New Doctor Strange Film Marks Low Point for Marvel

2/5 Falcons

Agustina Leon Perdomo, Contributing Writer

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is a desperate attempt at Marvel propaganda and relevancy as the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) enters its third phase of films. Despite Doctor Strange standing as a pillar of the MCU, its sequel lacks dimension and fails to honor plot over box-office sales, largely thanks to director Sam Raimi.
Known best for the Spider-Man trilogy and horror series Evil Dead, Sam Raimi took the supernatural element of the MCU and drowned it in jump scares. Though there are pieces of horror that were executed beautifully, these direct the audience’s empathy toward the characters and spend time building suspense; never at the expense of plot. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness sacrificed plot for fear, and character development for violence. The entire movie served as a stepping stone, a more formal introduction to the concept of the multiverse after the first look in Spider-Man: No Way Home, as though just killing time until the next multiverse-themed film.
Fans of the first Doctor Strange film recognize the spiritual significance within Strange’s story. A surgeon who loses control over his hands seeks remedy from an enclave of enlightened beings, capable of opening portals and projecting out of their physical bodies. Strange’s journey toward erudition follows the healing of his physical body. Viewers were able to relate to his journey with respect to their own battles in Doctor Strange, while Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness was far from relatable—unless you’re a wizard who battles an inordinate amount of nemesis for a tad longer than you should be.

The entire movie served as a stepping stone.”

Even so, no one has ever liked the Marvel movies because they’re relatable. The entire film industry relies on the public craving for escapism, which is why Doctor Strange 2, being the costume, was actually worse than facing reality head-on. The bizarre plot ranging from reanimating one’s own corpse from another dimension to shredding an Illuminati member gave room for plenty of creative freedom. This, unfortunately, amounted to cakey special effects makeup and gory cinematography, much of which is owed to Raimi.
The second film features America Chavez, a girl from Strange’s dreams who ends up in his universe and tells him she can travel the multiverse. Simultaneously, the antagonist The Scarlet Witch is sourcing her strength from the Dark Hold to abuse America’s powers. The movie follows Strange and America working to find the Book of Vishanti, the antithesis of the Dark Hold, to stop her from disturbing the fabric of the multiverse. Like anything else, however, the film is bound to have redeeming qualities. The cast includes Xochitll Gomez as America Chavez, a Mexican-American actress making her debut in the MCU. In the comics, America fought alongside Captain America during World War II. Now, America stands as a hero for the United States. As a member of the Latine community, I was overjoyed to witness a queer Mexican superhero on the screen! Marvel continues to please crowds with their journey toward on-screen representation. I look forward to witnessing progress in their journey toward the appropriate direction.

This article also appears in our September 2022 print edition.