Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness isn’t about worlds tumbling together. It’s the swansong for the MCU’s most tragic Avenger.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness Synopsis
Turns out, Dr. Strange’s tempering with the multiverse in No Way Home did not generate repercussions, but neither did the misadventure prepare him for the insanity that follows when a multiverse-crossing teen drops into his life, while pursued by a beholder-like monster. Worse, Wanda has finally snapped and is hell-bent on redeeming her tragic life in any way she deems fit. Her sorrow and anger create a darkness not even the ex-Sorcerer Supreme is able to counter.
There were many surprises with this MCU Phase 4 hard hitter, the effectiveness of which I’d credit to immaculate marketing and planning.
I walked into the cinema yesterday afternoon expecting a psychedelic roller coaster ride as Steven Strange cleans up the mess created in No Way Home. After all, this development was hinted at for months. Turns out, Spidey was barely even mentioned. The story was also less about Doctor Strange than it was about Wanda Maximoff. Or should I say, the Scarlet Witch.
It’s a clean-up, but one for the tragedies of WandaVision. The name of the episode furthermore contains a sly twist. It’s not about tumbling through trippy alternate worlds. It’s about the madness that comes with the existence of such worlds.
An insanity fueled by the temptation of having endless second chances. The ability to keep trying at something till a satisfying conclusion. Etc.
Plenty of philosophical musing, in other words. As a whole, I think the movie handled these debates well too. Admittedly, what’s discussed dwelled too much on regrets, without true depth exhibited. But this being a mystic action film, what’s “discussed” felt sufficient to me. I wouldn’t want the show to have lesser magical battles in favour of more rhetoric.
There were, of course, also the classic horror elements, touches that led some reviews to describe Multiverse of Madness as the MCU film with the most unique vision to date, on top of being the darkest. Now, if you’re familiar with director Sam Raimi’s most legendary works in the 80s, and the masterpieces that were Spider-Man and Spider-Man 2, you cannot miss these macabre highlights. If you’re fond of the undead genre, I bet you’d be delighted by a certain chase sequence too.
That chase itself was preceded by what has to be the grimmest slugfest in MCU history. The outcome of this completely broke my fanboy heart, TBH, but it was undeniably an emphatic demonstration of the darkness tormenting Wanda.
In all, a very fun watch. Fun as well as dark and suitably grim at the right moments. The story is perhaps also the only way to conclude the journey of the most tragic Avenger.
Naturally, the cameos and alternate heroes featured in the mid-segment made me wonder what’s next for the MCU. Would these alt-heroes soon replace the ones who have left?
I look forward to knowing.
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