Marvel Studios might have just enjoyed its darkest outing ever with Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.
After nearly half a year of waiting, the Marvel Cinematic Universe welcomed its first movie in theaters since last year's Spider-Man: No Way Home. Although Benedict Cumberbatch is confident enough to say that his second solo film will match No Way Home and the ticket pre-sales numbers are in his favor, it's always best to wait until things play out before coming to conclusions. But, now that Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness has had its red carpet premiere as well as early launch in certain countries around the globe, it appears that Cumberbatch's confidence was not misplaced.
While Multiverse of Madness won't earn top billings as the best-reviewed Marvel Studios movie ever, most critics agree that Sam Raimi did do something right in telling the story of the mystical and magical side of the MCU. In particular, Multiverse of Madness' three leads, Cumberbatch's Doctor Strange, Elizabeth Olsen's Wanda Maximoff, and Xochitl Gomez's America Chavez all got high marks for their performance and storylines. Not to mention, fans are loving the horror vibes of Cumberbatch's multiversal adventure.
Doctor Strange & the #MultiverseOfMadness is a great follow-up to the sorcerer's first solo film and should make fans excited for future films. Still, it suffers from the same issue as No Way Home (albeit with a better overall story): weightless cameos over substance at times. pic.twitter.com/SK35TejckD
— Ben Kendrick (@benkendrick) May 3, 2022
It’s the MCU formula perfected IMO: despite the franchise/multiversal implications and reveals, the film is very much self-contained and focused on its own story and style. pic.twitter.com/OTNhBbGpbI
— Eric Italiano (@ericitaIiano) May 3, 2022
#DoctorStrange was a fun as ride and loved how they let Sam Raimi do whatever the hell he wanted. Xochitl Gomez is a star and it should have been called The Scarlet Witch and the Multiverse of Madness. Also Marvel needs to up their wig budget. Rachel’s wig wasn’t it.
— Dino-Ray Ramos (@DinoRay) May 3, 2022
#DoctorStrange is filled with hugely entertaining sequences, character-driven heft & kaleidoscopic, trippy visuals. Xochitl Gomez is a scene stealer. Elizabeth Olsen owns. Benedict Cumberbatch, superb. Doubles as a good entry point for Beginners Horror. Has Raimi signature. pic.twitter.com/0S6tF9dP9h
— Courtney Howard (@Lulamaybelle) May 3, 2022
The latest Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness trailer added to the enormous levels of hype that the film was already getting and the early reactions will only help fuel the fire.
The Doctor Strange sequel picks up after No Way Home brought in multiple Spider-Man variants from different universes along with their respective villains with the help of Doctor Strange. Now, the former Sorcerer Supreme will have to try and deal with the fallout from his mistakes and he's tapped Scarlet Witch to lend her a hand.
It's nice to know that Kevin Feige gave Raimi creative freedom to do what he wanted and it's even better knowing that the Spider-Man trilogy director wasted no time. Before Raimi helmed one of the most successful comic book adaptations of all time, he made a name for himself working on horror films. Some of Raimi's best works include the Evil Dead franchise and Drag Me to Hell, among several others.
With magic playing a central role in Multiverse of Madness, Raimi threw weird and scary elements into the mix, which appears to have worked.
Having said that, we're curious to find out where Cumberbatch's next solo outing will take him and if Raimi will return to do a threequel. Who knows? Raimi might get a chance to incorporate even more horror elements together if tapped to direct Olsen's Scarlet Witch movie.