What would this movie have been without Sam Raimi? Because initially he should not occupy the chair of the director Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.
Posted at 8:30am
Scott Derrickson was set to pick up where he left off after the first installment, but “creative disputes” decided otherwise. Before his departure, Marvel Studios announced there would be horror elements in the sequel. Doctor Strange. The marriage seemed happy, Derrickson was a specialist in this genre (The Exorcism of Emily Rose, Sinister). Happy but not perfect, because who better than the one who revolutionized the superhero genre with the first trilogy Spiderman and who is also a master of comic/fantasy horror (the films evil Dead, drag me to hell)?
However, many feared that the great Marvel machine would prevent Sam Raimi from expressing his distinctive style. Be assured, Multiverse of Madness the second half of the film bears his signature: big menacing monsters, annoying little ghosts, bloody heroes, disfigured corpses, violent deaths, eerie places, moments of tension. All backed by the compositions of the great Danny Elfman – the battle of musical magic is exquisite.
The two hours that the feature lasts pass at full speed. The pace is hectic but still comfortable. We go smoothly from intense action to fear-inducing situations, thanks in part to pauses of a few seconds where we see characters slowly moving or observing the moment. Simple but effective.
Where things go too fast is written in the pages of Michael Waldron’s screenplay (Loki, Rick and Morty). The multiverse is complicated. Even if the word is repeated many times, it doesn’t make it clear. Some characters or scenes don’t really have much use other than to – quickly – explain concepts. Simple and lazy.
Let’s play that educational role for a moment: There are parallel universes in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) where other versions of each of the characters exist. Newcomer America Chavez (refreshes Xochitl Gomez) possesses the power to travel between universes. This is coveted by malevolent forces. Pursued by some kind of cyclopean octopus, she enters the universe we’ve seen in the MCU so far. The Dright Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch), great wizard who helped defeat Thanos Avengers EndgameHe saves young America and assures that he will protect her. To get there and learn more about the multiverse, he enlists the help of Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen), another Avenger.
The latter steals the show every time she’s on screen. Now that Wanda is fully utilizing her Scarlet Witch powers, the character is more assertive, and Elizabeth Olsen masterfully fills the space she’s been given. Almost all of the film’s emotions come through his eyes. Impressive.
Benedict Cumberbatch is no exception. His charisma and sensitivity make it possible to believe in Doctor Strange’s omnipotence without taking away his vulnerability. The quality of his acting is also shown when different versions of the wizard meet in the multiverse. We would have liked to see more.
With the tales of Marvel’s superhero series airing on Disney+, the MCU’s already vast puzzle has grown gigantic. It’s a treat for the fans. It’s getting hard for the average amateur to follow. Ideally before seeing multiverse of madness, it would be better to see the first one Doctor Strange, Captain America – Civil Warthe last three avenger, Spider-Man – No Way Home then the series Wanda Vision, Loki and What if…?. Just that. But if you’re up to date, the scene introducing the members of the Illuminati will bring you tremendous enjoyment.
It’s still possible to have a good time without seeing everything. The biggest shortcoming of the story is the oversimplification of the characters’ motivations. We understand that these are built upon previous work and that it is impossible to fully explain them in a single film. However, repeating the same reasons over and over again is a weak mechanism that does not move us. In short, try to at least find the time to watch Wanda Vision.
On the screen
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness
(VF: Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness)
Starring Benedict Cumberbatch, Elizabeth Olsen, Xochitl Gomez