Jewish writer-director Sam Raimi (Army of Darkness, Spiderman 1, 2 and 3) makes a glorious return to Marvel with this totally bonkers second instalment in the Doctor Strange saga.
Starring Benedict Cumberbatch (The Imitation Game, The Power of The Dog), Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness — to give its full name — is the 28th film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and is once again produced by Kevin Feig.
The film is written by Michael Waldron and sees the return of MCU favourites Elizabeth Olsen, Chiwetel Ejiofor and Benedict Wong. Xochitl Gomez, and Rachel McAdams also star.
A few months after the events of Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021), Dr Stephen Strange (Cumberbatch) finds himself battling a new and powerful adversary. Befriending America (Xochitl Gomez), a gifted teen with the magical ability to open portals in parallel worlds, Strange must find a way to stop an old friend and ally from altering the fate of the universe as we know it and return peace to his own world.
Raimi delivers an engaging, fast-paced and decidedly playful second cinematic outing for one of Stan Lee’s most loved comic book characters.
The acclaimed director has given us an interpretation that is often more weird gory horror than the usual superhero fodder we’ve come to expect from this hugely popular franchise.
While undeniably disjointed and more than a little “out there” tonally, there is something rather endearing about Raimi’s film.
This is a production that isn’t afraid of challenging the MCU’s tried and tested formula in the most outrageous fashion. By taking this latest adventure in a brand new direction, Raimi obviously risks alienating those who grew up on the franchise, but that’s not to say that what he brings to the table isn’t far more exciting if not exactly very coherent.
Elevated by some terrific performances courtesy of Cumberbatch, Chavez and Olsen, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness remains one of the most unconventional films in the series and undeniably the most easily likeable.
Providing one ignores some of its more silly antics and clunky dialogue, this is a genuinely thrilling new adventure.