Let's be honest, Benedict Cumberbatch as Dr Stephen Strange looks crazy handsome. But that is probably not why everyone was so hyped about Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.
The movie was everything we have come to expect from Marvel films as of late. It began with a bang! With stellar action sequences, there were twists and turns in the story, there was a lot of witty humour thrown in, and last but not least, it was a visual masterpiece. And despite all this, the story still managed to be unpredictable.
The plot unfolds as Dr Stephen Strange attends a wedding, but the ceremony is interrupted as a monstrous creature travels into his universe while chasing a young girl named America Chavez (Xochitl Gomez). She is a nexus being, and has the power to jump through different realities. She is one of a kind throughout the multiverse.
Stephen and Wong (Benedict Wong), the current Sorcerer Supreme, fight off the monster but they realise this will not be the last time they will encounter them. An unknown entity is chasing after America and Stephen must find out who it is and how it can follow her through the multiverse.
The complexity of the situation puts Strange in a position where he needs the help of the Earth's mightiest heroes. He goes to Wanda aka. the Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) to find out what she knows of these occurrences.
This instalment was an official introduction to the multiverse saga, and it felt like the movie was a set-up for something bigger in the future. Sam Raimi introduced interesting visuals from his experience with horror, it felt new for a Disney film. But what he did really well was how he introduced the concept of the multiverse, which will surely play a bigger part in the upcoming Avengers movies.
However, in order to fully appreciate Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, one must also first watch WandaVision and Loki. The stories for both the series are important for Marvel's phase four.
It is rumoured that about 40 minutes of the film was left on the editing floor, and many anticipated scenes and appearances were unfortunately not included. However, it still came as a surprise with the inclusion of some characters. It brought laughter to our faces even in the midst of tense situations.
Cumberbatch's acting prowess was on full blast throughout the entire movie. He played multiple iterations of himself, and all his variants had their own unique charm and charisma. He proved his versatility through these amazing portrayals with a slight change in characteristics and demeanour.
Elizabeth Olsen's performance as Wanda Maximoff was phenomenal. She is, without a doubt, the perfect actor to helm the role of the Scarlet Witch. She truly outdid herself in the film.
The soundtrack and score are also deserving of a mention. It does a brilliant job of wheeling in its viewers, and some of the tracks give the film that extra umph during the more intense scenes.
As expected, the film includes incredible action scenes. But perhaps the biggest highlight was how visually stunning it truly was. Watching it in 3D was a true spectacle for the eyes.
However, as a viewer and a fan of the franchise, I only wish Raimi would have given us a bit more story. I didn't want this film to be yet another setup for something much bigger. But, for better or worse, it is what makes Marvel, Marvel.