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Film REVIEW: Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness - ★★★★

Updated: May 31, 2023

With the Multiverse split wide open and villains spilling through, Benedict Cumberbatch is seeing double in Doctor Strange 2.

Director: Sam Raimi

Writer: Michael Waldron based on Marvel Comics

Stars: Benedict Cumberbatch, Elizabeth Olsen, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Benedict Wong, Xochitl Gomez, Michael Stuhlbarg, Rachel McAdams.

Genre: Action, Adventure, Fantasy

Themes: Doctor Strange, Superhero, Marvel Cinematic Universe

Dr. Stephen Strange casts a forbidden spell that opens the doorway to the multiverse, including alternate versions of himself, whose threat to humanity is too great for the combined forces of Strange, Wong, and Wanda Maximoff.

It is the sequel to Doctor Strange (2016) and the 28th film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe

Critics praised Raimi's direction, musical score, visual effects, cinematography, emotional weight and performances of the cast (particularly Cumberbatch, Olsen, and Gomez), while the pacing and writing received some criticism.

In Cinemas Now - Rated 12A

Spidey swings into action to battle a fistful of big bads from his backstory.



Elizabeth (Age 14) - ★★★★1/2

'It was a great movie jam packed with thrills and multiple universes. It was a mix of themes and genres, making you open your eyes wider every twist and turn.'

Eilidh (Age 14) - ★★★★

'I have to say it was a great movie. While within the first half hour, I was unsure how I would feel about the rest of the film, I definitely find it very compelling. There were a lot of exciting, shocking moments, which I really appreciated, but it was also quite gruesome in some moments, which left me feeling..odd.

All in all though it was definitely worth watching, despite how weird it definitely was at certain points, so.'

Daniel (Age 12) - ★★★

'Dr Strange was an okay movie.

The action was really good with impressive CGI and okay acting.

Apart from that it was a pretty lacklustre storyline that was kind of hard to follow at times.

If I had to pick one of my favourite characters would be Dr Strange as he was a decent hero to begin with.

Overall it was an okay Marvel movie that had great action but definitely had room for improvement.'

Adam (Age 12) - ★★★

'Dr Strange movie was strange! The action was alright. They have amazing characters in the film. My favourite character is scarlet witch – she was my favourite character because of her powers and what she does in the film.'

Dylan (Age 14) - ★★★

'I thought the film was alright, the scary aspect was brilliant though'

Xander (Age 13) - ★★★★

'It was a really fun film to watch because there was never a dull moment but there was times where it was hard to keep up. Benedict Cumberbatch did a great job playing 4 different Dr Stranges and apart from a few cheesy lines overall the acting was great. I really liked the horror theme that was apparent through out the whole film, there were some actually very scary parts that kept me at the edge of my seat. The film had some very bold choices with some of the characters but I personally liked it. Overall it wasn't as good as I expected but still a great film.'

Sandy (Age 8) - ★★★★★

'I think this film is amazing. Taken after the events of Spider-Man No Way Home, the multiverse has been ripped open and one girl can change it. Wanda (the Scarlet Witch) wants something, but Strange is trying to stop her while the multiverse is open, alongside Wong who is trying to help Strange stop Wanda. There are two post credit scenes that explain some things.'

Charlie (Age 14) - ★★★★1/2

"I really liked it and it was different from the other marvel movies in ways that I liked."

Mylo (Age 13) - ★★★★★

'This film was action packed and was very entertaining. The actors were great and the story made an excellent film. As the plot thickened the tension grew to the extent where you were in the edge of your seat wanting to know what would happen next.'

Jennifer (Age 12) - ★★★1/2

'I enjoyed the editing and it was a well produced movie.'

Art (Age 8) - ★★★★★

"Very very amazing and scary!”

Erin (Age 12) - ★★★★

'Horrifying scenes to unpredictable scenes this movie is right for all ages'

Aiden (Age 14) - ★★★★1/2

'Another Sam Raimi masterpiece. This film is filled with both funny moments and surprisingly chilling visuals.'

Stewart - ★★★★★

'Best part of this movie is when the director is allowed to let loose with the horror aspects, with witchcraft, zombies, spirits, gore! (this really does push the 12A rating!). Elizabeth Olsen is fantastic as the Scarlet Witch, making her one of the best villains of the series.

I do feel the Marvel movies are now maybe using too much fan service that gets in the way of a comprehensible plot. It's a little overpacked, maybe one too many cameos that are not really needed and don't amount to much and sometimes verges on CGI overkill.

Still that being said, I loved it, and Doctor Strange remains one of the best of the Marvel heroes thanks to Cumberbatch's fun, snarky performance.'

We all headed to see the film for a Private Screening - just for Mix Up Theatre students & families!

Have you seen it yet?


How exciting is the release of Doctor Strange 2?

You saw Spider-Man: No Way Home seventeen times in December. But now the MCU withdrawal symptoms are kicking in hard. Sweating palms. Fluttering heartbeat. A habit of shouting ‘HULK SMASH!’ in your sleep?

