‘Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness’: Falls Short of Excellence

Gabrielle Rothenberg shares her opinion on the newest Marvel movie, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.

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Gabrielle Rothenberg shares her opinion on the newest Marvel movie, ‘Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.’

Gabrielle Rothenberg, Staff Editor

Spoilers Ahead

When the first glimpse of “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” was shown as a post-credit scene in “Spider-Man: No Way Home” (2021), fans were ecstatic for the sequel to “Doctor Strange” (2016). The movie’s trailer contained many easter eggs and hints to previous characters that might have appeared in the new movie, which only boosted fans’ eagerness for this movie’s release.

The cast for this movie had many returning actors such as Benedict Cumberbatch playing the titular role, Dr. Stephen Strange, Elizabeth Olsen as Wanda Maximoff (The Scarlet Witch), Benedict Wong as Wong, Rachel McAdams as Dr. Chrsitine Palmer, Jett Klyne as Tommy Maximoff, and Julian Hilliard as Billy Maximoff. Joining the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) Xochitl Gomez plays America Chavez (Miss America). The movie was directed by famous director Sam Raimi who has previously worked with Marvel on “Spider-Man,” “Spider-Man 2” and “Spider-Man 3.”

Set after the events of “Spider-Man: No Way Home” (2021) and “WandaVision” (2021) and bringing in characters from “What If?” (2021), the multiverse is more real than ever. 

America Chavez meets many different versions of Stephen Strange while running from Wanda and winds up meeting the Stephen Strange we all know from previous Marvel films. Chavez and Strange work together to stop Wanda while keeping Chavez safe. 

Chavez is a teen who is struggling to control her powers and is being hunted down by Wanda Maximoff due to her ability to travel throughout the multiverse. Maximoff wants her powers so she can go to a multiverse where her children are still alive. 

Ultimately, Maximpff sees her children frightened of her and another version of her convinces herself to destroy the Darkhold. The Darkhold is a book that contains multiple spells and corrupts the owner.

Overall, the movie was good but nothing special. I found the humor to be bland and sometimes forced. In addition, the multiverse plot feels very old, along with the concept of having different variants/versions of each character.

Shortly after being introduced to the Illuminati, every one of them is killed by Wanda. This makes their introduction appear useless and a quick way to try to excite fans. Seeing Charles Xavier definitely brought back a sense of nostalgia from seeing the X-Men movies. Charles is the creator and leader of the X-Men, a team of mutants. He has the ability to control and enter people’s minds.

The fight scene with music notes felt weird and out of place. In addition, having part of the WandaVision music play when Stephen goes to visit Wanda felt corny. 

While the movie set up Wanda’s villain arc well [her desperate desire to see her kids again], her character wasn’t as well-executed as she could have been. Despite Wanda being one of the most powerful Avengers, seeing her defeat Strange, Wong and multitudes of sorcerers so quickly made her seem overpowered. The Illuminati were also killed by Wanda with little effort on her part. Charles’ death wasn’t as quick as the others but still felt too quick and easy. 

The ending left multiple possibilities for new movies open, which in my opinion was a good move on Marvel’s part. All of the characters ending with many paths open will allow for many more movies to be made which fans will certainly be looking forward to. The post-credits scene introduces a new character. She is rumored to be Clea and is portrayed by Charlize Theron. Since Clea is Stephen’s wife in the comics I am excited to see how they further explore their relationship and develop it in later movies and tv shows. The second post-credit scene had no meaning to the plot and was annoying considering that many movie-goers anticipate fun hints and cameos during Marvel’s post-credit scenes.

The visuals were good, as most are in Marvel movies. The movie was definitely darker than previous MCU projects. The plot was interesting enough, and the movie wasn’t too long. I would rate this movie 2.7 out of 5 stars. It was nice to see some of the fan-favorite characters back on the screen, fighting with power and wit.