Is Sam Raimi’s ‘Doctor Strange In The Multiverse of Madness’ A Total Misfire?

Since the end of the latest “Spider-Man: No Way Home,” the hype has been building around the recent “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.” One of the many reasons is the director himself, as Sam Raimi, took the liberty of making this film. We have all been fans of Sam Raimi since his ‘Evil Dead’ days. Even in “Spider-Man,” Marvel was introduced to the larger audience because of him. He is one of the pioneers in giving the Marvel Cinematic Universe the threshold it holds. So, this goes without saying that, as early Marvel lovers, many of us had high hopes for Sam Raimi. How did he perform with this latest advancement of the MCU? Today, we are going to discuss the style he introduced in the latest “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.”

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The Multiverse was built on a theory that was well established by Marvel with the help of the Russo Brothers. Since the end of “Avengers: Endgame,” there have been some ups and downs for the MCU. But, when it comes to Doctor Strange or Thor, Marvel has been very discreet. The filmmaking process that goes behind Doctor Strange is mostly psychological. But, with Sam Raimi’s treatment, “Doctor Strange” became a horror show. Whether it is good or bad, that is not the subject of this discussion, but the treatment is what we are going to discuss today. Let’s get on with it then.

Sam Raimi is well known for his horror creations. Since the days of the ‘Evil Dead’ trilogy, Raimi created a world where fear became a fan obsession. It is not common in the 80s when you see a fan base that is so into the trilogy of a horror series. Raimi’s treatment was to make it both serious and slapstick, satiric and suspenseful, to create an ambiance where he stands alone and says, “A horror film can be molded into anything you want it to be.” Sam Raimi’s impact on the post-modern horror classics was so affluent that it had a huge adhesive effect on the audience. So, this is about how Sam Raimi has created a name for himself. His style is specific, and his objective is to make a horror film out of slapstick and spectacle.

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Sam Raimi’s Touch: The New Age Doctor Strange

If we start from the very beginning of the movie, the introduction itself gives the audience a hint of despair. There is always a notion of witchcraft and dark magic throughout the first chapter of the film. Apparently, Sam Raimi created a style of horror and introduced it in “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.” His style being a mixture of slapstick drama and steady fluidity in the screenplay; this time around, Sam tried to jump between subplots to create a drift for the audience. The audience is left in the belief that Scarlet Witch will somehow help Doctor Strange. But, as it turns out, the plot overlaps with a subplot, and the twist was first introduced to the audience. 

In other words, the straightforward approach is the subject that needs to be discussed for a longer period of time. As the character America, who can travel through multiverses, was introduced without an origin story at the least, it somehow drives the audience into the shadows itself. As the plots unfold, the audience gets to interact with the perspective of the Scarlet Witch. Although the approach towards America could have been a bit subtle, unboxing the inevitable might have destroyed the further plots. Any which way, as the story progresses, there are some darker elements that come in between.

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The Treatment Of The Film

As I have mentioned previously, Sam Raimi has always masterfully handled the pressure of subtlety in a horror film. In “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness,” too, the approach was clear right from the beginning. Even the introduction of Defender Strange in the very first scene carries a certain hint of dark magic that leads to the world of witchcraft. 

After a certain amount of time, as the audience gets to know that it is quite impossible for anyone to stop the Scarlet Witch, there is a feeling introduced by Sam Raimi that the war is already lost. He plays with the corrigendum to work out the suspense and build a fascinating world of horror. Although many can argue about their denial with his version of the horror, there is no doubt that the atmosphere was pretty haunting.

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When you are trying to create a dimension-hopping adventure movie, it is always important to make the story as simple as possible. The introduction of different monsters was a nice way to put an ease to the minds of the audience, although the story somehow breaks its chain as it sometimes almost fails to hold the grip.


‘Doctor Strange In The Multiverse of Madness’ Review (Spoiler Warning)

Loaded with convenience galore and cheese in abundance, “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” somehow fails to bring the madness into the audience. As the trailer created high hopes, it is always expected of a Marvel movie to create something extraordinary every time. Maybe Sam Raimi focused mainly on the outcome from “Wandavision” that led his version of the story quite driven to support the logic that Scarlet Witch brings.

The thing is, when Marvel makes a movie that projects an ambiance of great hype, it deals with perfection. From the amount of humor to the amount of action, everything sums up with a purified tone. “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” had everything in it, but it all somehow lacked a perfect balance altogether. There was humor, which will not be remembered. The action sequences, too, were very vaguely established. 

Embracing Scarlet Witch’s fascinating alter-ego, the depth of Doctor Strange has somehow gone untouched. Even so, the character America Chavez’s origin story never amounts to something that we can call “awesome!” The Illuminati gets more hype in the trailer than in the movie. Even the death of Charles Xavier never adds up to the extraordinary. All in all, the movie had everything but the grip on the story.

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The audience might feel lost after the first half of the movie. The motivation behind each character has somehow lost its course. Every time the audience tries and connects with the plot, they are left with disappointment. The post-credit and end-credit scenes, too, felt driven without compassion. It was like giving these credit scenes for the sake of preserving the culture.

The 4th Phase of the Marvel Cinematic Universe started off with a mixed review. There are almost 12 films upcoming, starting with Thor: Love and Thunder. It is expected that this film will justify a lot to the audience, but as far as the trailer goes, Multiverse of Madness created such a big hype, but in theaters, it fails to create an outstanding remark. 

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Final Thoughts

The subplots of Zombie Strange and Sinister Strange create some chaos in the field, but as far as the continuity goes, it fails to originate the fulfillment of the scene itself. Elizabeth Olson acted brilliantly in the Multiverse of her own, while the presentation of the Illuminati fails to hold the grip of the story. The Illuminati was so disappointing that it looked like nothing but some high school costume show for fun.

The approach of “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” started off well with the trailer, but in reality, the screenplay lacked confidence from the very beginning. It is very hard to mark it as a bad film or a good film, but without any doubt, one can definitely state that it is by far one of the worst Marvel movies in recent times. With no disrespect to the filmmaking style of Sam Raimi, he could’ve done a lot with a little more run-time, I guess. 

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Shovan Roy
Shovan Roy
Shovan Roy is a creative content writer. Formerly he used to write film reviews on an international film festival website named Beyond the Curve International Film Festival. He also interviewed global directors. He also interviewed one of the characters from the show 'Trailer Park Boys', Mr. Bernard Robichaud, platformed in Netflix. Shovan tends to write through the third person narrative and he loves to do psychoanalysis. He can't say that he has mastered it but that is some sort of hobby of his. Film is a platform where he loves to spend most of his time learning.

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