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Here’s our spoiler-free review of ‘Dr. Strange in the Multiverse of Madness’

The long-awaited blockbuster Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is finally out here in the Philippines. I had the opportunity to watch it on its first day of screening, so I’ve had some time to gather my thoughts on the latest addition to the Phase 4 Marvel storyline. Here’s a non-spoiler review of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.

Let me start by saying that this movie has Sam Raimi’s signature written all over it. The film is directed by Raimi and written by Michael Waldron, but we can see Raimi’s footprint in all the visuals and camerawork of the film.

For those unfamiliar with his work, he’s directed the original trilogy of Spider-Man films, which were all critically acclaimed (except the iffy third film) for practically revolutionizing the superhero movie genre. Raimi is also well-known for his Evil Dead trilogy and is quite masterful in conjuring terrifying visuals.

Considering his filmography, it makes sense that Dr. Strange in the Multiverse of Madness has a lot of scary and creepy moments, and this movie is probably the scariest MCU film to date. I understand that the movie is rated PG-13, so Raimi couldn’t go the extra mile to make it extremely gory and disturbing (which would have been nice), but he definitely tried his best to walk the fine line between PG-13 and R.

Since the movie deals with the multiverse, there are a bunch of trippy and weird visuals, but Raimi uses his skills to make it work and make things look really beautiful. The MCU isn’t known to take risks in terms of its visuals, cinematography, and color grading, but it’s clear that Raimi was given creative control over that aspect of the film, which in turn makes it the best looking MCU movie yet. There’s this one scene that I felt was so unique and got stuck in my mind, which was a fight that involved visuals of musical notes accompanied by a score from Danny Elfman that mixed up J.S. Bach’s Toccata and Fugue in D minor. Speaking of Elman, he delivered in terms of the scoring for this film. I thought it was perfect – his classic musical style and sound blended well with Raimi’s visuals.

In terms of the acting, I thought Elizabeth Olsen stole the show as Scarlet Witch in the film. She worked extremely well, especially with the material that she was given. As the antagonist of the film, she was intimidating and had a huge presence but you could also feel her struggles. Benedict Cumberbatch as Dr. Strange was consistently great as always, nothing much to say there. I thought Xochitl Gomez did well to portray America Chavez, making her character really seem like an amateur superhero just trying to do the right thing.

When we move on to the story of the movie, here’s where I personally think things get a little bit iffy. I can’t say much since this is a non-spoiler review, but what I can say is that there was so much opportunity to make a huge story especially since it tackles the multiverse, but they surprisingly played it safe on that. I have to acknowledge that they definitely took risks and did new things that we’ve never seen in the MCU – one could even say that they broke the typical MCU formula. However, I wish we could have seen them go the extra mile and just actually deliver on what the title of the movie is – Madness.

They could have done better with the character development for Stephen Strange as well, as I felt that even Wanda was more like the star of the movie in the sense that she had a much more significant change in character. There’s more that I want to say about the cameos in the movie and especially about the Illuminati group that we saw on the TV promos, but I’ll keep my mouth shut on that.

Despite some minor negatives to the story and character developments, I still think this movie is worth watching. It’s a visual and auditory masterpiece and I honestly think that it’s just a fun experience to see in theaters. We can only hope to see more of the multiverse in the future and believe in MCU movies that can move the Phase 4 storyline to the next level.

 

Other POP! stories you might like:

Spider-Man: No Way Home is a breath of fresh air for MCU Spidey

Benedict Cumberbatch originally had doubts about playing Doctor Strange

Every Marvel movie and series coming out in 2022

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