Doctor Strange and Marvel fatigue

Doctor Strange poster via the film's Instagram.

By Emily-Rose Toohey

Marvel Studio’s latest film, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, marks the superhero movie directorial comeback for Sam Raimi of Tobey Maguire Spider-Man fame.

It follows the titular character (played by Benedict Cumberbatch) exploring the multi-faceted multiverse with dimension jumping America Chavez (played by Xochitl Gomez), who’s on the run from an evil force.

However, it turns out this force is Wanda – Scarlett Witch herself (played by Elizabeth Olsen).

Overall, the Doctor Strange sequel is a pretty mixed bag.

It has funky camera angles and horror-esq themes that are signature of Raimi’s direction, however, a lot of this is unable to reach its full potential.

Perhaps the biggest problem with this film (and most Marvel films if I’m honest) is character development.

The writing feels rushed and is designed to only further the plot wherever necessary.

Wanda is the main casualty of this poor writing.

Coming off from the Disney+ limited series WandaVision, which allowed the character to grow and for Olsen’s acting prowess to shine, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness unravels some of this development.

They present Wanda as having become completely evil and obsessed with finding a reality where she can be with her sons.

While it can be deduced that she may have been possessed by a dark force in the form of a magical book, this theory is undone with the film’s ending.

It would also serve viewers to have watched WandaVision beforehand to make sense of it all, which begs the question: is there too much Marvel content?

With the emergence of Avengers: Endgame (2019) symbolising the end of an era for a handful of our beloved superheroes like Robert Downey Jr’s Iron Man and Chris Evans’ Captain America, many wondered how the studio would move forward with phase four.

Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige had a grand plan, including the introduction of television show and introducing the multiverse, which has yet to settle upon some general rules (the major problem of being an inter-connected movie-verse).

2021’s Spider-Man: No Way Home lay the groundwork for Doctor Strange two, but Marvel fatigue is a very real thing, despite the company trying to introduce interesting directors.

But is too much content of a lesser standard stopping audiences from consuming said content?

No, not at this stage, especially looking at Doctor Strange’s box office numbers.

But only time will tell.

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is currently playing in theatres.