Marvel Studios blasts open the Multiverse and imaginations with the release of ‘Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness’.
The second instalment in the Doctor Strange story, the film takes audiences on an action-packed, mind-bending journey through different realities in the Multiverse – a realm of infinite parallel universes, where each universe is home to everything that already exists, but in a different reality.
Benedict Cumberbatch, reprising his role as surgeon-turned-superhero Doctor Stephen Strange, is joined by fellow original cast members Elizabeth Olsen (Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch), Benedict Wong (Wong), Rachel McAdams (Christine Palmer) and Chiwetel Ejiofor (Mordo).
However it is the introduction of character America Chavez (played by 16-year-old Xochitl Gomez) who has the power to cross into different universes and whom Doctor Strange is fighting to protect, that unleashes the endless possibilities of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), and boy does Marvel deliver.
A universe-hopping, mind-boggling trip, the film is a visual assault from start to finish, with Doctor Strange and America’s dizzying descent through multiple eye-popping universes and the kaleidoscopic trap Wanda faces at Kamar-Taj personal highlights.
With horror film maestro Sam Raimi at the helm as Director, ‘Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness’ pushes the MCU and fantasy genre into a darker, more macabre place, with both friend and foe meeting grislier and more violent fates than I had anticipated.
Sam’s influence is undoubtedly apparent in the scenes of a lurching, blood-spattered possessed Wanda. Relentless in her single-minded pursuit of her target in a manner not dissimilar to that of the Terminator, the imagery was reminiscent of scenes from 1976 horror classic ‘Carrie’.
The film is not all smoke and mirrors however, with Doctor Strange’s and Christine’s doomed love story satisfyingly explored across realms, and Wanda’s visceral maternal instincts reminding viewers of the humanity within the superheroes.
It wouldn’t be a Marvel movie these days without a surprise cameo and comeback or two, and this movie is no exception. While the cat is no doubt already out of the bag for many, all this reviewer will say is that as a long-time fan of Sir Patrick Stewart I was beside myself with glee, and it was an unexpected and delightful surprise to see a popular American ‘The Office’ star appear on screen.
A sequel to ‘Avengers: Endgame’ and ‘Spider-Man: No Way Home’ and with references to Marvel Studios’ popular miniseries ‘WandaVision’ and animated series ‘What If…?’, this instalment in the MCU will satisfy avid Marvel fans, however one need not have seen the others to follow the plot.
‘Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness’ is in cinemas from 5 May.