by Jordan Costolo ‘25
Doctor Strange In The Multiverse of Madness does not disappoint its audience, but it’s not something that transcends the common expectations for a Marvel film. The basic plot is that Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch), a powerful sorcerer and superhero, meets America Chavez (Xochitl Gomez), a girl that can supposedly travel through the multiverse. What follows is Doctor Strange and America Chavez traveling together throughout the multiverse from one universe to another. Lots of trailers lead audiences to expect this movie to alter the Marvel Cinematic Universe, or to at least lead up to a bigger movie later on, but neither of these things occured.
While the movie was certainly not as impactful as expected, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. The main plot is very contained and by the end of the movie, the central conflict is wrapped up tightly. While this may be a turn-off to some fans, it is refreshing to see a movie that is able to stand on its own rather than being just another piece in the chain of the Marvel Universe franchise. One aspect that is great about Multiverse of Madness is the editing and sound mixing with quiet beats heavily contrasting the louder and more intense points. Another positive of the film are the more gruesome special effects which create a movie with more suspense and intrigue. This touch makes sense considering that director Sam Raimi, in addition to directing some of the older Spider-Man films, is known for the Evil Dead trilogy, a collection of three horror-comedy movies. A third strength of Multiverse of Madness is the character of the Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen). Although the Scarlet Witch’s development throughout the movie is up to mark, there unfortunately are other characters that do not have as much depth as they should, like the titular Doctor Strange.
The subplot about Strange’s love interest is severely underdeveloped, to the point in where it feels shoe-horned into the movie as an afterthought. This subplot was more prominent in the first movie so it makes sense on paper to include it, but this movie does not know how to fit it in. The same can be said about America Chavez’s superficial backstory. America’s introduction to the plot is forced as the movie speeds through her introduction to get to the main story, making her feel like more of a plot device than a character. Nevertheless, this movie is pretty good as cinematic entertainment with visuals that pop on the screen. While some character development could be improved upon, Doctor Strange In The Multiverse of Madness is still a fun watch and worthy of more recognition as the latest release in the Marvel franchise.