‘Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness’ Movie Review: Sam Raimi Melds Superhero and Campy Horror

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is a wild ride full of action infused with the delightful addition of Sam Raimi’s campy horror. The Marvel Cinematic Universe keeps hold of its formula but mixes it up enough stylistically to give it an additional edge. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is a movie event that really goes all out.

‘Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness’ takes the multiverse another step forward

'Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness' Benedict Cumberbatch as Dr. Stephen Strange standing in a dark room full of candles in the background
Benedict Cumberbatch as Dr. Stephen Strange | Marvel Studios

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness continues the story of Dr. Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch). As the MCU dives deeper into the multiverse, the stakes continue to get much larger. He meets America Chavez (Xochitl Gomez), who dangerous entities are trying to capture in a cat-and-mouse chase.

Dr. Strange is determined to help Chavez, especially as he discovers that the fate of the multiverse is at play. The door to the multiverse is open, as he clashes with alternate versions of himself with differing motivations. Dr. Strange will require all the help he can get, but will it be enough?

Director Sam Raimi combines Marvel superheroes with campy horror

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness continues to deal with the fallout from “The Snap” in both social and personal ways. The public still questions whether the heroes truly did all they could to prevent the events of Avengers: Infinity War. Meanwhile, Dr. Strange also wrestles with messing things up with the love of his life, Christine (Rachel McAdams).

Trauma is a core element in Michael Waldron’s screenplay. Wanda (Elizabeth Olson) is still dealing with the loss of her children and wants to find a way to get them back. Every character is chasing their own idea of happiness, which is a core element that runs throughout the movie. However, their front-facing smiles will only take them so far before they must confront their own demons.

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness injects horror directly into the MCU, bringing evil books and tentacle monsters to the silver screen. Glass is a thematic motif that expands upon the film’s discussion around dreams and endless possibility. Waldron’s story certainly goes down the convoluted path of countless universes but contributes a dream-like quality to it that allows for even more surreal world-building.

‘Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness’ is the most adrenaline-pumping and action-packed Marvel movie yet

'Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness' Elizabeth Olsen as Wanda Maximoff:Scarlet Witch levitating off the ground with her eyes closed with candles surrounding her in a circle
Elizabeth Olsen as Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch | Marvel Studios

The MCU continues to pair longtime characters with new faces. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness introduces Chavez to the silver screen in a way that works rather well. Gomez contributes a vulnerability to the picture that pairs well with Cumberbatch’s signature delivery. However, Olsen is truly show-stopping in a sincere performance that exquisitely connects her narrative from WandaVision.

Raimi brings major Evil Dead vibes to Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. Familiar sweeping camera shots, jump scares, and Deadite-adjacent imagery are all present that will delight both longtime horror fans and those first digging into the genre. Raimi explores death, terror, and violence in a way the world hasn’t seen from the MCU until now.

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is the most adrenaline-pumping and action-packed MCU movie yet. It’s campy Raimi horror to the bone. The action set-pieces are immensely creative, the scale is bombastic, and it’s a visual feast. Olsen elevates some of the film’s dramatic shortcomings, but there’s no denying how much fun it all is to watch unfold.

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness appears in theaters starting on May 6.

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