Paulie’s Perspective: Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness Film Review

Dir: Sam Raimi

Starring: Benedict Cumberbatch; Elizabeth Olson; Rachel McAdams; Xochitl Gomez

Writer: Michael Waldron

Michael Waldron is a writer/producer who created the hit series Loki for Marvel. He also was a PA and a Set Decorator, and produced some of the wildly popular Rick and Morty cartoon series. This film kind of feels a lot like Loki, and now I know why. 

Sam Raimi is a fan favorite who kind of started this whole super hero craze with Spider-Man back in 2002 with Tobey MacGuier. Amazingly enough, that really was 20 years ago.  Sam is also famous for cult classics like Army of Darkness, Darkman and The Quick and The Dead. Some I really liked, some I really despised. Guess which one this Dr. Strange falls under? 

I don’t want to give too much away, so no spoilers – and really if I told you the spoilers, you wouldn’t believe me anyway. I mean, this movie out there.  Take Loki, wandering around those timelines, and times that by 100. That is how insane this movie is. 

The Illuminati – which has come to represent many things in American cinema – in this film represents a clan of superheroes from the 838 Universe. The Illuminati has their own Captain America, Rex Reed of the Fantastic Four – who really is just Plastic Man, I mean he has no real means of fighting anybody. Yet he is called The Smartest Man On The Planet – he wasn’t very smart in this movie. Illuminati also has their own Captain Marvel, Black Bolt, and of course my favorite, Patrick Stewart’s Charles Xavier. Anyway – we get to meet them, though I have no idea why.  

So that was cool. Then there is the main girl – a teenager named America Chavez. Cool minority role indeed. I’m not quite sure what her power is, but I’m sure it will be whatever they need her to be.  For now, she just jumps through universes. Which is something I thought they could already do, but never mind. I’m probably wrong. There is just so much going on with all these projects – you really need to keep a diary or a scrapbook to keep track. Or just go with it, which is what I’m doing. 

This film is a bearable 2 hours and 6 minutes long. I was not scared by this, I thought I could do this, and it went pretty well. I was only squirming towards the end.  By the way – this is NOT a PG-13 movie. This should have easily been an R rated film. I was scared many times – and it involved dead people, demons, souls literally from Hell, voodoo type stuff and occult type stuff that would definitely keep me up at night had I watched at night time. (Thank God I didn’t)  Oh – they also talk about nightmares being real! That would scare any kid after a big meal. 

After literally 20 years, Sam Raimi still just can’t do wire stunts right – every time I saw a wire stunt in one of his movies, from Spiderman to now – it looks and feels like a wire stunt. I don’t know what he does different, but that’s something someone has to tell him about. 

Surprisingly I actually like John Krasinski as Reed. I think he fit the part rather nicely. I know social media is all abuzz about it – as it should – since the Fantastic Four is set to play a major part in the next phase of the MCU. I know there is only one Robert Downy JR, and only one Chris Evans and they will be sorely missed.  I think the next Reed will have to carry the torch, no pun intended, and that is a big load to bear. 

I love they made the villain the Scarlett Witch – it means she is still not right from Wandavision, and may never be. We did find out how powerful she really is – and I bet she can take Ultron now with no trouble at all. 

This Dr Strange movie felt more like a casting test, than an MCU movie. I was hoping Shang-Chi was going to show up because I really loved that movie and absolutely nobody talks about him. That is a character they will have to shore up more if he is to get any screen time in the future. 

Overall, I sat through it – the CGI effects are the same as they have always been, and it’s getting tougher to like movies with this many VFX. Story now has to be the strong suit of the MCU – and let’s see if they can deliver. If they can, that would be a mystical power to behold, indeed.