REVIEW: Misinterpretation of the “Multiverse of Madness:” Marvel did it right

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Natalie Richmiller

Marvel movies can be streamed on Disney+. “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” will be available for viewing this July.

Natalie Richmiller, Photo Manager

“Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” was released on May 6 and has taken many Marvel fans by surprise. The plot and film work are beyond anything Marvel has done in the past; the movie truly created a sense of madness and unpredictability throughout, and beloved characters turned against what they used to stand for. 

“Multiverse of Madness” had a horror feel and was more gruesome than most Marvel movies. The director Sam Raimi brought that aspect to the film as his other movies have similar moods. Some fans did not appreciate the change, but it was very effective in portraying how powerful magic is and the endless possibilities within the multiverse. He was successful in demonstrating that the multiverse cannot be controlled nor should it be interfered with. 

A new character, America Chavez, was introduced with the ability to move freely throughout the multiverse: something that was unheard of and impossible for anyone else. The multiverse is the collection of infinite universes each with its own alternate reality. The casting of Chavez, Xochitl Gomez, was disappointing as the actress did not play the role to its fullest potential. Gomez’s acting felt amateur and unrealistic, especially alongside the talent of Benedict Cumberbatch (Doctor Strange) and Elizabeth Olsen (Wanda Maximoff). 

“The recent Doctor Strange installment truly embodied its title ‘Multiverse of Madness.’ This movie introduced Marvel’s newest superhero, America Chavez, who has the ability to travel through the entire multiverse,” Senior Carter Carroll stated. “While her character should have enhanced the film, I feel as though she was poorly cast. Gomez’s shrill screams would have been better placed in a horror movie rather than as a hero with profound powers. Simply, I found her quite unremarkable.”  

The true strength and capabilities of Wanda Maximoff’s powers were first brought to light in the show, “WandaVision,” with her ability to mind-control an entire city and the discovery that she is the Scarlet Witch. “Multiverse of Madness” even further showed how dangerous Maximoff can be. Her desire to be reunited with her children, who were introduced and taken away in “WandaVision,” lead to her overwhelming grief causing her to do the unthinkable. Maximoff turned to the Darkhold, an evil book of chaos magic, which captured her soul and overtook any good left in her. 

“While Wanda was the villain of this movie, it was hard not to want her to win. When thinking back on her in ‘WandaVision,’ it is easy to empathize with her. She lost her partner, her kids and her happiness. Wanda went down a dark path in an attempt to reclaim what was once hers,” Carroll explained. 

Strange exhausted many efforts to stop Maximoff, but he was defeated in every attempt. He eventually turned toward the Darkhold to dreamwalk, knowing the consequences and hypocrisy of using it. In the end, it was Chavez who convinced Maximoff to surrender by showing her the selfishness of her actions and what she would put her children through. It felt unnecessary that Strange relied on the Darkhold when he was not the one who stopped Maximoff; however, it does advance the plot for future movies. His integrity is now in question because he is in great danger of falling into the control of the dark magic.

Maximoff then destroyed Mount Wundagore with herself in it. She was crushed by the rubble and is presumed dead. Her death was an easy way out of the chaos she caused and the lives she took. Maximoff avoided consequences for the destruction on her hands. The manner of her death also seemed implausible as she is one of the most powerful beings in the multiverse, and despite the efforts of Strange and others to stop her, they were unable, yet the collapse of a mountain killed her. There is much speculation that Maximoff is not actually dead and will make a return which is very possible. 

The truth is Maximoff was not justified in her actions and is a true villain. She was no longer the Wanda fans knew and loved, but had become the cruel Scarlet Witch. Senior Jack Streepy recently watched the new Marvel film. “At the beginning, it was hard to watch a character who had been so good in the past turn into someone completely different. But by the end, she wasn’t the same Wanda and I lost my sympathy for her,” he said. 

Character development and conflict were only half of what made the movie. The visual effects and CGI were more absurd than ever seen in Marvel movies before. Some aspects were disappointing, such as the corpse face of Strange which looked extremely unrealistic, along with some scenes overwhelmed by CGI, such as the dream at the beginning of the movie, which appeared especially fake. 

“Marvel movies are usually very well done when it comes to visuals and CGI but this movie had some very disappointing scenes that were obviously fake,” Streepy said.

Other visuals were done to perfection, including the setting of the Book of Vishanti, Strange and Chavez’s rapid jumps throughout the multiverse, and fight scenes such as the battle at Kamar-Taj. The bright colors, moving elements and elaborate designs created a visual experience that cannot be matched by another Marvel film.

The weirdness and constant presentation of new characters and wild visuals off-put many viewers, especially those who are not avid Marvel fans, but the experience of the movie is something that cannot be missed out on. It requires the undivided attention of the viewers in order to not miss any detail, as everything included carried significance. 

Marvel embraced the physiological turmoil and mind-bending narratives of magic and the multiverse. Loose ends from previous films were answered, and new questions were proposed that open a multitude of possibilities for future movies. 

The Marvel producers with Kevin Fiege at the head have begun Phase Four which encompasses the comics that are significantly unlike the well-known, previous Marvel superheroes: Iron Man, Captain America and Thor. This phase contains every film production from 2021 to 2023 and is known for its new genre of superheroes. This explains why Madness in the Multiverse felt so different from Phase One. Fans should prepare to see more of this style in upcoming films. 

This is Marvel’s most unique film to date which is why viewers need to have a more open mind when watching. Regardless of obvious faults, the emotional and visual journey Madness in the Multiverse takes the viewer on makes it worth the watch.