Welcome to the Multiverse, the next big concept of the MCU. Wandavision and Spider-Man: No Way Home briefly deal with the concept, but Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is just the start of the unraveling of the multiverse.
The Multiverse of Madness had high concepts, expectations and expanding consequences to present, but did this film deliver?
I really enjoyed this movie as it is crafted as a credible stand-alone film with a very simple story.
At its core, The Multiverse of Madness is about happiness. The film often asks the question… are you happy, and what are the lengths you are willing to go to achieve your happiness. Both Dr. Strange and Wanda Maximoff struggle with their potential bliss in life, but it is the grief of Wanda that drives the film.
If you have not watched the Marvel show Wandavision, then you may not understand the fullness of her grief and might misunderstand her as just crazy and potentially evil, making her one dimensional.
Dr. Strange feels a similar journey for joy, but circumstances force his focus upon the multiverse and actions of Wanda, so his search for his personal happiness is derailed.
Happiness vs Madness is the real battle of the movie, but the madness that we get in the film isn’t about the story but rather the style of the film from director Sam Raimi.
If you are a Raimi fan, you will love this movie. The jump scares, camera movements, eerie looks and makeup demonstrate horror and evil, while still telling a cohesive story. But The Multiverse of Madness often feels more like a PG horror movie and less of a Marvel movie.
The film slightly touches upon the future of the MCU, but only comic readers will understand the references. And although it had the ability to really delve into the madness with plenty of MCU/Marvel tropes and personalities it stops short of delivering fan service.
Overall, the film is good and enjoyable, even though it doesn’t give us the special moments and feelings we got from Avengers: Endgame and Spider-Man: No Way Home.
The first and third acts are the best because they focus on the Strange – Wanda conflict, but the second act, which seeks to hone into the madness, starts broad yet falls short into just plot convenience.
And, as usual, there is a post-credit scene that sets up the MCU but most fans won’t understand without some help.
The multiverse is finally here but we may still have to wait… for the madness.
MMTrometer rating: 3 and 1/2 beats out of 5.