiondina, or the role of Mordo and his antagonistic relationship with the protagonist, which however seems to have developed between one film and another – there are very few points of contact between the two films. , both in tone and in technique. Already the way of fighting of Kamar-Taj’s sorcerers is completely different and Derrickson’s psychedelic visual solutions have been abandoned in favor of a more traditional imagery. In short, those who had appreciated the first film for these characteristics could be baffled.


Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, each universe has its own Sorcerer Supreme
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, each universe has its own Sorcerer Supreme

The rest works perfectly, however, and Raimi also manages to slip into these scenes some appetizing previews that contribute to what in the jargon we call “world building”, that is, the definition and particularization of the context in which the stories unfold. The director, however, is much more at ease when he has to talk to her shots, more than the characters. The dialogues are not particularly poignant, but every action scene, every chase, has the indistinguishable signature of the creator of La casa: sudden zooms, lopsided shots, intense close-ups, solutions that are always imaginative, creative and, why not, humorous.

It ends wonderfully, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness: it closes many subplots that have remained pending since the beginning of the film or even before, and we advise you to stay in the room at least for the first scene after the credits.

Comment

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is one of the most engaging cinecomics of recent years, and the paradox lies in the fact that it looks more like a creature of Sam Raimi than a film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The director of The House has taken over the franchise with extraordinary confidence and skill, making it a film that at times feels like a real horror. Despite being strongly linked to WandaVision, the new adventure of Doctor Strange would seem to be the cornerstone of the new Marvel Studios course, and therefore a very important film and, fortunately, really successful.

PRO

  • It’s the darkest and most violent Marvel Studios movie yet
  • The characteristic direction of Sam Raimi
  • Elizabeth Olsen is stratospheric

AGAINST

  • You have to see WandaVision on Disney + to understand the plot well
  • Some junctions in history may seem strange to those who do not know Marvel well and everything that goes around it

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Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, the review of the new Marvel adventure


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