Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness has the first wave of critic reviews hitting the Internet today. So, what do people think of the Marvel's big head-first dive into the multiverse? The primary returns seem to be very positive. Clearly, Doctor Strange's sequel presents a first for the MCU. A lot of the reviewers note powerhouse performances by Elizabeth Olsen and Xochitl Gomez in this one. Another point of emphasis is how much director Sam Raimi's hand is felt in this particular entry.
You can read what critics had to say about Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness down below.
The real hero in Multiverse of Madness isn't a person; it's the visuals
Polygon's Susana Polo says that Multiverse of Madness's real MVP is the visual display from Raimi.
"The real hero in Multiverse of Madness isn't a person; it's the visuals — particularly the way Raimi and his team depict mind-rending magical abilities, ones that obey no wands or Harry Potter-like pig-Latin incantations. Director Scott Derrickson leaned on shifting kaleidoscope worlds and Inception-esque landscapes for the original Doctor Strange. But once a single sequence nodding at that film's fractal magic visuals is out of the way, Multiverse of Madness completes a full transformation into Sam Raimi's House of Magical Spooks and Monsters."
A little more ordinary than its director/material match promises
The Hollywood Reporter's critic, John Defore, admits that the Raimi touches are there. But, he warns that people expecting the moon might be a little disappointed.
"Fortunately, the movie's last act is its best. Though never as darkly weird as its Lovecrafty title promised, Madness starts to play more to Raimi's strengths — it's looser, more kinetic and occasionally goofy despite the big stakes — and to offer some visions that may stick in viewers' heads even after they've started devouring trailers for stories set in Wakanda, Asgard and the Quantum Realm."
A Sam Raimi film for better and for worse
IGN critic Amelia Emberwing says that this movie illustrates how much latitude the MCU allows their directors now.
"If there's one thing Doctor Strange In The Multiverse of Madness accomplishes, it's putting the final nail in the coffin of the idea that directors aren't allowed to put their distinct stylistic stamps on the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Filmmakers like James Gunn, Taika Waititi, and Chloe Zhao all offered their respective MCU movies their quintessential style, of course, but there's something about this newest chapter that feels like it's screaming that these films are becoming the rule, not the exception."
'Doctor Strange 2' loses its way in Marvel multiverse
USA Today critic Brian Truitt thinks that casual fans might have a hard time getting their heads around the concepts at play. But found Raimi's direction to be a grounding force.
"Madness" won't give any young "Avengers" fans lasting nightmares but the dark horror fantasy goes to some creepy places visually with sinister delights sprinkled amid the more expected events of an overstuffed Marvel project. The new "Doctor Strange" grabs the multiversal baton from the excellent "Spider-Man: No Way Home," though veers from its strongest story line at times for callbacks and nods to the future."
Not Quite That Mad
Bleeding Cool's Kaitlyn Booth thinks that some of the concepts could have been pushed further. But the critic also notes this could end up being a divisive entry in the MCU as a whole.
"However, for a movie called Multiverse of Madness, there isn't much of the "multiverse" or "madness" to really speak of. There are different universes, but not nearly as many as you would think. And there is some madness, but it's not the kind of mind trip where everyone is questioning their very sense of reality that is suggested by a title like that."
Cheerful alt-reality sequel
The Guardian's Peter Bradshaw praised the balancing act on display with both Raimi and the picture. It would have been easy to tip into self-seriousness given the material at hand.
"Now Strange has to get his formidable head around the multiverse, a universe of infinite alternative possibilities – and this idea, which other movies have treated with tiresome stoner-seriousness, is handled with cheerful humour and boisterously surreal melodrama."
Sam Raimi Conjures Up Spooky MCU Romp
Bloody Disgusting critic Megan Navarro's review highlights how much Sam Raimi has been freed to direct the first truly spooky MCU entry.
"Multiverse of Madness employs two powerful assets for Strange's latest outing: Sam Raimi and Elizabeth Olsen. Raimi easily slips back into his horror filmmaking roots and manages to infuse this sequel with as much horror as the MCU allows him. The script by Loki writer Michael Waldron lets demons and zombies run amok, but Raimi takes it a step further with his physical horror and horror-comedy sensibilities"
SAM RAIMI IS BACK
ScreenCrush's review from Matt Singer also belts praise for the Horror movie director as he brings a unique vision to Marvel Studios.
"Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is a Marvel movie, with all the requisite action and special effects and surprise cameos that entails, but it is also a Sam Raimi movie through and through. It's about tortured heroes who must battle the forces of unholy evil — along with dark versions of themselves. It's got all-powerful books that might bring about the end of the world. It's got a zombie or two. It has surprisingly intense horror and violence for a PG-13 rated movie. And, maybe most importantly, it feels like the work of a gifted director; a guy who knows how to tell a story through camera placement and movement, music, and point-of-view editing."
Marvel's most deranged and energetic movie yet
Empire Magazine's Dan Jolin found Multiverse of Madness to be a wild ride that is equal parts stakes raising for the MCU and a uniquely "Sam Raimi" movie.
"The Multiverse Of Madness is noisy, frantic and at times a little messy, but it's never less than entertaining. The MCU faithful will cheer its numerous call-backs; Raimi-heads will groove on its Raiminess; and we suspect even those bewildered, unprimed viewers will at least appreciate the way it 100 per cent lives up to its title."
An Inventive, Outrageous Turning Point For the MCU
ComicBook.com critic Jenna Anderson says that Multiverse of Madness is the moment things get truly wild for the MCU at large:
"Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, the latest in the ever-evolving string of Marvel Cinematic Universe blockbusters and Disney+ television shows, is the first to let the idea of the multiverse truly flourish. After years of the franchise incrementally teasing the idea of the onscreen Avengers crossing over with other universes, Multiverse of Madness ambitiously kicks that door wide open, and it does so in a unique and decisive fashion. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is unpredictable, inventive, and undoubtedly mesmerizing — and the MCU is better off for it."