Movie Review: Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness

If you missed all the cameos in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness then it’s an easy sin to forgive since were a lot of them to notice, along with the Easter eggs that were bound to occur in a movie this ambitious. But let’s be fair, Sam Raimi took this movie and ran with it, and while it did have his signature standing in bold detail in many ways, it was highly enjoyable. Yes, spoilers are coming, so if you haven’t seen the movie yet, you might want to stop reading, unless you enjoy knowing what’s to come. To put it simply, this movie was highly enjoyable since it delivered on a lot of its promises and despite moving at a rather quick pace it was fun to see the MCU treating its big stars in a way that was at times a little controversial, while at other times reminding folks that the powers that are wielded by the Marvel characters have limits and yet at the same time are grand enough that they’re not to be discounted. 

There are plenty of tortured characters in the MCU, and Stephen Strange has been one of them for a long time for a few reasons, one of those being that he has a great deal of responsibility as Sorcerer Supreme, a title that was passed on to Wong when Strange became a victim of the Blip after the events of the Infinity War movie. But the beginning of this movie makes it clear that as noble as one Doctor Strange can be, others might not be so dedicated to keeping, like the fact that the Doctor Strange seen in the opening is about to sacrifice America Chavez, the newcomer to the MCU who was brought to Marvel in 2011, to keep a demonic creature from capturing her. When Chavez opens a portal to Earth 616, as it’s labeled later on in the movie, she ends up catching the attention of the Doctor Strange of this universe and ends up being saved by him and Wong, though she refuses to trust them initially.

When she tells her story it becomes obvious why she’s hesitant to trust Strange, and after establishing that they aren’t going to hurt her, Wong and Strange take her to Kamar Taj for her own safety. Unfortunately, Strange contacts Wanda, and after learning that she’s been corrupted by the Darkhold, a book of dark magic, he makes his way back to Kamar Taj to keep Wanda from obtaining Chavez. It turns out that she’s the one that has been summoning demons to kidnap Chavez so that she can drain the young woman’s power to reach a universe in which her sons are alive. The fact that Wanda is the villain in this movie is insane since her power is such that she can take on the whole of Kamar Taj and overpower their defenses and even Wong, who is forced to take her to the actual Darkhold after hers is destroyed and revealed to be a copy. In the meantime, Strange and Chavez are caught by the Illuminati after being betrayed by Mordo, who became the Sorcerer Supreme in his universe following the battle with Thanos. 

After being brought before the Illuminati, which consists of Captain Carter, Captain Marvel, Black Bolt, Reed Richards, Mordo, and Professor Xavier, Strange learns that his counterpart in this universe was destroyed after he took things too far, and was propped up as a hero later on to preserve his name. When trying to plead his case, however, Wanda attacks the Illuminati base and deals with Richards and Black Bolt easily before taking on Captain Carter and Captain Marvel, cutting the former in half with her own shield and crushing the latter after a pitched battle. She then proceeds to kill Professor X before chasing after Strange, Chavez, and Christine, the woman that Strange has loved the entire time. When the one book that could cancel out the Darkhold is destroyed, Strange and Christine have to travel to another universe to find a way to save Chavez after she’s captured by Wanda. Without giving too much away, it’s easy to say that this movie was a lot of fun since it made the characters earn the ending, and it made Chavez earn her powers in a small way at least since she didn’t possess true control over them until she found the need to focus. 

The post-credit scene was interesting since it’s easy to think that not a lot of fans aren’t going to know about Clea unless they’ve read the comics, as she’s another sorceress, and she hails from the dark dimension. The idea that there will be a third movie is firmly set as this feature ends in a manner that makes it clear that Doctor Strange is far from done with his own story. How things will work is tough to guess, but it’s not too hard to think that there are plenty of stories to come. 

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