Doctor Strange agrees to help a young woman who can traverse
the multiverse when demonic forces are after her powers.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022)
Directed by Sam Raimi
Written by Michael Waldron
Starring Benedict Cumberbatch, Elizabeth Olsen, Rachel McAdams, Benedict Wong, Xochitl Gomez, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Patrick Stewart
Sequel to 2016's Doctor Strange
I highly doubt any Marvel fan knew what to expect from this crazy ass movie. After the events of WandaVision, Loki, and Spider-Man: No Way Home, Marvel's status quo has changed. The gates of the multiverse have been burst wide open and anything that has ever graced the big or small screen is fair game. Variants upon variants, dead characters, characters from failed TV shows, anyone under the Marvel brand could potentially make an appearance in the MCU. And in this film, we got a few of those, and every single one brought a smile to my face. Apart from that, it's also a damn entertaining movie that marks Sam Raimi's return to the superhero genre.
Ever since Doctor Strange (Cumberbatch) agreed to help Peter Parker erase himself from existence, the boundaries between universes have severely weakened. In that time, Wanda Maximoff (Olsen) has retreated into her own mind and become consumed with the power of the Scarlet Witch. She seeks a way to travel the multiverse and find her children. If you didn't watch WandaVision, you're already lost. I think it's ballsy that Marvel is counting on the audience watching the Disney Plus shows to fully appreciate their movies now. Enter America Chavez (Gomez), a young woman with the power to travel dimensions at will, and I'm pretty sure she's the MCU's first real mutant. Strange agrees to protect her from the monster that's hunting her, who turns out to be Wanda, who has officially become a full-fledged villain after all the teases since Age of Ultron. During the dimensional hopping, we meet the Illuminati, which is comprised of Captain Carter (Hayley Atwell) from the What If? animated series, Black Bolt (Anson Mount) from the canceled ABC Inhumans series, a variant of Captain Marvel played by Lashana Lynch, the return of Charles Xavier (Stewart), and, holy shit, the long-awaited arrival of Reed Richards, played by John Krasinski, the ultimate fan cast come true. Of course, their fate is pretty goddamn grim and really shows Raimi's commitment to making this as close to a horror movie as Feige would allow.
I don't understand where all the criticism is coming from. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, to me anyway, was a wholly satisfying MCU adventure that made me freak out multiple times. I'm a lifelong fan of the MCU. I've seen every film in theaters since Iron Man when I was 13. This shit is part of my DNA at this point, and I have yet to be truly disappointed. This film makes good on a number of established arcs and opens the door for even further cosmic and multiversal exploration in future films. And, hopefully, it gives Raimi his drive back.