Sam Raimi brings darkness and the horror genre to the Marvel Cinematic Universe in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness with jump scares and music by Danny Elfman.
Elfman sets the tone for the film with climactic moments and an epic rendition of Beethoven’s 5th that will change the way you view music. There were times that I turned to my family and said, “that was terrifying.” Raimi doesn’t hold back with Elizabeth Olsen’s character. Wanda is done holding back and everyone is going to see what she is capable of and the means she will go to for her own happiness.
There are subtle nods to every aspect of Marvel’s expansive library of characters and story arcs. Much of what was theorized from the trailers was spot on for fans (and confirmed in additional TV spots and trailers), but there are still some surprises that fans won’t see coming. Marvel still has the ability to garner cheers and gasps from a room full of mega fans.
One of the best new additions to the MCU is America Chavez, played by Xochitl Gomez. Her ability to travel the multiverse and her untapped power is fascinating. I wish they had gone into more detail about her family and origins, especially considering she has two mothers, and it is a leap for Marvel and Disney for representation. The idea that the scene was cut seems crazy because it was so short I would hardly call it representation. Marvel did stick to her comic story, though. I’m glad they didn’t try to introduce her as a mutant.
While this film is a Doctor Strange film, this is very much a film about Wanda Maximoff, the Scarlet Witch, and her transformation over the MCU. Her power and abilities still only graze the surface of what she can truly do in the comics. Her story is dark and sad, though, which plays a significant role in the plot. Watching WandaVision is a must for this film. Unfortunately, you’ll have no idea about Wanda’s motives and what is happening without watching the series.
Kevin Fiege was clearly excited about the upcoming Phases for Marvel because he pulls out the big guns for cameos from across the Multiverse. The introduction of the Illuminati opens the door to a powerful group of Marvel characters. It was also nice to get a verbal confirmation that the MCU is Earth-616. Make sure to stay for the two end credit scenes. The mid-credit scene is a big surprise, while the final one is just an incredible laugh.
You’ll cheer, scream, and cry in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, out in theaters on May 6.