Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness non-spoiler review: A big step in Marvel’s Cinematic Universe

“Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness”

is the latest movie to be released in Marvel’s Cinematic Universe (MCU). This movie also marks director Sam Raimi’s return to directing after a nine year break. The movie has received praise for its different style and tone, something many see as a breath of fresh air in the MCU. The film currently has a high 86% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes and has earned a hefty $291 million in the North American box office. The film stars Benedict Cumberbatch as Doctor Strange, Elizabeth Olsen as Wanda Maximoff and Xochitl Gomez as America Chavez. 

The movie picks up after the events of WandaVision, a Disney Plus original series, and Spider-Man: No Way home. These two installments in the MCU, as well as Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame, help with the viewing experience of this movie. Likewise, the movie immediately kicks off with its large story and doesn’t slow down.

The movie provides character development for Doctor Strange and Wanda Maximoff as Scarlet Witch throughout parallel universes. Specifically, Doctor Strange must learn to step back and let others be in control of situations. Additionally, Wanda Maximoff must learn to overcome her traumatic past and take control of her new identity as Scarlet Witch. 

The movie also introduces a new young character into the MCU, America Chavez. Originally introduced in Marvel Comics in 2011, she has the ability to open star shaped portals that take her throughout the large multiverse. In this movie she is just starting to use her powers and she must learn to control them for good. 

The movie’s main characters are well written which helps indulge the audience. Particularly, the characters Wanda Maximoff as Scarlet Witch, Doctor Strange and America Chavez are all characters that are easy to feel empathetic towards. The struggles these characters face are relatable and it is satisfying to witness them overcome their struggles. 

It is worth mentioning that a lot of what makes these characters loveable is their growth throughout the previous MCU movies. Therefore, this movie would be most enjoyable after following these characters throughout previous MCU movies. 

Although the movie’s main characters are well written, secondary characters feel forgettable. For example, Wong is an important character in Doctor Strange’s life, but here he is separated from Doctor Strange and sidelined. A few other characters that are sidelined are Mordo and Christine Palmer. Both of these characters had major roles in the first Doctor Strange and here they have the same role just a lot less important. However, they still help in moving the story forward and giving it more depth. 

These characters would not be as loved as they are if it weren’t for the actors and their charming performances. A few stand out performances in this movie are done by Elizabeth Olsen, Benedict Cumberbatch and Xochitl Gomez. Benedict Wong as Wong, Chiwetel Ejiofor as Mordo and Rachel McAdams as Christine Palmer all lack screen time, but still give enjoyable performances. 

Additionally, the movie’s Computer-Generated Imagery (CGI) is very pleasing and helps indulge the audience into the craziness that is the multiverse. Although there are minimal practical effects, it is impressive to see entirely CGI environments feel tangible. 

Moreover, Sam Raimi has a very unique directing style that differs from the usual directing style that most MCU fans are used to seeing. Scenes in this movie are full of movement and emotion which help the viewer feel as if they were following these characters throughout their adventure. The movie at times has a very early 2000s style, but that’s what gives it its charm and enjoyability.