'Doctor Strange 2' Review: Disorder& Horror Conquer In MCU & Sam Raimi's Brainchild

If there were fourteen million, six hundred and five results of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, Marvel reached out with just the correct one.

If there were fourteen million, six hundred and five outcomes of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, Marvel came out with just the right one with Sam Raimi doing as the absolute pinpoint in the design of the brain-teasing MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe) flick that will hit the theatres in Asia on May 6, 2022.

You do not have to be an ardent fan of the Marvel comics or its cinematic world to be aware of the fictional sprawling galaxies that have and continue to develop its horizon by presenting new superheroes and supervillains. Suppose such vast universes and otherworldly superheroes live in numerous similar facts. When they entwine — either purposely or as a result of someone's greed for power — it usually leaves the Earth in great peril.

Well, this time, Marvel played with the much frightening little-explored concept in Doctor Strange 2 and did just that to save the universe-hopping superhero America Chavez. Marvel blockbusters of recent times like Spider-Man: No Way Home, What If...?, Loki, and WandaVision have paved the way for the design of the storyline that is explored in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.

'Doctor Strange 2' Review: Disorder& Horror Conquer In MCU & Sam Raimi's Brainchild

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness Cast: Benedict Cumberbatch, Elizabeth Olsen, Xochitl Gomez, Rachel McAdams

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness Director: Sam Raimi

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness Producers: Kevin Feige, Marvel Studios 

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness plot

Surgeon-turned-sorcerer Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) came back to life after turning into dust for five years only to comply with a request of a college-going teenager with Spidey sense and a record of saving the world to meddle with a dangerous spell. In a bid to conceal Spider-Man's uniqueness once again, Strange opens up the portal to the universe inviting a rogue's gallery from other universes along with their arch-nemesis, the other Spider-Men. 

While Tom Holland's web crawler went on his merry way to give the supervillains another chance at redemption, Doctor Strange will now traverse through the multiverse. As seen in the trailer, the film will attack much more in-depth into the concept of the Multiverse and a daunting glimpse into the possibility of ending all lives with just one simple mishap. As America Chavez, the new superhero in MCU travels through the multiverse with her abilities to escape the deranged creatures in pursuit of her powers, she stumbles upon Doctor Strange who decides to protect her so that her powers do not fall into the wrong hands. 

The wrong hands in question will be an interesting decision for the audience to take as the trailer did not really reveal the true villain of Doctor Strange 2. On the other hand, it did show the formidable forces of the Scarlett Witch (Elizabeth Olsen), who has one of the most important and biggest roles in the film. Along with her, Doctor Strange will also face his other iterations who do not seem very friendly. 

What works?

Marvel fanatics really manifested a full-fledged gory, horror flick for years resulting in Sam Raimi's masterclass work which is the second solo outing of Cumberbatch as the Master of the Mystic Arts. The plotline of the film valleys on the ever-expanding possibility of the multiverse where everything doesn't necessarily have to make sense. The film stations itself well in the MCU timeline but Sam Raimi's twisted, groovy and gut-churning signature remembering his earlier work with the likes of The Evil Dead and Drag Me to Hell is evident all over the film.

Marvel earned another reason to boast about its VFX prowess as Doctor Strange 2 took the audience through a kaleidoscopic visual treat that went well with the mind-bending theme of parallel universes. However, they did appear quite vapid in a few scenes creating a CGI-fest for fans. Regarding the complicated plot, the story-telling did not seem convoluted but instead ebbed with ease throughout the runtime. 

The actors, who have an impressive oeuvre to their honor, did justice to their characters and owned their time on the screen. Each character was given enough time to develop especially Strange and Chavez's bond. The multiversal narrative allowed Cumberbatch and Olsen to showcase their acting prowess as the MCU explored their characters to the deepest corner of their plots provoking them to unleash a full-fledged craze. 

In any scenario or universe, Benedict Cumberbatch does the magical job of proving to the people why he is the supreme choice to play the role right from the start. To say Elizabeth Olsen stole the show would be an understatement. If you have watched her solo outing WandaVision, you must be pretty familiar with the kind of dark chaos she is capable of and carries in the palm of her hands. One might also be familiar with the heartbreaking events that fuel her intentions unbeknownst to the diabolical wreckage she might leave in her wake. Sam Raimi truly explored and allowed, so to say, her powers to manifest and pursue her goal by unleashing total madness.

Newcomer Xochitl Gomez was a delight to watch on screen while Benedict Wong proves exactly why he was promoted to the position of the Sorcerer Supreme. Rachel McAdams also played a vital role as the film explored Strange's relationship with her and arguably provides closure for his feelings.   

What doesn't work?

The concept of the multiverse could have been explored in more detail with the red-caped superhero. While the CGI in the film is imperative to showcase the supernatural powers of the villains and the heroes, the film appeared to be inconsistently jammed. Benedict Cumberbatch's iterations, though supremely powerful, did not get the opportunity to showcase the full extent of their capabilities. A good ol' showdown with the Supreme Strange, Sinister Strange (Or like The Ancient One would call it 'the Misguided Twin), and Doctor Strange would have been one to remember. 

Final thoughts 

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness painted a new possibility for the future of MCU as Raimi seamlessly interweaved two different genres to create an action-packed, gory, deranged, and mystical ride to the multiverses. Thanks to the fan theories and rumors on social media, the audience will go in knowing the possibilities of surprises in the film. However, that doesn't damper the excitement rushing through the veins while watching it on screen. If you are one of the lucky ones who have been spared the malpractices of spoilers and leaks, you are in for one huge cinematic experience. After seeing Sam Raimi's brilliant craft of mixing horror and superhero flick in the film, it has opened up the possibility for Marvel to interweave and experiment with different genres in the MCU. 

Rating: 4/5

Image: Instagram/@marvelstudios

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