Wed. Jul 17th, 2024

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness

By nr39r Jun15,2024

It wasn’t an excessive certainty to me when Marvel announced Sam Raimi would be directing the sequel to “Doctor Strange.” Let me start by admitting my mistake. Even though Raimi is still a fantastic filmmaker (as evidenced by ‘Drag Me to Hell’ and ‘Ash vs. Evil Dead,’ among other films), I assumed that Disney’s production machinery would squash any authorial quirks of Spider-Man’s director, as they had done with countless other creators who had hoped to make a small impact on the franchise.

Now I see my error. Without a doubt, “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” is not a film, but rather an original work of fiction. ‘Darkman’ is not it. While Raimi’s fingerprints were more subtly apparent in the ‘Spider-Man’ trilogy—in aspects like the film’s slapstick humor, camerawork, or iconic moments like Octopus’s resurrection in Spider-Man 2’s operating room—they are more prominent here. While it remains a Marvel film, I dare say it’s the first in the studio’s history where the identity of the director is more prominently displayed than in any other Marvel film.

Just because ‘Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness’ is extremely near to Raimi’s interests doesn’t mean it’s a horror film, despite what some overzealous publicists would have us think. Dark and horrific fantasy reminiscent of ‘The Army of Darkness’ occasionally comes straight out, albeit we obviously don’t have gore.

While Michael Waldron—known for his work on “Rick and Morty” and “Loki”—was not involved in writing the screenplay, it is hard to tell because the film is filled with references to Waldron’s previous work and his energetic and chaotic take on filmmaking. For instance, there are numerous and often overt references to the ‘Evil Dead’ series, particularly in the script resources featuring on-board voiceovers and the design of certain monsters that mimics (unfortunately) the animatronic craftsmanship of his possessed films, as well as in the inevitable cameo by Bruce Campbell (which is, incidentally, hilarious).

Beyond just a few self-quotes, Raimi’s stamp permeates the film’s tempo, which frequently mocks Marvel’s sluggish and ostentatious manner. From the very beginning, this ride has been nonstop thrills and spills, with the revelation of Strange’s archenemy being the first of many surprises. All we can say about them is that: (a) it is a revelation that makes perfect sense; and (b) many loyal fans will be shocked. It slips his mind.

We haven’t seen staging this exquisite and metal since the ill-fated ‘Hellboy,’ and it’s all because to Raimi. In the film’s latter half, the staging even flirts with a dark fantasy aesthetic, which is done with great taste. The author’s “anything goes” tone and some artistic experimentation are both served admirably by the usage of multiverses, which also leads us to believe that this is not the last time we will witness the multiversality at work at Marvel.

Is this going to be a remarkable film? No minor achievement, but we are up against a Marvel picture that will be remembered by many. A certain storyline rigidity and the cancellation of surprises are evident here, as are all of the problems with the plant. But there are some great spots where “The Multiverse of Madness” lets loose. Like in the magical duel scene, which is reminiscent of Corman’s “The Raven” and his “Price vs. Karloff of Sorcery.” Another example is the way the action sequences are planned, where the director’s expertise with the camera and editing shines through. He invented the way modern superhero action is visualized with “Spider-Man.”

In addition, what does fan service entail for us? Oh, so delightful. As a matter of fact, it’s noticeably better than in films like “Spider-Man: No Way Home,” which have awkwardly displayed merchandise. There are a number of unexpected twists and turns, and Marvel has been surprisingly generous with spoilers for potential future films. ‘Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness’ is a must-see if you’re into the Marvel Cinematic Universe as a story with tons of branches. For once, you have an appointment at the same location if all you want is to get hit with an exciting, creative, humorous, and adventure film.

I used to watch every Marvel movie that came out. A couple of things motivated this. One reason for this was that my two best pals have always had a soft spot for comic books. Going to the movies together was a great opportunity for us to interact and share our interests throughout high school and college. The fact that I generally thought the majority of Marvel films to be entertaining, thrilling, and, every now and then, even emotionally affecting blockbuster filler also had a role.

James Gunn’s Guardians films are, in my view, genuinely fantastic, along with a handful other personal highlights like Shane Black’s Iron Man 3. Both are in my personal possession, and I have read them again and again. (If it’s any consolation, I believe Gunn is the sole Marvel employee that seems to have a genuine passion for the subject, and who has successfully managed to combine witty banter with a touching emotional core.) Last but not least, it was in part because, quality aside, I used to enjoy keeping up with Marvel’s output as “important” cultural touchstones; doing so allowed me to discuss them, stay current, and deride them when I felt the need (which is often).–healthcare/10683545–666d3bb2c43bb#goto8093

By nr39r

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