WARNING: Out of respect for Marvel Studios and your viewing experience, this review will be as cryptic and spoiler-free as possible. 

After the events of Spider-Man: No Way Home, Master of Mystic Arts and ex-neurosurgeon, Doctor Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) is finding his universe and a multitude of universes at an unbalanced threat. In order to stop Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen) from casting a forbidden spell, Sorcerer Supreme Wong (Benedict Wong),  Christine Palmer (Rachel McAdams), and universe hopper America Chavez (Xochitl Gomez) team up with Strange to bring balance back to the multiverse.

There’s no doubt when Doctor Strange came out in 2016, it gave us a small taste of the more surreal and mystic corners of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, while also providing an engaging origin story. And after being a supporting character in the recent Avengers and Spider-Man movies, Eggs Benedict Cucumberpatch is back in the leading role! Not only that, but Multiverse of Madness also marks the return of director Sam Raimi to not only the superhero genre, who basically kick-started the boom with the original Spider-Man trilogy but also from an almost decade-long hiatus. And what. A. Comeback! If you’ve missed the goofy horror of the Evil Dead franchise, Raimi is at full force with every trick in the book to bring this cosmic horror adventure to life. From dutch angles and flying camera movements to demonic prosthetics, goofy background extras, and a Danny Elfman score, it’s definitely one of the boldest and most daring MCU movies to date.

While the movie certainly expands the cosmic side of Marvel, Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness never feels like it gets to fully explore the infinite universes, aside from some brief glimpses. Instead, the story goes in an unexpected direction that refreshingly feels character-driven, but with the needed subtext of the recent Disney+ shows. Still doesn’t take away from Olsen’s incredible performance, with the rest of the cast following suit. Now, the big non-spoiler question. Are there cheer-worthy cameos in the movie? Absolutely! But is it every single cameo that was rumoured? Absolutely not! So while I’d urge you to manage your expectations, especially with where they take the said cameos, there are definitely some fun appearances. Especially from The King!

To summarise, Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Maddess is a welcome return to form for Sam Raimi and a bolder MCU adventure. While it doesn’t quite reach the potential of the premise, the filmmaking and the cosmic horror sequences help bring the shortcomings into an entertaining bow. Fans of Raimi and Doctor Strange should definitely get a kick out of this sequel.

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is in cinemas on May 5th.

Also as an added bonus, there’s an exclusive first look at Avatar: The Way of Water with Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness‘ cinema release from May 5th till May 9th.

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