Watching WandaVision, one couldn’t help but become transfixed with Wanda. After all, she’s comical, smart, beautiful and loves Vision with every fiber of her being. Not to mention all those fun period sitcoms vignettes viewers revisited while being reacquainted with two favorite Avengers. Yet when this doll shows up in the Doctor Strange franchise, warm and fuzzy is not what you will walk away remembering being associated with Wanda.
Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) is back and this time he teams up with a mysterious teenage girl from his dreams, America Chavez (Xochitl Gomez) who can travel across multiverses, to battle multiple threats, including other-universe versions of himself, which threaten to wipe out millions across the multiverse. When they seek help from Wanda Maximoff aka The Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) Wong (Benedict Wong) and others, they end up with more than the bargained for and more.
Directed by Sam Raimi, this MCU flick is much darker than its predecessors and leans more into Raimi’s filmmaking (aka Walking Dead style) providing an illuminating peek at familiar characters present existence within this chapter of the franchise. The intense fire monster start segueing into a wedding is a clear and concise message of what type of ride the audience is about to embark upon.
What is super cool are the effects allowing Strange to crash through different multiverses where we are introduced to numerous versions of him throughout centuries and the “Amor is Amor” message on America’s jacket (an obvious nod to the LGBTQ+ community). Dream walking between universes and a self fight complete with laser symphony for the dark hole is intensely exhilarating from a visual and acting standpoint.
But, as much as I adore Benedict Cumberbatch, the main reason to screen this film is for the performance of Elizabeth Olsen. As Wanda aka The Scarlett Witch, her struggle over the immense loss of family becomes more than she can emotionally bear making it near impossible to face her fears. As a result, she wreaks havoc on anything and anyone that dares to disrupt her altered reality. Stupendous seems inadequate in describing her tour-de-force performance and it was beyond thrilling to witness another woman kicking butt and taking names within the Marvel Cinematic Universe other than Black Widow, my Black Panther sista’s, Captain Marvel or Agent Carter.
There are two many cameos to make mention, so I won’t. However, they are all worth the watch. Doctor Strange in the MultiUniverse of Madness is fun, frightening in some spots and completely marvelous. Catch it streaming now on Disney Plus!