Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness — which hits theaters Friday — isn’t really a Doctor Strange movie. I mean, of course, Benedict Cumberbatch was in it, more than one Doctor Strange in fact. But the new Marvel Cinematic Universe movie isn’t really built around him, but Elizabeth Olsen’s Wanda Maximoff and her grief over the loss of her child in Wanda Vision. If a character’s name needs to appear in the title, Scarlet Witch would be more appropriate.That is, everyone involved – including director Sam Raimi (Tobey Maguire) spiderman trilogy), author Michael Waldron (Rocky), Cumberbatch, and Rachel McAdams, who plays Doctor Strange’s former lover Kristen Palmer—do their best to create something believable and to Doctor Strange’s emotional arc.

But nothing can be bought between Doctor Strange and Palmer, as the first Doctor Strange movie saw McAdams’ appearance as an afterthought. Waldron’s big idea for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness was to question whether he was happy. The former wizard supreme may have saved the world a few times, but it came at a personal cost. Of course, Maximoff has made greater sacrifices, as anyone who’s seen WandaVision or a previous MCU movie with Olsen knows that. WandaVision isn’t exactly a need to watch, but it does help you get a sense of where in the headspace Maximoff is right now, and how her arc feels semi-reset in a way. The new Marvel movie reveals hidden depths, and we’re told it’s an end-and-forward journey for Maximov.

Meanwhile, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness has more ideas. I mean, literally, there’s a “multiverse” in the title. Lacking the nostalgic hooks that allow Spider-Man: No Way Home to bring back beloved actors, the new Doctor Strange movie’s multiverse approach relies on alternate versions of the characters we know — and more, surprising us. There are some important cameos here, both expected and unexpected, but I guess not everyone will agree with how they are handled. It essentially shows that only the main dimension of the MCU – eventually named Earth-616 in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness – is the only one that matters and that all other Earths exist to serve it. To borrow a term from the movie, some might call it a blasphemy of reality.

Everything you need to know about Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness

But it’s exactly the kind of stuff you’d expect a former Rick and Morty writer — at Waldron — to come up with. Now the MCU consists of infinite universes with so many variants and characters that you can basically do anything. Assuming you have money, Disney and Marvel Studios are hardly short of money. It also helps that there is no shortage of Hollywood actors eager to be part of the MCU.

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Almost every cameo in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is a stretched gimmick — it’s pandering, but it’s also willing to laugh at their sacrifice — in a way that’s consistent with previous ones. Marvel Studios has been guiding us through Phase 4 of the MCU, whether it’s Evan Peters’ role as Pietro Maximoff in WandaVision proving to be a red herring, and Vincent D’Onofrio returning as Wilson Fisk/Kingpin Daredevil exist Hawkeye Just appear to be killed.

Although it wasn’t just Waldron who was released universe In the multiverse, anything is possible. Raimi in spiderman The world – which is now retroactively connected to the MCU in some way, eh – but there are few rules here. The 62-year-old director has moved beyond Waldron, 35, with his troubles with character arcs and fan-service to push the MCU into places it had previously been far from. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is rough, bloody, scary and bizarre at various times. It’s right in front of you, and it’s willing to thrust itself into the mythological and illustrative of some Doctor Strange comics like never before.

At least one jump scare. There are several moments of body horror, the most memorable of which is Olsen squeezing out of the mirror, contorting her arms and legs before she can fix herself. I wonder how blissful parents will feel about it after their kids drag them to the cinema to watch “that new Marvel movie.” In one sequence, somewhat predating Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, Doctor Strange and another character travel through various universes, including an animated one and a place where everyone is drawing.

Remy – just like Scott Derrickson before him Doctor Strange – Also find ways to make the action fun. The highlight is a battle to repeat the background music in creative and refreshing ways. I felt the first film was more creative overall, although our first look at the occult artist naturally helped.

