Synopsis: Doctor Strange In The Multiverse of Madness sees Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) seeks help from Wanda Maximoff (Elisabeth Olsen) – a.k.a. Scarlet Witch. But the answer is far from what he was hoping for, and soon chaos ensues . . .
Things begin with the introduction of America Chavez (Xochitl Gomez), who plays an important role in proceedings. We soon discover she has an ability to traverse the multiverse. However, America (Xochitl Gomez) isn’t able to control and hone her powers. That’s why she ends up in Earth 616, which she escaped to. Once Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) visits Scarlet Witch (Elisabeth Olsen) it becomes clear that Scarlet Witch is indeed pursuing America. Scarlet Witch wants her powers, for her own means.
Once the main scene is set, the premise is basically Doctor Strange Vs Scarlet Witch. Doctor Strange seeks the Book of Vishanti, which is his only hope to counteract the power of the Darkhold Book, that Scarlet Witch is wielding. A huge part of things is the further impact of Wanda becoming Scarlet Witch. Her character arc since the end of WandaVision (which we fully reviewed) is explored. We see just how far a person will go, when they are in such pain. There was some wonderful exploratuion of a truly fascinating character.
In terms of performances, the film belongs to Elisabeth Olsen, primarily. Olsen’s dedication to the part is clear, and the resullts of it are evident. There’s some genuinely compelling depictions of trauma, and the madness it can bring on. Olsen ensures that you never fully abandon your empathy for the character, despite her brutality. Cumberbatch also depicted the pain of sacrificing his love for Christine Palmer(Rachel McAdams) well. Both Rachel McAdams and Xochitl Gomez put in strong performances, in supporting roles too.
CGI & Effects
Considering Doctor Strange In The Multiverse of Madness uses CGI so widely, there is some really smart use of it, for exposition and not just for visual gratification. One scene in particular is the one in which Wanda is attempted to be reached, by one of the film’s big cameos (no spoilers!). There is a crimson mist that represents Wanda’s being shrouded in desperation. This shows that it’s aso important to use CGI to actually help tell a good story and help to build the atmosphere. Generally, the CGI is absolutely Marvel-lous!
Doctor Strange In The Multiverse of Madness is essentially the first horror film of the MCU. All of the traits were there, which included some scares and “jumpy bits”. This might be a sign that the MCU will soon be a cross-genre franchise. As we see Blade (Mahershala Ali) turn up and other darker characters, we’re bound to see more horror-themed stuff. It was a good change, and suited the tone of the story and the character arcs. It was a little surprising that the events of Soiderman: No Way Home (2021) didn’t feature more heavily. But the MCU is likely playing the long game. Stick around until the very end to make sure you don’t miss out on something . . .
Doctor Strange In The Multiverse of Madness is in cinemas now
- CGI & Effects9.5
- Incidental Music9.0