REVIEW: Dr Strange in the Multiverse of Madness
Warning! This article contains spoilers.
Dr Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) has returned with his flying cape sidekick to save earth - but this time there’s more than one that needs help.
The unshakeable do-gooder, with his grey-winged hair, is pulled into a deadly game of cat- and-mouse.
Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen) is a terrifying witch who chases America Chavez (Xochitl Gomez) across different dimensions for her superpower - the ability to jump through the multiverse.
Maximoff leaves a trail of destruction in her path and it falls to Dr Strange to put an end to her madness.
If he fails, then you can wave goodbye to this earth and all the other earths floating out there in the infinite cosmos.
Hollywood is pumping out superhero movies at such a fast rate, it’s almost impossible to keep up with the pace as a viewer.
The Multiverse of Madness assumes you have watched at least one Avengers film, part of the Wanda Vision series and the first Dr Strange.
Oh, and don’t forget Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.
If you haven’t seen any of them, good luck trying to understand who is who.
There’s plenty of action and exploding heads to keep the unversed audience member entertained.
Director Sam Raimi weaves in elements of horror along with a few jump scares.
His personal touch falls short of making the superhero franchise feel new. At its best, it just adds a fresh twist to an overdone genre.
There is only one annoying little detail in the film. It’s so teeny-tiny, but it hurts as much as a rose thorn stuck in your side.
It’s nothing to get worked up over. Right?
Most, if not all, superhero films are packed with undertones of American patriotism.
Superman wears a red cape and a blue, tight-fitting onesie (the colours of the American flag); Iron Man is held captive in a cave in the Middle East before he blasts his way to freedom (America, f*** yeah!); and Captain America needs no explanation (his name says it all).
In most cases, at least, these references aren’t screaming in your face. They dwell in the background so you can continue to enjoy the film at its surface level.
That’s not the case with Dr Strange.
America Chavez is a central character who is not only named after the United States, but she is also dressed in a jacket with the stars and stripes printed onto the back of it.
She is, literally, a walking flag of the country.
Every time Dr Strange spoke about saving America, I couldn’t help but cringe as I had a sneaking suspicion he was not referring to the young girl.
When the character needed a dialogue break, his monster-bashing sidekicks were filling in the blanks with their own toe-curling lines about America.
She needs to be saved, her powers could be used for bad if they fall into the wrong hands, with great power comes great responsibility.
Blah, blah, blah.
For all its shortcomings, Raimi manages to pull off an entertaining two hours and six minutes.
The action is backed up by strong performances from Cumberbatch, Olsen and Gomez.
Written by Aidan Wondracz.