We know the feeling. We’re Marvel nuts too. Fortunately, we have just the thing for your condition. The Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness release date is May 5th, and with horror supremo Sam Raimi (Spider-Man series) at the helm, the word is that Benedict Cumberbatch's snarky sorcerer has problems that will make Spidey’s five-villain pile-on look like a playdate.


What do I need to know before I see Doctor Strange 2?

Let’s whizz through the backstory for MCU noobs. Doctor Stephen Strange was first inked back in the Sixties by Marvel scribbler Steve Ditko (with a little direction from comic supremo Stan Lee).

Introduced as a cocky New York neurosurgeon, Strange loses his career when his hands are obliterated in a car crash, but reinvents himself as an orb-juggling Master Of The Mystic Arts.

On film, Cumberbatch’s first run-out as the character was his own solo movie, 2016’s Doctor Strange, which ended with the Doc dispatching the villainous Dormammu back to the Dark Dimension.

Since then, his powers have been tapped by the Avengers superhero team in ensemble movies like Avengers: Infinity War (2018) and Avengers: Endgame (2019).

Watch all of those, if you haven’t already. But perhaps your most important piece of homework is to revisit both Spider-Man: No Way Home and the first season of the Disney+ spin-off series, Loki.

Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness is set after the events of those adventures – and runs with key plot points.

While you’re at it, watch the WandaVision series, too, which ended with Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen) becoming the Scarlet Witch and getting hold of the dangerous spellbook known as the Darkhold. That knowledge might come in very handy later…


What happens in the Doctor Strange 2 trailer?

You should know by now that Marvel doesn’t splurge movie secrets before release. But there’s a surprising amount of meat on the bones of the Doctor Strange 2 trailer.

The opening voiceover comes from Spider-Man: No Way Home, and refers to the disastrous spell that Strange cast in last year’s movie. You know, the one that opened the gateway to the web of alternate realities known collectively as the Multiverse, and let in characters from across the gamut of superhero lore? That one.

Now, it seems that alongside Spidey’s miscellaneous arch-enemies, a doppelgänger of Strange himself has infiltrated our reality. As rival conjuror Karl Mordo (Chiwetel Ejiofor - The Martian, 2012) tellingly says in the Doctor Strange 2 trailer: “The greatest threat to our universe is you”.

So when Strange’s twin steps from the shadows wearing an evil grin, we’re already betting on the biggest sorcerer smackdown since Dumbledore vs Voldemort.

The Doctor Strange 2 trailer is also memorable for Strange’s slightly edgy reunion with Wanda, who appears to be on hand to help.

But will she be the same Scarlet Witch we watched in WandaVision?

No, says Olsen: “They were totally different utilisations of the character.”


What are the best fan theories about Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness?

Marvel fans are no fools. We know the studio’s trailers are expressly designed to misdirect, hoodwink and bamboozle us. And no sooner had the Doctor Strange 2 trailer landed last December than the MCU forums lit up with hot takes.

A theory that won’t go away is that we haven’t yet seen the real villain of Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness. Sure, there’s a snatch of Strange battling the crab-like monster Shuma-Gorath, but the king-sized crustacean is a basic brute, not a big bad. Other MCU heads insist the Doc’s double won’t be the villain he seems, and will follow the same arc to redemption as the Strange doppelgänger seen in the What If? animation.

Meanwhile, what’s Scarlet Witch’s real role in this Doctor Strange sequel? With the movie poster depicting multiples of her character, the rumour mill is abuzz that the mind reader will also be getting down with her bad self. Others insist the main villain will be Elder God Chthon – heavily hinted in WandaVision – while we’re picking up chatter that Tom Hiddleston’s Loki is back for more mischief.


Tell us about the Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness cast?

Cumberbatch recently revealed he almost didn’t take the role of Doctor Strange – until Marvel bosses assured him they’d reboot a character the actor saw as “dated and sexist” in the original comics. Thank goodness he reconsidered: it’s impossible to imagine Doctor Strange 2 without the Sherlock star’s arched eyebrow and acid wit.

In past MCU outings, Olsen has brought a much-needed vulnerability to her role as Maximoff. Now, with her criminal actions at the end of WandaVision still fresh in our memories, it seems the actress would like to see her character fork left. “In my mind, the next step in her life is this new sense of identity,” Olsen told Vanity Fair. “Of knowing the acts that she committed and her own accountability of it.”

Elsewhere, look out for all your favourites in the Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness cast, plus some damn-near guaranteed jaw-dropping cameos.

Providing a much-needed rock amid the chaos, Benedict Wong (The Martian) plays Wong, the Doc’s exasperated mentor and friend.

Rachel McAdams (Sherlock Holmes, The Notebook) is Christine Palmer, an emergency surgeon and Strange’s former lover. Xochitl Gomez (The Baby-Sitters Club) plays America Chavez, also known in the comics as Miss America. And once again, Chiwetel Ejiofor brings his trademark intensity to Karl Mordo, whose uneasy relationship with the Doctor looks more combustible than ever.

After a six-year break between solo movies, we’re delighted to confirm that the Doctor will see you now. If a recent soundbite from Cumberbatch is to be believed, your Marvel itch is about to get scratched in style.

“There’s some great stuff for me to do in this movie,” the actor told the WTF With Marc Maron podcast. “It’s very busy… and it’s bonkers!”


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