Does this mean there’s a dimension where I didn’t fail Canadian Lit.?
The long-awaited sequel to 2016’s Doctor Strange finally hit theatres on May 6, after having been pushed back from its initial release date in November 2021.
With little more than a week of showings so far, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness has already hit an international box office gross of over $500M, and has since claimed the title of second largest opening weekend during the COVID-19 pandemic. It remains beat only by Marvel Studios’ own Spider-Man: No Way Home, which premiered last fall.
I settled into the theatre last Tuesday night, ready to delve into what I hoped would be another Marvel hit. It took about 25 minutes for me to thoroughly regret my decision to watch it in 3D.
Tip: if you’re the kind of person who actually jumps at jump scares, I highly recommend you let a friend hold the popcorn.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness isn’t technically the first Marvel movie directed by Sam Raimi. Depending on how technical you want to be, it isn’t even the first in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). Spiderman fans might recognize Raimi’s name from the original Spider-Man trilogy back in the early 2000s.
In addition to the original Spider-Man films, Raimi also has a number of horror movies on his resume, including the original Evil Dead trilogy, The Gift (2000), and Drag Me to Hell (2009). His background in the genre definitely shows in the newest Marvel instalment — there are elements of horror in everything from the cinematography to the soundtrack.
Personally, I feel it actually makes things a little harder to get lost in the movie. I was so busy counting the parallels to the Insidious franchise (and wondering how the hell we’d gotten from 2016’s Doctor Strange to this one) that I couldn’t really enjoy it as much as I wanted to.
All that being said, it isn’t bad; it’s still Marvel, and Doctor Strange and Wong both play prominent roles, which certainly adds to the positives. One of the things I’ve always loved about Marvel movies is the blend between action and comedy, and that’s one aspect of this film that certainly doesn’t disappoint.
Another positive of this movie is the cameos. There are a few characters (and actors) that, if I hadn’t seen the movie for myself, I never would have believed make an appearance.
The Multiverse of Madness also introduces a some new characters who seem like they’ll be sticking around, such as America Chavez, played by Xochitl Gomez. She is now the fifth (or maybe even sixth, depending on how you look at things) member of the Marvel Comics Young Avengers group to join the MCU.
As we’ve seen in a number of Marvel Studios’ other Phase Four instalments, the MCU seems to be taking some serious steps towards introducing a new, younger generation of heroes to carry on the Avengers name.
Looking back, I think one of the most memorable aspects of this movie might actually be just how plain weird it is. Marvel really took the freedom of the multiverse and ran with it, and I can’t count on both hands the amount of times I had to fight the urge to ask, “what the hell?”
What’s so strange, you might ask?
To that I answer — the first thing one of my friends said upon leaving the theatre was, “I stopped taking that movie seriously the second they said illuminati.”
Overall, I think my opinion can be summed up pretty well by saying that while I didn’t hate it, I’m crossing my fingers that the next two marvel movies that are slated for release this year leave Multiverse of Madness in the dust.