I mean that figuratively not literally. Also, spoiler warning for Doctor Strange’s latest outing. Although if you haven’t seen the movie why are you reading a review?
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is truly a Marvel film like we’ve never seen before. It may become a source of division between fans, but for me it may be in my top 5 MCU films.
There are now 26 films and 7 shows in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Instead of tasking you with watching them all, I’ll say all you really need to know is in this film’s title. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is just about Doctor Strange’s trip through the multiverse. The story follows the master of the mystic arts and newcomer America Chavez as they try to escape the Scarlet Witch.
While the story is simple, the visual effects are not. It is mind boggling that 14 years ago a Marvel film meant watching two guys in mechanical suits duke it out, and now it includes a zombified sorcerer hurling demons at a witch. No matter how much you know about CGI you can tell a lot of work went into this film. They made a giant squid terrorize New York and lose it’s giant eyeball. But what was truly breathtaking was the creation of the several different universes we get a glimpse of in this movie. Each universe is as visually stunning as the last, but comes with its own unique style.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is directed by Sam Raimi and his influence on the film is evident. Raimi is known for directing the Tobey Maguire Spider-Man trilogy and The Evil Dead trilogy. He brings his unique style to Doctor Strange 2. This movie makes good use of shots where the camera slowly rolls and pushes into the characters, which is a Raimi staple. My favorite stylistic choice was the use of cross dissolves where the previous scene will dissolve into a shot of another character. Raimi is also well known for his use of horror and slapstick comedy even in a film like Spider-Man 2. Raimi dives into horror with this new movie and the result is the scariest film in the MCU. Now Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is by no means a straight up horror film, but it does feature a plethora of gore, eerie shots, and jumpscares. The film pushes the boundary of a PG-13 rating and is enough to make you spill your popcorn.
The soundtrack was another standout from the film. Danny Elfman served as composer and he’s collaborated with Raimi in the past on his Spider-Man films. The music became an auditory storyteller helping to move the film along. What I appreciated was a guitar riff that served as a motif for the Darkhold. Everytime the Darkhold’s evil spells were used or it affected a character Elfman would come in with a strum of his 80s rock guitar.
Although it may not be the best entry into the MCU, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is the most stylized film yet. It is the clear product of hard work and care. Go experience it in theaters to see just how mad the multiverse can be.