If the Watcher was here, he would have seen how the multi-verse can be very fragile.
He would also agree that Multiverse of Madness proves combining super-hero movies with horror can work very well with the right guy, Sam Raimi.
Never mind the fact he should make another Spider-Man movie. Imagine what Raimi can do for Blade and Ghost Rider.
That being said, the latest Marvel movie had a great story about how Steven Strange deals with his past choices while trying to stop a powerful being from destroying everything for a happy home life that never was.
It also has a great introduction for a heroine that packs a punch, literally.
It starts with a young girl and someone who looks like Dr. Strange being chased by a monster. They’re looking for the Book of Ashanti, which battles evil. The girl escapes by literally breaking through her reality while Strange dies….
or does he? It turns out it was a dream…until another monster attacks a bus near the wedding of his ex, Christine Palmer. That girl in his dream is there, too, running from the beast.
He and Wong find out more abut the girl, named America Chavez. She’s apparently traveled through more than 70 realities, and someone wants her power. Strange thinks witchcraft may be involved, and looks for Wanda Maximoff. She is at peace in an apple orchard, but it’s not long before that’s not the case. Wanda, in full Scarlet Witch mode thanks to the Darkhold, wants America so she can travel to a multi-verse where her two boys Tommy and Billy from Wandavision exist. She points out anyone would rather live in a different reality, so what can’t she?
Well, aside from the massive destruction she could create, that’s an interesting point.
The movie then becomes a long chase as Strange, America and Wong try to fight her off. It eventually leads to a mountain where the original Darkhold text was made. Wanda recognizes it as her throne, where she’ll get more power and the children. It also involves a type of witchcraft where she takes over the body of another version of her, Seeing Scarlet Witch be reunited with the sons she never had is touching, but also chilling considering what she had to give up including her soul.
As for Strange and America, they start to understand each other and their lives. They wind up in Earth 838, which is rather odd, then Strange meets that version of Mordo (Chiwetel Ejiofor) who seems to be glad to see him. That doesn’t last long. In Earth 838, Strange isn’t quite popular although he “officially” killed Thanos in that version of the Infinity War. He and Strange get trapped, and a scientist is there. Yep, it’s 838’s version of Christine.
He’s soon taken before the Illuminati, which is almost similar to the comic books except for two members.
We won’t say who they are, but it features familiar faces, and one member who hopefully will have his own movie. They consider Strange a bigger threat than Scarlet Witch but are soon proven wrong.
Strange even meets a darker version of herself, setting off a literal music war between them. It’s interesting this scene is there, giving the movie a link to the What If series.
It winds up with an intense battle, where America realizes she can use her power, while Scarlet Witch seems to get she wants.
Cumberbatch is still the gentleman sorcerer and suave super-hero. It’s still interesting how he tries to deal with different versions of reality and himself. He also deals with the choice he’s made, good and bad. Benedict Wong is coming into his own in the MCU as the new Sorcerer Supreme. It’s great he’ll fit in several parts of the MCU.
However, Elizabeth Olsen makes the movie her own. She plays Wanda literally possessed with the idea of being a mother for real, despite the consequences. She can be a loving mother, but how she tries to be that is frightening. It’s always a tragedy when a good hero goes bad, and it’s understandable how it happened. She was possessed by the Darkhold, and the need for a different life.
Then there’s newcomer Xochitl Gomez as the multi-verse tourist America Chavez. She starts out as a scared girl who has powers she doesn’t quite understand. She’s lost her home and parents, and just wants to go home. Slowly, though, she figures out (with Strange’s help) she has a gift that will benefit her. Maybe she’ll join Wong in the Shang-Chi-verse.
Let’s also remember Rachel McAdams finally returning to the MCU as Christine. She had a lot more to do compared to the first movie. A lot of people enjoying seeing Strange deal with this version of Christine, who not only knows the multi-verse but also that several versions of Strange aren’t that heroic as they think. Marvel has to figure out how to bring her back.
It was also great to see Bruce Campbell as a guy who complains about what Strange is wearing, and getting his come-uppance. Can HE be in the next Spider-Man movie, no matter who’s playing Spidey?
People may have been expected a different type of traveling through multi-verses, but the movie wisely stuck to a basic story about someone who wanted to change her life at the cost of other realities. We still got good cameos that advanced the story, and ideas for future stories (in more than one multi-verse, of course). What may shock people is the body count, but Raimi, master of horror, is in charge. People have to realize sometimes super-hero battles can get bloody. It’s also interesting how the movie plays out, where one solution literally burns away. It’s really about Strange and Wanda having the same journey but to different paths. One wants false happiness, the other wants the truth about himself. He’ll get it even if he won’t like the answer.
As for the post-credit scene, it shows someone whose life has just been changed in more ways than one. Click here for more information.
It should be a busy and exciting Marvel year with Ms. Marvel coming next month on Disney Plus, followed by Thor: Love and Thunder and Wakanda Forever.