“Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” takes moviegoers on an action-packed adventure through the realities. Director Sam Raimi’s latest film isn’t afraid to question what it means to be part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, offering no small dose of horror, gore and emotion.
With its thrilling twists, jaw-dropping spooky leaps, heartbreaking moments, and old-school good acting, it’s no wonder many in our own universe rave about this film.
“I think this movie was kind of an experiment for Marvel because it’s not their normal formula,” said West Valley High School sophomore Gracyn Cantrell. “I was starting to get sick of the Marvel formula. It’s good, but after a while it gets old. I love that this movie isn’t like all the other Marvel movies where it was just crap. action. This one gets on your nerves. It scares you.
“This movie was more than your traditional horror movie — it was a lot more psychological,” said Wyatt Anderson, also a sophomore at West Valley. “I think he really pushed his PG-13 rating.”
However, this is by no means a new direction for Marvel.
“It’s not like this movie came out of nowhere and changed the face of Marvel. Some of the Marvel shows got pretty dark as well,” Cantrell said.
Still, there’s a lot to love about the MCU’s latest installment, with Benedict Cumberbatch reprising the character most recently seen in “Spider-Man: No Way Home.”
“I really liked the love story with Christine Palmer (the main character’s girlfriend from the 2016 film),” Cantrell said. “I wondered what was going to happen to them.”
“The scenes with Christine Palmer were really well done,” he said.
The “Doctor Strange” sequel also brings a new character: America Chavez, a teenager capable of opening doors to other universes.
Cantrell wants to know more about this newcomer.
“I felt like there could have been more backstory for this character than the 10-second flashback that was given to us. We still don’t know much about her,” Cantrell said.
So, of course, Dr. Strange isn’t the only star of the show (as much as the main character’s ego would have you believe otherwise). You can’t ignore Elizabeth Olsen’s performance as Wanda Maximoff.
Cantrell likes Olsen’s performance.
“Maximoff was a villain when she first came to the MCU and we’ve seen her become good. Now we’re watching her become a villain again. I really like seeing her as a villain because you can see her full power Cantrell said.
Another familiar MCU character doesn’t look quite as satisfying in this sequel.
“Why didn’t they let Wong be a full-fledged comedian himself?” Anderson asked. “After all, he’s been doing all these cameos lately.”
And how well did Marvel execute a movie centered around the interactions of multiple parallel realities?
For the most part, Cantrell enjoys it.
“I love how when Dr. Strange fell into the multiverse with Chavez, we don’t just see different versions of New York (where the scene took place); we also see universes where the reality is totally different,” Cantrell said.
Such visuals are a crucial part of any film, but the musical score can often make or break a film. Cantrell thinks the new film’s music fits the horror scenes well. One particularly memorable scene is where our titular hero brings some music-related creativity to his fight, building up grand, classically-inspired crescendos as the battle continues.
If you’re up for your own dose of multiversal mania at a local theater, you’ll enjoy “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.”
Magnus Fulton is a sophomore at West Valley High School.