By: Elliott Garske
The newly anticipated sequel to 2016’s “Doctor Strange”, “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” has been released to a fair amount of mixed reviews, but what people do agree on is that Director Sam Raimi still has his magic.
From a narrative standpoint, Multiverse of Madness seems very stitched together as if they never really knew what scene would go next when filming, which would make sense given how Sam Raimi didn’t even know the ending of the film for a good portion of the creative process after the original director Scott Derrickson left. Multiverse of Madness being his first film in nine years also meant he had to adapt to the way Marvel does things, which all came together to a somewhat troubling production cycle.
While seeming like a kitbashed mess at times, what really saves the movie is the pure finesse that Sam Raimi brings to the table. His trademark style of blending horror and campiness into a concoction of terror that at times genuinely terrifies, yet also has room for its own style of humor works perfectly for the kind of multiversal whirlwind that the film takes you into. If you enjoyed any of his past movies like the Evil Dead series and even the Spider-Man franchise from the early 2000’s, you will absolutely love the way this film is presented. From POV horror shots directly out of The Evil Dead to the kind of epic action scenes that on the surface are campy as hell but provide just enough seriousness to where it produces some of the coolest scenes the MCU has ever released.
And that’s the weirdest thing about Multiverse of Madness. The fact that narratively it is just all over the place, but I still personally love the hell out of it. Maybe I’m just biased because I already love Sam Raimi as a director, but the amount of times I audibly gasped in the theater at just how cool it all looked. It’s just odd to me.
Again, maybe it’s just because I’m biased for already liking Sam Raimi, but I genuinely loved Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, and strongly encourage everyone to go see it. Multiverse of Madness is the perfect example of what happens when Marvel lets their directors branch out and inject their own style into a project, and it just goes to show that it needs to happen way more often. So while from a narrative perspective Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness pinballs all over the place like it doesn’t quite know where to go next, from a visual perspective, Director Sam Raimi’s flair for horror and camp only serves to make the film better in every way possible.