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Thursday, September 29, 2022

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness: A Mix Up of Raimi’s Horror Touch with a Sidelined Main Character

Benedict Cumberbatch delivers another outstanding performance

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Khushant Runghe
Khushant Runghe
Covering the entertainment industry which includes reviewing movies, series, anime, comics and movies.

UNITED STATES: America Chavez is on the run, pursued by an unknown evil as she traverses across the multiverse with her existence on the verge of extinction. Things become chaotic when she collides with Doctor Strange from the primary Marvel reality. Determined to end the chaos, Master of the Mystic Arts must halt the multiverse onslaught and rescue her life.

The Director’s Vision

The second iteration of Marvel’s mystical realm is helmed by none other than Sam Raimi. The man behind the original Spider-Man trilogy and the violent yet ferocious Evil Dead series caused us nightmares.

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Raimi is unquestionably a horror director. He knew how to integrate horror and bloodshed into a PG-13 film effectively. His drive may be famous with horror fans, but his Spider-Man adaptation has genuinely altered the wall crawler’s live-action escapade. This is not a Spider-Man film, but rather a Doctor Strange film. What else can we do? Raimi did such an incredible job with Spider-Man that it would be unprofessional not to mention his work.

In any case, his horror instinct is evident in the film. His trademark in the film is the camera angles, the brutality, and the conflict between the characters. He has given his all as a director under the banner of MCU. The film can be considered one of the most vicious MCU installments, as it slightly touches the R-Rating line at times. MCU has essentially bowed to Raimi’s vision.

Ensemble Cast:

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Benedict Cumberbatch as Stephen Strange/Doctor Strange, Elizabeth Olsen as Wanda Maximoff/ Scarlet Witch, Benedict Wong as Wong, Xochitl Gomez as America Chavez, and Rachel McAdams as Christine Palmer.

Sam Raimi’s horror touch and phenomenal performances carry the entire film

Benedict Cumberbatch delivers another outstanding performance. We may see how difficult it is to play Doctor Strange by carefully analyzing. His role requires a lot of CGI work, which is difficult to imagine during filming. Benedict imagines not only such virtual things at this moment but also makes precise expressions that do hardly feel artificial even for a second. Leaving aside his character journey, Benedict has shown that no one can ever replace him as Doctor Strange.

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Considering her role as Scarlet Witch, Elizabeth Olsen has also elevated her performance. She takes center stage in the film, making her job even more difficult. Elizabeth’s portrayal of her character with such a gorgeous expression is pure cinema.

John Mathieson’s cinematography is nothing short of a visual extravaganza with a hint of understated dread. The camera angles used in certain scenes are precisely like those in Sam Raimi’s Evil Dead series.

The film is visually appealing, with bright colors and dark scenes. Under the PG-13 rating, specific locations flawlessly balance the use of blood.

Danny Elfman is also back, along with Sam Raimi. He’s the man behind the original Spider-Man soundtrack. Though the Doctor Strange theme is not up to par with his past efforts, it fits the character brilliantly. Certain scenes in movies rely significantly on the BGM, and Danny has done an outstanding job with it.

As previously remarked, Sam Raimi’s vision is the film’s main attraction. With his MCU debut, he had pushed the frontiers of filmmaking. The scary element he added to the film is incredible.

Nerfing, the lead character, finishes the whole plot in seconds

The film’s sluggish factor is Doctor Strange’s character. It isn’t easy to accept that the main protagonist is poorly treated in his movie. The character lacks emotional depth, but he also appears defenseless throughout the film.

Benedict Cumberbatch has provided an outstanding performance in part, but what good will his acting be if his character is utterly ignored in his film? The film barely feels like Doctor Strange’s story progression; instead, it feels like the conclusion of Wanda’s Vision. Doctor Strange’s character was arrogant but brilliant at times in the first film. But now, he’s transformed into a mistake-making machine. Marvel has entirely squandered the character’s potential.

Scarlet Witch is portrayed as a total overpowered character in the film. Although it’s acceptable that she possesses such extraordinary magical abilities, the way they were handled rendered the entire movie predictable after a certain point. The most touted Illuminati scenario has made the most powerful Marvel characters a laughingstock. The scene will disappoint you, but it will also make you wonder if your favorite characters are a joke or what?

The plot is linear, which makes sense at times. Since the multiverse concept might be perplexing at times, it must be presented in the most linear manner possible. However, the plot is told in a highly linear fashion, with no twists and turns. This made the film predictable from the beginning, and when Scarlet Witch appears in the scene, it makes it even easier to predict the outcome. Until the intermission, the weak storyline destroys the suspense and intrigue.

At times, America Chavez’s character feels underdeveloped. Her character is designed so that only those who have read the comics would understand her abilities. In the movie, there is no proper explanation for her abilities. It’s reasonable that Marvel would like to explore her abilities in other films or her series. However, it is an unfair deal if the audience is not provided with any information about the character other than a quick flashback.

Considering a two-hour runtime, the film feels rushed, which was expected given the 40-minute cut. Some characters appear out of nowhere, while others serve no purpose. For example, the character of Rintrah appears in the film without explanation.

Verdict:

This Doctor Strange rendition in the franchise will leave you with Sam Raimi’s horror touch but unfortunately sidelines the main character, leaving only the multiverse lacking Doctor Strange and madness.

Transcontinental Times rating: 2.7/5

Also Read: The Long-Awaited Sequel to James Cameron’s Avatar is Officially Titled, “The Way of Water”

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