Dr Strange 2 Review 2022
Gargoyles and rubble, double, double: "Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness," the spookily unhinged latest entry in the Marvel Cinematic — uh, Universe? — has witchy deeds and evil twins aplenty. Multiverse? Whatever we're supposed to call this increasingly hydra-headed Disney entertainment juggernaut, it's rarely gone in this whimsical, macabre, exuberantly horrific direction.
That's another way of saying that the latest Strange brew — full of mangled extremities, gouged eyeballs, and other freaky flourishes — is the satisfying handiwork of director Sam Raimi, whose long-overdue return to feature filmmaking is no less welcome because it's linked to Hollywood's most perpetually fattened cash cow.
Wanda's nightmares are still haunted by the trauma (she sees nightly glimpses of her lost twin sons), and it is now on the verge of obliterating her soul. Wanda, the Scarlet Witch, is determined to make her broken illusions of a happy family life a reality by conquering the multiverse — specifically, one of the numerous parallel universes in which a more carefree version of herself may settle down in undisturbed domestic bliss. It's the kind of heartbreaking vision that Faustian bargains are built of, and it floods the script's occasionally inelegant, herky-jerky narrative with unexpected rivers of human emotion.
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Raimi, of course, comes to this task with a long history of Marvel films under his belt. An early Spider-Man joke gently reminds you that he helmed the first Spidey film trilogy (2002-07) for Sony, though he's avoided the many later instalments, including last year's immensely popular "Spider-Man: No Way Home." That dizzying journey, with its trio of Spider-Men wreaking meta-havoc on the MCU cosmos, served as a sort of warm-up act for all the multiverse-rattling mayhem in store here. "Multiverse of Madness," written by Michael Waldron ("Loki"), begins with a giant octopus attack and spreads its narrative tentacles from there, yanking us into an alternately goofy and grisly story that pauses every now and then to unleash a tidal wave of grief.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness
The gentleman's surname is unusual — his friends call him Stephen — and he does, in fact, have a medical degree. In the superhero meritocracy, proper credentials are essential. Dr. Strange (as played by Benedict Cumberbatch) is, like many of his colleagues in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, mildly eccentric, with hints of eccentricity in matters of dress and grooming and a whisper of pretentiousness in his attitude. If you call the enchanted garment that drapes itself over his shoulders a cape, he'll remind you that it's actually a cloak.
In terms of insanity, the boilerplate on the Disney-Marvel intellectual property terms of service establishes strict limits on how insane things can get. The surprises in "Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness" — which are more likely to elicit whoops and giggles of fan gratification than gasps of genuine wonder — are mostly determined by which other Marvel characters appear and in what company. Wong (Benedict Wong) and Karl Mordo (Chiwetel Ejiofor) are two characters who are intimately affiliated with Dr. Strange. It's also not unwanted. Neither is America Chavez (Xochitl Gomez), a new sidekick with remarkable powers but no superheroic identity as of yet.