Watch The Last Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness trailer

Xochitl Gomez to play American Chavez in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness
Image credit: Disney/Marvel Studios

After the events of No Way Home, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness discovers that Doctor Strange meets teenage American Chavez (Xochitl Gomez, from Netflix’s Babysitter Club), who reveals that she can inadvertently move between dimensions, every Everyone is chasing her power. This begins an interdimensional adventure as Strange tries to protect her from those who try to harm her. Chavez is not a character, but a MacGuffin. (There are also two objects MacGuffins, all of which together drive the plot. Maybe the movie should be called Doctor Strange in the MacGuffins multiverse.) So Chavez doesn’t have her own arc – her final upbringing feels artificial Yes – her only real lesson on Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is that adult superheroes are mostly scary.

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In some ways, this could be interpreted as the theme of the new Marvel movie. That MCU hero is always a step or two away from going completely crazy. The power they have is too much for them, and they probably shouldn’t trust them. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness shows Tony Stark/Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) right. Some of these heroes are so powerful with the wrong training that others like them can’t control them. Of course, there are major flaws in regulation—institutions can also be corrupted, as Captain America: The Winter demonstrates—but in a multiverse where mad forces are everywhere and seismic events are frequent, perhaps there should be some kind of form regulations.

But these elements are never really mentioned, let alone discussed, on Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. That’s unfortunate. Considering that strangeness is such a big part of the conversation, and even more so after his irresponsible behavior, No Way Home, it’s ludicrous that a wizard with so much power fails to ask basic questions before brainwashing teens with wishes. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness even teased the direction that Doctor Strange will confront a more evil self who has lost the plot. The movie has trinkets about how Doctor Strange poses the greatest danger to the multiverse, but they appear to be remnants of early drafts of the movie. As it turns out, Marvel lied about the plot. Because this movie is about something else entirely.

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness leaks torrent ahead of release

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness Rachel McAdams Benedict Cumberbatch Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness

Rachel McAdams as Kristen Palmer, Benedict Cumberbatch as Doctor Strange, and Hochtel Gomez as American Chavez in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness
Image credit: Disney/Marvel Studios

In doing so, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness dropped the ending of the previous Doctor Strange movies. Given the way the original was set, whole characters, those who were supposed to play a big part in the sequel, were forgotten. I can’t say if this affected the “creative differences” of Derrickson, who left half a year after the film was officially announced. It’s an ever-changing beast for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.The movie has reportedly changed a lot because of Marvel’s schedule and response Rocky, no way home and test screening. The remakes were extensive, with actors brought back repeatedly—in December, January, and even March, less than two months before the release.

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When Marvel brought in Remy, it seemed like an odd choice since he’s only directed two films in the 15 years since he ended his spiderman 2007 trilogy. But he’s not only steeped in horror — as the creator of the Evil Dead franchise — Marvel’s desire for Doctor Strange in the multiverse of madness, but it’s fair to say that Remy made superhero movies a thing. While others will build on the genre’s credibility, Remy laid the groundwork for the existence of the MCU and the current domination of superheroes over our pop culture space.

With Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, Remy is in a way the craziest Marvel movie in years. But as eccentric, Remy couldn’t hide his flaws. After all he is still working in a system. While the multiverse of movies may open up endless possibilities, the MCU doesn’t. All for the greater benefit of Disney and Marvel Studios. Although the script was free to play — which gave Remy his mark on the film — Waldron failed to make meaningful progress for Cumberbatch’s lead role. He’s playing with some heavyweight tools, including destiny, parenting, the pursuit of perfection, and idealism. But Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness stumbles itself over and over again because it doesn’t have the depth to solve the problem it’s trying to solve.

At times, it feels like a live-action Rick and Morty episode — or a bland Marvel animation if…? – Extend to two hours for $200 million. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness gets lost in the shenanigans of the multiverse, forgetting that great stories are ultimately about people and their relationships. You can throw as much CGI and funny cameos as you want to your audience. But it’s never going to be more than a popcorn movie if your characters aren’t on a meaningful journey.

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness opens in theaters worldwide on Friday, May 6. In India, Doctor Strange in the Mad Multiverse is available in English, Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam and Kannada.



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