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“Doctor Strange 2”: multiple universes, magic… we didn’t understand anything!

Here it is at last, this second part of “Doctor Strange”, six years after a first opus which introduced this Marvel superhero of a special kind since he is imbued with mysticism, masters magic and is able to open doors. through space to move instantly from one place to another, even to travel in several dimensions. A cog now essential to the new content of Marvel films, which will move towards the notion of Multiverse, these universes parallel to ours where we can exist in a different way.

And precisely, from the start of “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness”, the hero, played by Benedict Cumberbatch, understands that he must save a young girl, named America – thank you for this beautiful metaphor! – whose unique power consists in going at leisure from one universe to the next. A gift much coveted by the forces of evil.

To help him, Strange believed for a time that he was counting on Wanda Maximoff, survivor of his attempts to control an entire small town by the force of his mind, which was told in the series “WandaVision”. Bad pick: in reality, the one who is also called the Scarlet Witch wants to tame the entire Multiverse to save her “children” that she has artificially created in a parallel world and, to achieve this, she must steal her power from America . Strange will have to track down Wanda in the Multiverse, with the help of her doubles and those of other superheroes who live on parallel Earths.

Too many universes

After the first film was released in 2016, some viewers complained about the complexity of the plot and the multi-dimensional worlds it conjured up. They are likely to be even more numerous for this second part, starting with us: we didn’t understand anything about the film! The Multiverse encompasses so many dimensions that the plot is difficult to follow. Especially since heroes and villains change their personality in each universe: hard to navigate! The other pitfall of the Multiverse is that each of its variations, totally imaginary, must be made from scratch in special effects. Visually, this leads to a deluge of images designed on a computer, to the point of disgust: for realism, we will go back.

And it is indeed in this that lies the major problem of the film, in this period when the spectators celebrate on a planetary scale accessible superheroes, having to face the daily life of everyone, in short more “human”, like the showed the recent cartons of “Spider-Man – No Way Home” or “The Batman”. But this Strange turns out to be totally disconnected from reality, evolving in extraterrestrial dimensions far too complex and phantasmagorical for us to get attached to.

too much magic

The arrival of Strange in the “Avengers” saga had, in 2016, delighted old comic book fans, insofar as it introduced two essential elements dear to their creator, Stan Lee: mysticism and magic. If we appreciated the Doctor’s powers of sorcery in the first part, because they were used with moderation, they add to the confusion in this new film: we get lost between the black magic of Wanda and the “benevolent” one of Strange, the whole, still, represented on the screen with flashes of flashy special effects which end up exhausting the retina.

Thank you Wanda

Elizabeth Olsen is Wanda Maximoff, the Scarlet Witch, who wants to steal the powers of kind America to find her children. Courtesy of Marvel Studios

Elizabeth Olsen has portrayed the tortured character of Wanda Maximoff so accurately since 2014 in the films of the “Avengers” saga that she ended up catching the eye of Marvel producers, to the point of transforming the Scarlet Witch into the heroine of series for “WandaVision”. Alas, as in the comics, here she is once again condemned to play the wicked in this “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness”. But the actress does it so well that she manages, once again, to touch our hearts: a performance for a super-villain role.

Sam Raimi did better

Adored worldwide by genre film fans thanks to his nuggets like “Evil Dead” (1981), “Intuitions” (2000) or the first version of “Spider-Man” (from 2002 to 2007), the great director Sam Raimi is attempting a more or less happy return to the blockbuster here. We have trouble when he ventures into the zombie film parody at the end of the plot, but we appreciate his touch during several scenes: a staggering fight with notes of musical notes represented graphically, and a dizzying dive into the worlds of the Multiverse where Strange and America zoom from one to the other at full speed as if they were descending a roller coaster. But the filmmaker has already done so much better…

Editor’s note:

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness », American fantasy film by Sam Raimi, with Benedict Cumberbatch, Elizabeth Olsen, Rachel McAdams, Xochitl Gomez… 2h06.

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