Movie Review : Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness and Cast

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is a 2022 American superhero film in which Strange has to face a mysterious new adversary. The movie is the sequel to Doctor Strange (2016) and the 28th film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU).

Directed by Sam Raimi from a screenplay written by Michael Waldron, based on the Marvel Comics character.

The Marvel Studios production stars Benedict Cumberbatch as Stephen Strange, alongside Elizabeth Olsen, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Benedict Wong, Xochitl Gomez, Michael Stuhlbarg, and Rachel McAdams.

Marvel has well and truly embraced the realm of psychological turmoil and mind-bending narratives, first by conjuring up the infinite possibilities of the multiverse in “Spiderman: No Way Home (2021)” and then following that up with the nerve-rackingly psychedelic “Moon Knight” series. The Master of the Mystic Arts faces the repercussion of his multiverse- antics in this eerily engaging visual extravaganza, with a decadent amount of surprise guest appearances and a poignant storyline that will closely resonate with fans of the MCU. Veteran auteur Sam Raimi returns to the director’s chair in “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” after having spearheaded the rise of the genre with his groundbreaking “Spider-Man” trilogy (2002-07) starring Tobey Maguire.

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The aesthetically arresting style of the director combined with two ace performers in Oscar-nominee Benedict Cumberbatch and Elizabeth Olsen deliver a riveting saga of coping with loss and the universe-altering ends one will go to to repair a broken heart. We join Doctor Strange after the events of No Way Home, having encountered a mysterious traveller “America Chavez” (an excellent Xochitl Gomez) who reached our version of Earth after being chased across multiverses by a mysterious unknown entity.

Strange, alongside the Sorcerer Supreme, Wong (Benedict Wong) embark on a journey across the known and unknown universe and across the legends of sorcery and witchcraft to get to the truth, recruiting a morose “Scarlett Witch” (Olsen), still reeling after her tumultuous sojourn in the Disney+ series, “Wanda Vision”. Cumberbatch is a revelation as Dr. Strange, portraying the angst and confusion of a man who returned after getting 5 years of his life erased away by Thanos’ snap, with elan. He finds that the world has moved on in his absence, especially his lover, Christine (Rachel McAdams) and we get to see the human side of the world’s most powerful sorcerer and he comes to grips with his predicaments.

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As Dr. Strange embarks across a perilous adventure across multiverses, we get to see the immense range of Cumberbatch in full flow, with the nuances and intricacies he brings to each version of the master sorcerer in the different worlds we visit, a joy to behold. Elizabeth Olsen continues the fine form she displayed in “Wanda Vision”, delivering a perfectly balanced performance that is equal parts poignant and powerful. Oscar-nominee Chiewetel Ejiofor returns as Dr. Strange’s bête noire, “Mordo”, in a short but impactful cameo. Without giving much away, let me just say that the dizzying array of other surprise cameos not only provide several whistle-worthy moments in the theatre but also gel in well with the narrative structure.

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Doctor Strange’s second stand-alone movie is a fitting addition to Marvel’s darker, murkier Phase 4 where we get to explore the inner psyche of our heroes at a deeper level and is more reliant on its performance than being spectacle-driven. That being said, the CGI and visual effects are nothing short of mesmerizing as we journey along with our heroes across multiverses, with the storyline opening up an infinite array of potential spin-offs and future tie-ins featuring our favourite heroes from franchises long past as well as promising new ones down the line. A must-watch in theatres. Highly recommended! And do watch out for one mid-credits scene as well as an end-credits one.

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