A Shinkansen is an extremely fast bullet train spread all over Japan. They reach high speeds and don’t really stop until they get to their destination. Much like my esoteric statement, Sam Raimi’s campy, cacophony of Marvel straps you in and launches after just five minutes of exposition.
The set pieces are so wide and varied that it can be hard to keep up with Benedict Cumberbatch’s (The Power of the Dog, The Imitation Game) latest MCU film. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is a cosmic adventure unlike anything Marvel/Disney has done before. It really does open infinite possibilities for the franchise.
In that same vein, Sam Raimi and team seemingly had free range with their IP. Calling on names, places, artifacts and the like to fit their epic story. The usual Raimi excursions into horror are very much alive and well with many sweeping camera movements and Handycam close-ups that bring you back to the days of Evil Dead.
Other performances, such as Elizabeth Olsen (Avengers: Endgame) and returning Rachel McAdams (Spotlight) were really complex and weighted against the plot. Particularly Olsen’s tormented Scarlet Witch.
The film is not without its faults, however. MCU newcomer, Xochitl Gomez (The Babysitters Club) had an OK performance, but it wasn’t as enthralling as her character called for. Some CGI was surprisingly rough given Marvel’s usual penchant for the green screen. Other issues were minor, and I’m willing to pass them off as Raimi-isms given how much he likes the macabre blended with the silliness of it all.
This was the most I’ve enjoyed a Marvel film since 2019’s Avengers: Endgame.
Multiverse of Madness has blown the door wide open for the endless universes the MCU could travel to. This could backfire if they decide to ever bring back major characters or rewrite pivotal moments, but we won’t really know until they pull something crazy like this again.
–Mason Potter | Metrovoicenews.com