‘Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness’ review

Marvel’s most recent blockbuster ‘Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness’ is a thrill when the director gets to shine.


Cassandra Michaels

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness was released May 6, 2022

For a title as promising as “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness”, the film should have delivered more. And as for the audiences, they seem to be divided over the movie. Whilst many have found it imaginative and entertaining, others have seen it as just another Marvel movie as well as disappointing. In this case, both have some merit.

Set two years after “Wandavision (a tv-show that you should watch before “Multiverse of Madness”), the story focuses on Doctor Strange attempting to protect a girl named America Chavez who has the power to travel between universes. With monsters chasing Chavez, Strange must figure out how to stop them, who is behind the attacks and why. Soon Strange visits Wanda and must recruit her to aid Strange and Chavez. However, in a later attack Strange and Chavez are sent through the multiverse. Here they must find the Book of Vishanti, a book that will give them the knowledge to stop the attacks, and encounter faces both old and new.

On release, this film was incredibly hyped up, as is reflected by its $800 million global box office haul. In contrast to the United States, countries such as Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Qatar have had a $0 box office return. This is due to the ban of “Multiverse of Madness” because of LGBTQ+ content between America Chavez’s mothers. As of now, Disney’s “Reimagine Tomorrow” campaign, which is aiming to have 50% of Disney’s characters be of underrepresented groups by the end of the year, is standing firm. When the countries asked Disney to censor said scenes, Disney refused, however without these countries, it seems as though the film’s box office is doing quite well.

Here the director, Sam Raimi, gets to shine with what he does best…horror.

It’s no wonder this film was a box office smash, it promised multiverse shenanigans, insane visuals, and awesome cameos. However, the cameos are practically limited to one scene and the heroes only explore two different universes. It is understandable why the film only holds a 74% on Rotten Tomatoes. There are two particular scenes that stand out as the best of the entire movie. 


The first is when Strange and Chavez are fleeing Wanda, who is discovered to be the culprit behind the attacks. While being hunted in an alternate universe, Strange and Chavez run into “The Illuminati”, an Avengers-like group composed of heroes like Mr. Fantastic and Professor X. Here the director, Sam Raimi, gets to shine with what he does best…horror. In the beginning of the movie, the story feels very Marvel-formulaic with the usual visual style, character dynamics, and humor, but by the middle act, the style drastically changes. This is for the better. With Raimi’s history in directing horror movies, it definitely shows in certain portions of the movie, leading to one of the movie’s best sequences, Wanda chasing Strange and Chavez. The second standout scene is the way the climax is resolved with Wanda reuniting with her kids, only they’re terrified of her. With how much power and carelessness the character of Wanda shows, it is powerful to see her vulnerability.

Olsen is able to convince what may have seemed like a drastic personality change into a believable character

Recently the character of Wanda has garnered a lot of attention for her appearance in the film. It is easy to understand why, as Elizabeth Olsen’s portrayal of the character is phenomenal. Olsen is able to convince what may have seemed like a drastic personality change into a believable character. Newcomers, such as America Chavez are merely used as plot devices and Mr. Fantastic, played by John Krasinski, is horribly underutilized. And of course, it cannot be a Raimi film without Bruce Campbell’s cameo, who is featured in both the movie and an after-credits scene. There are two end-credit scenes, one of which goes to Campbell as a joke, the other setting up the future for Doctor Strange, however, the execution is underwhelming.

Overall, the movie receives three and a half out of five stars for fantastic sequences, great acting, and interesting visual effects. However, some characters and plot opportunities are underutilized and much of the film is standard Marvel formula. I would recommend this to anyone who really cares about the characters of Wanda and Doctor Strange, likes weird movies or wants a little horror in their superhero flick.