Doctor Strange In The Multiverse of Madness is officially here – and isn’t it great to have Sam Raimi back?
The sorcerer (Benedict Cumberbatch) returns after, quite frankly, messing up the multiverse to a huge degree in Spider-Man: No Way Home.
He meets a youngerster, America Chavez (Xochitl Gomez) who can travel between universes – but has no way of controlling her power, before running into an old friend, Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen) who’s still got Westview on her mind.
Along the way, he attempts to deal with his feelings for Christine Palmer (Rachel McAdams) while trying to restore the multiverse to some sort of sanity and grappling with whether he’s actually the real problem. So no pressure there then.
Director Raimi’s impact can’t be overstated – we’ve finally had a bit of gore, with some moments that might make viewers wince, and he’s a bit of a saving grace amid some occasionally very clunky writing.
The view we get of different universes, while brief, is fun and it’s safe to say he’s still very capable of working some real magic – although the heaps of exposition and clunkiness of some of the scenes can’t be overlooked.
While Benedict’s Steven was enjoyable as always, Elizabeth’s Wanda somewhat stole the show. Her story continues on from WandaVision and it’s clear that her grief is still controlling her, with Billy and Tommy returning. She plays it absolutely beautifully and is pretty mesmerising as she finally takes on Scarlett Witch.
Newcomer Xochitl smashed it as the young America Chavez (although she’s unfortunately already been subject to some awful trolling), with Benedict Wong bringing some much needed laughs.
Despite Rachel’s Christine having such a huge role in the first film, she seemed pretty unncessary in the sequel. We can only assume she’s got a big role coming up because otherwise there was almost no need for her to be there.
And then there are the cameos. Without spoiling too much, there are a few and, while many fans are sure to love them, it’s again a little questionable as to whether it’s actually necessary.
No Way Home was the perfect vehicle for a spot of fan service and nostalgia, with bucketfuls of cameos. But now we’ve done that, we dread to think that every Marvel film is going to be building up to a host of cameos for no particular reason other than a Where’s Wally of Marvel characters. It’s lazy and there’s not really any need for it to happen in every single film.
However, Into The Multiverse of Madness is still an enjoyable time and, honestly, whenever Strange and Wanda get together, we’re always going to love the absolute chaos.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is in cinemas on Friday.