by Allie Vasserman
May 28, 2022
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022), directed by Sam Raimi, is the second Doctor Strange movie and the latest movie installment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). The movie stars Benedict Cumberbatch as Dr. Strange, Benedict Wong as Wong, Xochitl Gomez as America Chavez, Elizabeth Olsen as Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch, Rachel McAdams as Dr. Christine Palmer, and Jett Klyne and Julian Hilliard as Tommy and Billy Maximoff.
The movie opens up with a dream sequence of a teenage girl and a darker version of Dr. Strange running through a dimension toward a mystical artifact while fighting off a demon. As soon as the dream sequence ends, Dr. Strange wakes up and attends his ex-girlfriend Christine’s wedding. Dr. Strange leaves the wedding in order to fight a demon and quickly figures out that the demon is hunting the teenage girl from his dream. With help from Wong, the two sorcerers defeat the demon and learn that the teenage girl is America Chavez and that someone is trying to kill her for her interdimensional traveling superpowers. Dr. Strange and Wong agree to help America and protect her while also learning about the multiverse from her. After accidentally seeking help from the wrong person, Dr. Strange and America must navigate through the multiverse while Wong holds off a deadly enemy looking to kill America.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness takes place after the limited series WandaVision came out on Disney Plus, and the events of that show directly impact the plot of this movie. Wanda Maximoff (a.k.a. the Scarlet Witch) has now discovered additional powers and has grown darker in nature, which is reflected in her costume. Throughout the movie, Dr. Strange continually interacts with people who have dealt with other versions of himself and reveal to him that in other universes he is a villain instead of a hero. These revelations set up potential for his character to change from hero to villain in future MCU movies. The character deaths in this movie are darker compared to other MCU movies and have more of a horror feel to them.
As a huge fan of Marvel comics, I loved seeing the Easter eggs incorporated into this movie. I really enjoyed seeing the Illuminati for the first time on the big screen and as well as new characters who have been previously in Marvel-related projects but not in the MCU officially. Some of the jump scares definitely gave me horror movie vibes. At several points in the movie, I thought that the soundtrack matched the scene perfectly. America Chavez had a fairly predictable character arc, but I also enjoyed seeing it play out on the big screen. I found it interesting to watch Dr. Strange interact with other versions of his friends, enemies, and even himself, but I wish we got to see more versions of Dr. Strange or even other characters. It was nice to see more of the Christine Palmer character in this movie than in the first Doctor Strange movie and to get a better understanding of her relationship with Dr. Strange. Elizabeth Olsen does a fantastic job portraying an evolved version of the Scarlet Witch, and I really hope we see the return of the Scarlet Witch in future MCU projects. Benedict Cumberbatch does a great job portraying alternate versions of Dr. Strange, and I enjoyed watching his friendship with Wong on screen. Overall, I really enjoyed this movie and recommend it for fans of MCU movies, especially those who have seen WandaVision.