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With a release date of May 2, 2022, Dr. Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is directed by Sam Raimi and written by Michael Waldron. Benedict Cumberbatch makes a returning appearance as Dr. Strange and is by all accounts, the “face” of Dr. Strange, as the movie-going public knows him, since the 2016 origin film.

So, we took a little outing yesterday to celebrate my wife’s birthday and started off at Olive Garden with a nice luncheon. We then went to survey the newest iteration of the Marvel Comics franchise with Dr. Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. The previews looked good and the movie was an option for us to see close to where we live. The movie itself can be seen as an extension of the Spiderman movie, No Way Home but has plenty of special effects that have, in my opinion, boosted the viewership of these types of movies. However, it is the multidimensions of the characters of these epic dramas that have created the devout following across multigenerational lines. Character dimensions, or intersections as described by the theorists, show regular people with uncommon abilities who question whether or not they are worthy of being special or see the gifts as a curse to be hidden away from society. More often than not, they view themselves as flawed human beings and cannot escape a reality that makes them more than human. The internal struggle and dichotomy between the human personality and the superhuman abilities is a concept dreamt up by iconic comic author Stan Lee and has made the marvel characters relatable to the general public and very popular in pop culture. Dr. Steven Strange is one of these characters who turns to the “mystical arts” after an accident has crippled his hands and rendered his gifted neurosurgical abilities non-existent.

With a release date of May 2, 2022, Dr. Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is directed by Sam Raimi and written by Michael Waldron. Benedict Cumberbatch makes a returning appearance as Dr. Strange and is by all accounts, the “face” of Dr. Strange, as the movie-going public knows him, since the 2016 origin film. The plot of the 2022 movie centers around a young girl, America Chavez, with special powers that allow her to jump through the multiverse, yet without control or at least a perceived control. (It later is revealed that she has control has that it has been there all along). However, there is also the antagonist of Wanda, the Scarlet Witch, who has found the book of powerful spells called The Dark Hold. She desires to have America’s multiverse jumping ability for her own so she can be with her children – two boys in an alternate universe- that she cannot have in this universe. As Wanda uses the spells from The Dark Hold, she is transformed into a formidable nemesis that is all but indestructible. As can be imagined, Wanda goes to great lengths (and wreaks great havoc) to get those powers as the jaunt through the multiverse reveals fatal flaws in those characters who would seem beyond the bounds of mortal temptation. Also revealed is the element of bringing two universes together which can cause an “incursion” that would destroy both universes.

Along with a movie-length chase scene and dazzling special effects, the multiverse makes it possible for other characters to be used and portrayed in alternative roles. For instance, the Illuminati involve Karl Mordo, Reed Richards, (Mister Fantastic), Captain (Peggy) Carter, Maria Rambo (a version of Captain Marvel), Black Bolt, and Dr. Charles Xavier – Professor X (played by Patrick Stewart) who are all quickly (and fantastically) dispatched by the Scarlet Witch.

Also, many Stranges in many universes opens the doors for some playing around with character personalities and even a “Sinister Strange” living in a post-incursion universe, sporting a third eye that is as disturbing as it is unexpected.

Another fun element is the use of the Dark Hold by our Benevolent Dr. Strange to possess the dead body of another Dr. Strange who died in the opening scenes of the movie trying to save America. The resultant Strange Zombie was successfully sleep-walked into Wanda’s sanctuary and saved the day. It was also he who convinced America that she had the power to control her multiverse jumping abilities. She then used them to expose Wanda to her two sons in an alternate universe  and make her realize how wrong she had been. However, “use of The Dark Hold does exact a toll on its reader” and this can be seen in the ending scenes of the movie when Dr. Strange emerges from his building, seemingly happier than usual, and begins to contort in agony and screams out in pain as a third eye materializes on his forehead.  

            The movie plays to the followers of the Marvel franchise and does not disappoint when it comes to special effects and over the top action. Anyone familiar with the Character of Dr. Strange will enjoy the movie – even if they do not agree with all the plot details and twists that are inherent within.

(Image credit: Marvel Studios)

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