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Doctor Strange 2, better known as Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, is a uniquely dark live action Marvel picture helmed by Sam Raimi.
Synopsis of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness
Dr Stephen Strange [Benedict Cumberbatch] casts a forbidden spell that opens a portal to the multiverse. However, a threat emerges that may be too big for his team to handle.
Is Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness Scary?
Yes. The movie is rated PG-13 due to “intense sequences of violence and action, frightening images and some language.” And trust me, those frightening scenes are definitely scary. And of course, that all depends on your definition of frightening and scary but this is deserving of the PG-13 rating. Children under 13 should be brought only with caution and even those over 13 whether teenager or adult should be aware of the dark twist that Director Sam Raimi (“Drag Me to Hell“, “Evil Dead“) brings to the Marvel universe.
And for those who are sensitive to movies about the occult and dark magic, there are many scenes and topics that might make you squeamish and cause you to have dark dreams of your own after watching the movie. This Doctor Strange 2 movie was rightly named with a title that hints at madness.
Elizabeth Olsen Gives The Performance of Her Career
While Doctor Strange is the titular character, I would argue that he is often pushed aside by the spellbinding performance Elizabeth Olsen gives as Wanda/The Scarlet Witch. Concluding the arc that started with Avengers: Age of Ultron, Olsen pours her all into this role that picks up right after we left Wanda in 2021’s WandaVision.
She gives such a raw and mad performance as The Scarlet Witch that it will be hard – near impossible – to unsee what I have seen when going back to watch earlier movies and tv shows.
Benedict Cumberbatch Is Still Commanding With His Performance of Doctor Strange
While Elizabeth Olsen may get some of the biggest scenes and lines, Benedict Cumberbatch is sure to remind viewers that it is his character’s name in the title. His inner struggle with acknowledging that Doctor Christine Palmer (Rachel MacAdams) is married and the temptation he fights throughout the movie to do right by newcomer America Chavez (Xochitl Gomez) are just two of his story arcs in this massive movie covering many a multiverse.
Mr. Cumberbatch does a great job of bringing humanity and heart and realism to his performance and if this were a drama without the supernatural and mystical, he would probably even be nominated for a Best Actor award for his performance that is colored in intricacy.
Also, while on the topic of Doctor Strange’s humanity, might I give a shoutout to Benedict Cumberbatch himself who helped raise $20,000 for GEANCO, a non profit that he is often connected with, by auctioning a meet and greet before the world premiere in Los Angeles. While I have never had the honor of meeting him in person, I am confident that Benedict Cumberbatch is a true superhero (along with his co-star Chiwetel Ejiofor, another proud supporter of GEANCO).
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is Like Stepping Into a Comic Book
If it were possible to step into a comic book, this Doctor Strange movie would be the closest example of an alternate reality. While I previously mentioned the dark matter of Sam Raimi’s direction, I have to give equal credit to the man and his team for the mind blowing production skills that can give you a mental concussion they are thrown at you so quickly.
There is the stunning and at times horrifying production design by Charles Wood, the perfectly matched eery music by Danny Elfman, and John Mathieson‘s cinematography that sends you spiraling through the multiverse.
Comic Book Fans are Likely to go Wild for this Doctor Strange Movie
At the screening I attended on May 2nd, there were huge bursts of laughter and cheers throughout the theater at varying times when other MCU characters were discussed and when guest stars appeared (including the much talked about Illuminati). And of course what Marvel movie would this be without a very special guest in the first of two bonus scenes at the end of the credits?
This is a movie that comic book fans have been waiting for — one that does not shy away from the horrors and evil of the comic books, one that acknowledges America Chavez’ sexual orientation, and one that pays homage to the colorful world of comics (thanks to Charles Wood’s production design).
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My thanks to Walt Disney Studios for inviting me and my friend, @Ms.BlueSky22, to screen Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. All opinions are my own.