“Doctor Strange & the Multiverse of Madness” was directed by Sam Raimi, is the sequel to the 2016 film and the 28th film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The film sees Benedict Cumberbatch, Benedict Wong & Rachel McAdams all reprise their original characters. Elizabeth Olsen, who was not in the previous film, also reprises her MCU character. Xochitl Gomez & Michael Stuhlbarg are the newcomers to the franchise. Scott Derickson, who directed the first film, stepped down from the project after creative differences with Marvel, thus Sam Raimi & new writer Michael Waldren joined the project in 2020. The film follows the events after a number of movies & series such as “Spider Man: No Way Home”, “WandaVision” & obviously “Doctor Strange”.

Following the events of “Spider Man: No Way Home”, Dr. Strange (Cumberbatch) has to come to terms with losing the title of Sorcerer Supreme as well as seeing the old flame, Christine, (McAdams) carry on and marry someone else. At Christine’s Wedding, Strange encounter a mysterious creature chasing a young girl through the city. Strange steps in and with help from Wong (Wong) they destroy the monster and meet America Chavez (Gomez), a girl with the ability to jump from different dimensions, multiverse jumping. She warns them that a dark entity is following her. Strange & Wong agree to help her but things a turn for the worst when it’s revealed that Wanda Maximoff (Olsen) is revealed to have sent the monsters after America. After discovering more to her own power, Wanda reveals that after the events of “Avengers: Endgame” & “WandaVision”, she’s been on dark and twisted journey to regain family and life that was taken from her. By absorbing America’s power, she can find happiness. Now, Strange & America must stay ahead of Wanda or face the power of The Scarlet Witch.

The hype surrounding this movie was uncanny & it definitely paid off. Sam Raimi had already bought the original “Spider Man” trilogy with Tobey Macguire. So, we were all excited to see him join the MCU. This was a massive improvement from the first film. It had incredible visuals and great acting and fan favorite cameos that I WIL NOT spoil here but now it’s pretty obvious. Seeing Raimi bring his unique style to the MCU was very entertaining. My only complaint with this film the multiverse aspect itself. With “WandaVision”, “Loki”, “Spider Man: No Way Home” and now “Doctor Strange” all diving into the multiverse, it makes the continuity of the overall storyline, not just for the solo films, but for the MCU whole as a whole. This happened first, but technically didn’t happen yet, these characters might still be alive, these other movies can be tied in together. It just creates more of mess than a steady flow in the storyline. The movie is great, but the multiverse elements are beginning to wear thin.

Overall, this was a great film with a fantastic visual setting & Benedict Cumberbatch & Elizabeth Olsen giving great performances. Marvel has really out done themselves by bringing in Sam Raimi and hopefully he’ll be around for another MCU film. It’s unknown on when or where we’ll see Dr. Strange & The Scarlet Witch again but judging by the post credit scene, things have only just begun for the Mystic Arts.