Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is the second of ol’ BenCum’s outings in his own movie – even though he seems to have turned up in countless others – but I’ll start with a bit of plot, and which I’ll put behind a spoiler-header for anyone who wants to avoid that if they haven’t seen it yet.
However, I will first add that prior to the movie beginning, we did get a teaser for Avatar: The Way of Water – showing in 1.90:1 and 3D, but I still haven’t seen the first one. Maybe they’ll do a double bill when the time comes? It’ll be a long bum-numbing time, though. Intermission, anyone? The first film runs 2 hours 58 minutes in its extended form (2:42 in the theatrical cut), and the sequel is due out in cinemas on December 16th.
As for how the film goes when it comes to entertainment, I did enjoy it for the most part, especially a scene involving many of the multiverses, which felt like when Stewie and Brian go through several universes within a short space of time in Family Guy’s Road to the Multiverse. If you’ve seen the trailer, where the Doc’s face goes blocky, you’ll know where I’m coming from, but that’s only a small part of it.
The first half of the film is more engaging than the second half. That could be because it’s one fight after another, and you feel it could slow down a bit and strengthen the plot. However, it’s more about spectacle. Benedict Cumberbatch and Elizabeth Olsen perform their roles well, along with welcome support from Xochitl Gomez, but for most of the others, they turn up, deliver their lines, and then exit stage-left.
Ultimately, I didn’t even try to understand why we had multiple Doctor Stranges as coherent plotting seems to go out of the window, but I never felt bored during the 126 minutes it ran for, and I’m so glad it didn’t ramble on for over two-and-a-half hours like most of the Marvel offerings.
I hope we don’t have to wait another five-and-a-half years for a third Doctor Strange movie, although I expect a lot of the delays were down to the COVID19 pandemic, on this occasion.
At this point, I will say that if you can see it in IMAX and 3D, do so, IMAX opens up to 1.90:1 (from 2.39:1) for the entire duration, and even though all Marvel films are shot in 2D with most of them converted to 3D in post-production (rather than shooting in 3D, proper), for the most part, it’s all computer-generated nonsense flying about, so probably doesn’t make much difference.
Compare that to a Michael Bay Transformers film, for example, where he did shoot in IMAX 3D 8K (normally, 3D films only show in 2K, aka 1080p, so regular HD). I saw no.4 and 5 in IMAX and when most stuff blows up, it’s actually real stuff exploding, and it looks incredible.
However, I only looked at Odeon and Vue so far, and only Odeon are having 3D screenings, and for IMAX, it was all of them yesterday, but today onwards, just a handful. I would’ve preferred an early showing, but 2pm was the earliest 3D version. Well, 2.34pm by the time it actually started.
Later in the film, someone in the audience combined dizzying effects of the movie with smoking some weed. Maybe that improved things?
There’s also a mid- and a post-credits scene, so stay for those. Most people did. I’ll describe those here, but I’ll put them behind a spoiler header:
Oh, and when it comes to my end-credits adventures, at least you can be pretty sure there’ll be a post-credits scene, so on this occasion, the staff stayed well out of the way of interrupting us before the film was actually completely over.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is in cinemas now, and is not yet available to pre-order, hence I’ll update the links atop this page when it is.
Running time: 126 minutes
Release date: March 5th 2022
Format: 1.90:1 (IMAX Version); 2.39:1 (non-IMAX). (IMAX cameras, Redcode RAW (8K))
Director: Sam Raimi
Producer: Kevin Feige
Screenplay: Michael Waldron
Music: Danny Elfman
Doctor Stephen Strange: Benedict Cumberbatch
Wanda Maximoff / The Scarlet Witch: Elizabeth Olsen
Baron Mordo: Chiwetel Ejiofor
Wong: Benedict Wong
America Chavez: Xochitl Gomez
Dr. Christine Palmer: Rachel McAdams
Dr. Nic West: Michael Stühlbarg
Billy Maximoff: Julian Hilliard
Tommy Maximoff: Jett Klyne
Sara: Sheila Atim
Rintrah: Adam Hugill
Charlie: Ako Mitchell
Hong Kong Master: Momo Yeung
London Master: Daniel Swain
Master Hamir: Topo Wresniwiro
Ariann: Eden Nathenson
Vinny: Vinny Moli
The Weasel: Charlie Norton
Kamar-Taj Teacher: David KS Tse
Doctor Strange Fan: Nina Jalava
Captain Carter: Hayley Atwell
Captain Marvel: Lashana Lynch
Clea: Charlize Theron
Reed Richards: John Krasinski
Black Bolt: Anson Mount
Professor Charles Xavier: Patrick Stewart
Street vendor: Bruce Campbell (uncredited)
Clea: Charlize Theron (uncredited)
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.