Dr. Strange 2 Spoiler Review

By VincentVanSpock

My views are my own and do not reflect the views of the rest of the bleeding edge.

Here’s how this is gonna work. In the first few paragraphs I’ll review it without spoilers for those still on the fence about seeing it. Then I will put *SPOILERS* when I start talking about specific information about the movie that could irritate those who haven’t seen it yet. You have been warned.

First, this is easily one of the most beautiful films I personally have seen. The CGI is gorgeous throughout the film. The blend of practical effects and CGI is often indistinguishable as when one is being used over the other. As a filmmaker and long time film goer I believe the use of both CGI and practical effects together to be the best way to make movies. Too much CGI can leave people disoriented or not immersed in the product, while practical effects can only do so much. Dr. Strange combines the two in a way that makes it believable and leaves audiences immersed.

While the effects are great, some characters aren’t balanced as well as the CGI. While the movie is called Dr. Strange I would argue that this movie is about Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen) and America Chavez (Xochitl Gomez). Dr. Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) doesn’t go through any real change in the movie. He starts the film as a noble, selfless, and kind and ends the film selfless noble and kind. While Wanda starts the film struggling to accept all of the trauma and loss of Avengers Age of Ultron, Infinity War, and Wandavision, by the end of it she goes through a change, which I won’t spoil yet. Also, America Chavez starts the film struggling with confidence but believes in herself by the end of it. Strange, Wong (Benedict Wong), and the rest of the sorcerers almost seem like an afterthought.

Speaking of afterthought, the sound design is good but not great. The sound effects are believable for what they are. I mean, how do you create the sound for a star portal or a ribbon based monster? But the sound track is forgettable. Danny Elfman has some iconic sound tracks, just look at 1989’s Batman. But, Dr. Strange’s soundtrack leaves something to the imagination. It’s fine for what it is but not mind-blowing.

*SPOILERS* This is your final warning.

What is mind-blowing are the plot, cameos, multiverse itself. You learn pretty early on that Wanda is the one and only villain of this film. She is believable as the villain too. Elizabeth Olsen goes all out in her acting, Sam Raimi kicks the horror up to 11, and Wanda’s destruction of Kamar-Taj in the first act establishes her as a powerful and destructive force. Wanda’s motivation throughout the film is to steal the powers of America Chavez so she can gain access to her alternate universe selves kids. Dr. Strange and America spend the majority of the film running from Wanda because of how strong she is and because America believes she cannot control her powers. This leads them into a universe where they meet the long awaited Illuminati.

This version of the illuminati consists of Professor X (Patrick Stewart), Blackbolt (Anson Mount), Captain Carter (Hayley Atwell), Captain Marvel (Lashana Lynch), Mordo (Chiwetel Ejiofor), and most shockingly Mr. Fantastic Reed Richards (John Krazinski). This is where the majority of the cameos come into the film. Other than this we get Charlize Theron in a mid-credits scene as Clea, a brief view of the Living Tribunal, and of course a Bruce Campbell cameo because its a Sam Raimi film. Unfortunately, the illuminati are all killed with the exception of Mordo but this does continue to show the strength of Wanda and gives Strange and America more reason to run. These cameos do establish a few marvel aspects formally missing; Terrigen Mist, Mutants, Inhumans, and the Fantastic 4. But it is still unseen what will happen with these characters and actors next.

Speaking of characters the multiverse itself seems like a character in and of itself. Every time they jump the audience is left wondering where they will appear next, who they will come across, and what struggles they will face. Much of America Chavez character comes from her lack of understanding of the multiverse. The entire plot revolves around the multiverse and wouldn’t have worked without it considering several actors have to play multiple versions of themselves.

Final thoughts: Sam Raimi’s horror background really shines in this film as well as Elizabeth Olsen’s acting chops, and the effects team overall. However, the pacing is a bit slow, the soundtrack is forgetable, and cameos, while fun, do feel tacked on seem to be added simply as a way of putting butts in seats. Ultimately, I give Dr. Strange and Multiverse of Madness a B-. Mostly, good but definitely with some problems. Give it a watch on the big screen if you’re a marvel fan, lover of horror, or filmmaking connoisseur. Otherwise, you could probably wait until this shows up on Disney+.