Doctor Strange and the Scarlet Witch take on the ‘Multiverse of Madness’

After unleashing all kinds of trouble in Spider-Man: No Way Home, Marvel’s Doctor Strange will try to clean up the mess in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.

Believe it or not, we’ve gone more than a month without the release of a Marvel movie. “Morbius” opened on the 1 of April, and “Thor: Love And Thunder” isn’t coming out until July. But there is a bit of fan service opening this weekend. Here’s critic Bob Mondello on “Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness.”

BOB MONDELLO, BYLINE: Shortly after the opening credits, Doctor Stephen Strange is at a wedding, wearing a brave face as his beloved Christine marries someone else. Then, somewhat to his relief, I suspect, the bravery of a more conventional Marvel sort is needed out in the streets of Lower Manhattan. A one-eyed octopus that could have escaped from Pixar’s “Monsters, Inc.” – except that it’s the size of a small apartment building – seems intent on eating a bus. Strange quickly realizes it’s actually trying to eat a teenaged girl on the bus and puts a stop to that with much flexing of wrists and assistance from Sorcerer Supreme Wong.

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, “DOCTOR STRANGE IN THE MULTIVERSE OF MADNESS”)

XOCHITL GOMEZ: (As America Chavez) Lookout.

MONDELLO: The girl, once rescued, strikes Strange as familiar. Wasn’t she in his dream the night before? Not a dream, she tells him – another universe in which he was a somewhat less reliable Doctor Strange.

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, “DOCTOR STRANGE IN THE MULTIVERSE OF MADNESS”)

BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH: (As Stephen Strange) Things just got out of hand.

MONDELLO: A multiverse traveler who’s being chased by a demon, the girl’s name is America Chavez, which means people will spend the rest of the movie saying things like, we have to save America, and is America OK? – but never mind. The film has bigger fish to fry – than an octopus, for instance. So Strange, figuring he needs an ally, turns to an old pal…

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, “DOCTOR STRANGE IN THE MULTIVERSE OF MADNESS”)

CUMBERBATCH: (As Stephen Strange) Wanda.

MONDELLO: …Who’s also known as the Scarlet Witch.

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, “DOCTOR STRANGE IN THE MULTIVERSE OF MADNESS”)

ELIZABETH OLSEN: (As Wanda Maximoff) I knew sooner or later, you would show up.

CUMBERBATCH: (As Stephen Strange) I need your help.

OLSEN: (As Wanda Maximoff) With what?

CUMBERBATCH: (As Stephen Strange) What do you know about the multiverse?

MONDELLO: Now, I know a little something about the multiverse and how it gives you alternate versions of yourself, having caught last month’s crazily inventive “Everything Everywhere All At Once.” That was not, strictly speaking, good preparation for Marvel’s multiverse, partly because it’s thought through, where Marvel works hard at seeming random, and also because Marvel’s is governed by different and extremely complicated rules in addition to the more prosaic ones that have always bugged Wanda.

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