Multiverse of Madness offers delightful visual journey with a blast of pop art scheme that is as complex as the concept of multiverse itself. It is cartoony, pop, frenetic, gory, and have some fun as well. But despite its stylish and visual beauty, this film is a serious dystopian dramatic story although it is quite struggling to covey the soul if its drama and dystopian elements.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is a sequel to the Doctor Strange film from 2016 and basically almost everything that Marvel has done since then. The 28th film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe take place after the events in Spider-Man: No Way Home and WandaVision.
Multiverse of Madness centered on the mentor relationship or protector and one that is protected relationship between Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) and America Chavez (Xochitl Gomez), a teen (future) superhero that has the ability to move across the universe.
The film is opened with Chavez and Doctor Strange from another universe is seeking for a holy and powerful book namely The Book of Vishanti. During the search, they were chased by a giant octopus-like demon which along the way they were transferred into the universe where the story of Marvel revolved.
Knowing that demons are after Chavez. Doctor Strange seeks help from his witch friend, Wanda (Elizabeth Olsen). But Wanda now is no longer the same, she lives in her own ‘multiverse of madness’ between her sad reality and her beautiful dream of having a family. Wanda is now possessing a powerful dark power by using The Book of Darkhold, that has a power to destroy other universes.
In her own part, Wanda shows a magnificent performance of contradicting characters between a loving mother and a grieving one towards the death of her lover in which both of the realities that she faces, justify her decision to be a powerful witch, a scarlet witch.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is pretty strange and also quite unique. It is like the fusion of Doctor Strange and WandaVision series incorporated with horror elements. This unique composition that makes the film shines on its own. Multiverse of Madness embracing a tone and aesthetic that are-not-so Marvel which is both creepy and but also refreshingly colourful.
This film set-up a new visual aesthetic formula for Marvel with its pop-art and gore elements. Multiverse of Madness has developed itself to become a lighthearted fighting fantasy horror film. But it is also where the movie is lacking.
The very basic idea with the Madness of Multiverse is there is a bigger threat to this world or to all the world across the universe. There are stronger demons or stronger enemies and beings that bring threat across the multiverse. With the existence of several version of each character and trillion of people and numerous planets can be destroyed, it lacks of the dystopian and dramatic souls. There should be much more flutters of the potential risk.
On cinematography aspect, Multiverse of Madness is masterful. It is beautifully crafted and there are a lot of jaw-dropping beauty and elements inside this film. One unique scene is when Doctor Strange meets Doctor Strange and using music notes to battle each other, the battle and magic are crafted beautifully and match with the film score.
It can be said that Multiverse of Madness is a whole new creative territory of Marvel film that need to step-up its game in term of concept and plot. It is a very bold move from Marvel despite the lack of soul and urgency from the background situation. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is when the usual funny and lighthearted Marvel is flirting with darker and gory dimension.
Our Score (8/10)
Title: Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness
Production: Marvel Studios
Director: Sam Raimi
Screenwriter: Michael Waldron
Casts: Benedict Cumberbatch, Elizabeth Olsen, Xochitl Gomez, Benedict Wong, Rachel McAdams