Movie Review: ‘Dr. Strange in the Multiverse of Madness’


Poster courtesy of Marvel Studios.

Marvel released the sequel to Doctor Strange (2016), Doctor Strange in The Multiverse of Madness on May 6 by Marvel Studios, directed by Sam Raimi, and written by Michael Waldron. 

You may recognize Sam Raimi as the director of the original Spider-Man trilogy, along with the director of the Evil Dead saga. Sam Raimi’s filmmaking truly shines in this film, and it is wonderful.

This film feels very different from all of the other movies that take place in that universe. Raimi’s fingerprints were all over this movie and I could not be happier. This movie has a unique style, and at times this felt more like a Sam Raimi movie than a Spider-Man movie. Some Marvel directors are formulaic at times or muted by studio interference, but I am glad to say that this is not the case. 

The camerawork behind this movie is so distinct and creative, and so is the color-grading. Two things I have been hoping that the Marvel movies put more effort into. These colors feel so vibrant, this is one of the only Marvel movies with great color grading. Another thing done very well is the costume design. Each superhero suit feels dynamic and unique. 

Another thing that Raimi handled very well was the characters, specifically Stephen Strange and Wanda Maximoff. Both are handled in such a beautiful way. Their arcs were something I did not expect when I was going into this movie. Especially Wanda—the directors handled her character with such care. This is especially impressive since Raimi was not able to see WandaVision (2021) due to the filming issues from COVID-19.

I didn’t expect the unique elements of horror and violence in this movie. I don’t think this is something you should take your kids to see—just watch it alone. The horror and violence in this movie feel like Sam Raimi, so if you’re an Evil Dead fan or a fan of any of his horror films, I seriously could not recommend this movie more. There are jump scares in this movie and they scared me, as well as the tense horror scenes. In typical Raimi fashion, he is creative with his violence too, there’s a death scene of a character that I can’t reveal, however during his death, I almost vomited in the theaters. 

The cameos from different Marvel properties are also intriguing in this movie. I won’t outright spoil anything, but if you’re a big fan of the comic material, you might freak out in the theaters. In the trailer, Patrick Stewart makes a return as Charles Xavier, and he is better than ever. Another character shown in the trailers is Hayley Atwell returning as Captain Carter from What-If (2021). 

Danny Elfman returns to make the score for this movie, and it is wonderful. The music completely amplifies every scene in this film. A lot of old themes for characters and cameos return, and I jumped out of my seat when I heard some of them. I cannot hammer home this point enough—this film is so unique, and the music truly does amplify every scene.

This film asks the question, “Are you happy?” And it answers it too. There are some heartbreaking emotional scenes towards the end of the film, and they are really sad. I love Sam Raimi’s films and how he’s able to ground superheroes emotionally. I hope he comes back for Doctor Strange 3. This is the film that I have been waiting for Marvel to make, and like The Batman (2022) or The Suicide Squad (2021), it is a perfect example of what happens when the studio takes a step back and lets the director really shine.

I cannot recommend this movie enough to film fans, horror fans, and comic book fans.