Until now, no fiction of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) had exposed the personality of its director as much as this, which includes evil books, raging witches and wizards, zombies and flying skeletons, and other monstrous creatures that at times envelop her in a grotesquely playful air. But a Marvel movie from sam raimi It’s not the same as a Sam Raimi movie. Besides that, ‘Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness’ is the official sequel to ‘Doctor Strange’, (2016) and continuation of ‘Avengers: Endgame’ (2019) and ‘Spider-Man: No way home’ (2021), and the miniseries ‘Scarlet Witch and Vision’ ( 2021). And that means not only that it must spend a good part of its footage contextualizing itself, but also that throughout its 126 minutes fails to establish a distinctive identitya; it is, by and large, a showcase of the restrictive MCU style embellished with allusions to some of the most iconic moments of Raimi’s previous cinema.
The titular character spends the bulk of the plot twist crossing a succession of interdimensional portals and, despite the fact that the film gives the sensation of wanting to use that premise to break corsets and become something similar to a live action version of ‘Spider-Man: a new universe’ (2018), prefers to ignore his own possibilities for narrative experimentation; here, as usual in the UCM, the concept of multiverse is used again as mere vehicle of a parade of cameos.
The alternate realities and the characters accumulate and, although Raimi brings to the story the same kind of humanism that already abounded in his Spider-Man trilogy – without it, by the way, it is likely that today’s superhero movies would not dominate Hollywood – through notes on the danger of letting oneself be carried away by the pain that loss entails and on predestination and the power of love, the film progresses rather sparingly of recognizable human emotions. It becomes difficult to really get involved in what happens, also because the idea of the multiverse means that what happened in one reality can be revoked in another, and because during a good part of the footage the action scenes fit the Marvel formula without hesitation.
mainly en the second half of the film, it’s true, the Raimi who revolutionized the horror genre by mixing the horrifying and the hilarious takes control, wasting irony without falling into cynicism and using color and light as well as camera management and editing to create atmosphere, and the spirit of the ‘Evil Dead’ trilogy takes over superhero cinema. It is a pity that this chaos arrives so late, and that in any case it does so handcuffed to a film that, like all of the UCM films, is at least as concerned about serving the saga to which it belongs than feeding his own virtues.