As is usual with Marvel movies and shows, we are asked by the studio to “refrain from revealing spoilers, cameos, character developments, and detailed story points.” So you know this is going to be a spoiler-free review. But that also makes “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” extra hard to write.
I’ll start with what we posted on social media: Most in our theater loved it, but one said it was one of the worst Marvel movies (worse than “Morbius”). My wife said it was too much madness for her. But I really enjoyed it and I think most Marvel fans will, too.
Almost anything can happen in the multiverse, and almost does in this movie. At times it’s a love movie. Most of the time it’s a superhero movie. But it has moments of a comedy, lots of drama, and surprisingly lots of scenes right out of a horror movie. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised with Sam Raimi directing it, but it’s a very different movie from “Spider-Man: No Way Home.”
It’s rated PG-13, but I’d call it a hard 13, bordering on R for the horror-like scenes. And it’s not just one scene or one type of horror genre. There’s also a gruesome scene that has nothing to do with horror toward the beginning of the film.
Most of the characters have great development. They keep your interest throughout. Some differ from what you expect, and because we’re dealing with the multiverse, you see multiple versions of some.
In the first 20 minutes of the film, I was on the edge of my seat, and shed a tear. One of the main interesting characters is new, America Chavez (Xochitl Gomez). She shows up needing Doctor Strange’s help. She has the power to travel to different multiverses, but she can’t control it. And as most have expected, there are some surprise characters – but they’re both good and bad.
If you haven’t seen them, or think you could use a refresher, I suggest watching both the first Doctor Strange movie and WandaVision before seeing “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.” You can probably get what’s going on without having seen them, but I wouldn’t suggest it. If you still have some extra time, also watch the animated “What If … “ shows on Disney+ and “Spider-Man: No Way Home.”
The last seconds of the movie were a bit weird and off-putting at first, but the first of two credit scenes clears it up a bit, so be sure to stay for the mid-credit scene. The end credit scene is just for laughs and could be skipped.
Go see “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.” It’s unlike any other Marvel movie, and just may end up being your favorite, or at least your favorite Marvel horror movie.
“Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” is rated PG13, runs about two hours and 10 minutes, and is available in IMAX, Dolby Cinema, and Real D 3D. There are mid and end credit scenes.
In The Theme Parks
Your best bet for meeting Doctor Strange is in Avenger’s Campus at Disney California Adventure, where he has a show in the Ancient Sanctum. You will also be able to see America Chavez in Avengers Campus for a limited time starting May 6. Wanda, aka Scarlet Witch, will also be making a limited appearance.