Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness

Hannah Bickom, Staff Writer

On May 6, Marvel released a highly anticipated addition to the MCU: “Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness.” A sequel to the 2016 movie “Doctor Strange,” “Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness” follows Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) as he meets a peculiar teenage girl (Xochitl Gomez) who can travel across multiverses. Doctor Strange is forced to fend off various threats to the stability of the Multiverse, with the help of the sorcerers of Kamar-Taj. In the few weeks since the movie’s release, it has earned more than 700 million dollars worldwide.

The most impressive part of this movie lies in its technical aspects. The effects are vividly engaging, and at times even a bit disturbing. Certain scenes evoke reactions similar to those stimulated by a horror movie. I love this aspect because it is not an element employed in previous MCU movies and allows this movie to stand out from the 27 others which precede it. The fights were captivating and engaging, and the horror elements in addition to innovative visual effects intensified these scenes. As usual, the actors gave amazing performances, with Elizabeth Olsen remaining in her role as the Scarlet Witch. Xochitl Gomez created an interesting new character who I hope to see in future Marvel movies.

In terms of plot, there are great aspects and others which could be improved. At first, I struggled to understand the true weight of the conflict in the movie, but enjoyed it more after learning more information about the multiverse as the movie continued. I believe some of this information should have been introduced earlier in the movie in order to help the audience members understand the story a bit more. I thought the villain character was well fleshed out, but often given too much power. While this certainly added to the horror element of this movie, it also hurt these scenes because they were so clearly unwinnable by the protagonists. 

Additionally, I feel like the pacing was a bit- strange. Things often moved very quickly, making all the information difficult to absorb. The jumps from regular conversation to horrific battle scenes were disorienting. There was much going on and a lot of different information to process, so at times it was hard to be sure what to think about it. Lastly, Wong, Strange’s sidekick, deserved more screen time. For being the sorcerer supreme, Wong and his new, important role in the MCU seem to be ignored by recent plot lines. He is often written off simply as “the guy helping Doctor Strange,” despite his other contributions to the storyline. I will concede that this movie did show him more respect than “Spider Man: No Way Home,” which almost completely brushed off his role as sorcerer supreme. I still feel that this character’s importance in the stability of the Multiverse could have been more acknowledged.  

Overall, I think the movie was alright. I am not sure that it lived up to the hype, but this is likely due to the insurmountable expectations held by viewers, created by the franchise’s previous releases rather than as a result of the quality of the movie itself.