Tag Archives: (Benedict Cumberbatch) – Dr. Stephen Strange


Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness poster.jpgDoctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is a superhero film based on the Marvel Comic character, Doctor Strange. Produced by Marvel Studios and distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures, it is the sequel to Doctor Strange (2016) and the 28th film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). The film was directed by Sam Raimi and written by Michael Waldron. In this version, Dr. Strange protects a teenager capable of traveling the multiverse. Being a fan of all DC and Marvel films, I was anxious to see this new version of Dr. Strange. I thought the film was very well done.

While attending the wedding of his longtime ex-girlfriend Christine Palmer (Rachel McAdams) a giant octopus demon is attacking people just outside the reception. Doctor Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) investigates only to find a young teenager, who goes by the name America Chavezbeing (Xochitl Gomez), being targeted by the octopus demon. Dr. Strange with help from the Sorcerer Supreme, Wong (Benedict Wong) rescues America. Later he finds out the young girl can travel the multiverse as easily as he can. Together they set out to find who is targeting her and why. The answer comes soon when they discover not only is America being attacked for what she can do but because the perpetrator is trying to steal her powers in order to transport into a multiverse where conditions exist that don’t exist in this present one.

Usually, I find the multiverse films to be faster and more complex than other films that only involved the current universe. Doctor Strange explained and defined each multiverse as they progressed through them. The theme of the film was never in jeopardy so the only takeaway I found was if you are not completely familiar with the preceding Marvel films, you could get a little lost. Wanda Maximoff / Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) who this version of Doctor Strange focuses on definitely has a one-track mind. You can even say she has complete tunnel vision. The story gets adventurous and the special effects (as you would expect) are outstanding.  Wanda’s persistence was brilliantly acted and how the movie all came together was fantastic.  Wait for the credits to air, you will see more closure and a teaser for a future movie.  I think Dr. Strange in the Multiverse of Madness was worth the watch.  As of May 12, 2022, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness has grossed $230.5 million in the United States and Canada and $321.1 million in other territories, for a worldwide total of $551.7 million.  On the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, 75% of 369 critics’ reviews are positive, with an average rating of 6.50/10. The website’s consensus reads, “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness labors under the weight of the sprawling MCU, but Sam Raimi’s distinctive direction casts an entertaining spell.”  Dr. Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is in theaters — Check It Out!



Benedict Cumberbatch as Dr. Stephen Strange:
A neurosurgeon who became a Master of the Mystic Arts following a career-ending car accident. Writer Michael Waldron said Strange was “at the height of his powers” in the film, and compared the character to Indiana Jones as a hero who can “take a punch”, but with the intellect of chef Anthony Bourdain. He saw Strange as a “great adventure hero you just like to watch kick-ass”.  Director Sam Raimi explained that Strange begins the film believing that he should be making all decisions, and must learn to “let go a little bit” and trust in others. Cumberbatch also portrays three alternate versions of the character:  a version who dies at the beginning of the film and wears a costume inspired by Matt Fraction’s 2011 Defenders comic book series; the former Sorcerer Supreme of Earth-838 who founded the Illuminati; and a version who has been corrupted by the Darkhold.

Elizabeth Olsen as Wanda Maximoff / Scarlet Witch:
A former Avenger gone rogue under the influence of the Darkhold who can harness chaos magic, engage in telepathy and telekinesis, and alter reality. The film continues Maximoff’s “ownership of what makes her unique and the accountability of her life experience” that began in the series WandaVision (2021), including using an accent that is more true to her Sokovian heritage after some of the previous MCU films had moved to an Americanized version. Olsen wanted to ensure Maximoff’s role in the film honored the events of the series, requesting some adjustments to the film to ensure that it evolved the character rather than repeating moments from WandaVision. She felt the film’s portrayal showed new confidence for the character that was “really empowering”, and said it was “okay to play characters that people get frustrated with sometimes”. Olsen also portrays the character’s Earth-838 counterpart.

Chiwetel Ejiofor as Karl Mordo:
The Sorcerer Supreme of Earth-838 and a member of the Illuminati. He is an alternate version of Strange’s former mentor-turned-enemy.

Benedict Wong as Wong:
The Sorcerer Supreme of Earth-616 and Strange’s mentor and friend.

Xochitl Gomez as America Chavez:
A teenager who has the ability to travel between dimensions by punching open doorways. She originates from another universe known as the Utopian Parallel. Gomez wanted to remain faithful to the source material despite playing a younger version of the character than is seen in the comics, and said her journey in the film begins with the character having been alone for a long time and “running away from her uniqueness”. Chavez has to embrace her abilities and learn to trust others by the end of the film. Marvel Studios had been looking for the right film to introduce the character in for a long time before settling on Multiverse of Madness.

Michael Stuhlbarg as Nicodemus West:
A surgeon and former colleague of Strange.

Rachel McAdams as Christine Palmer:
An emergency surgeon who was a colleague and lover of Strange. The film explores Strange’s decision at the end of Doctor Strange (2016) to protect the New York Sanctum and not be with Palmer, despite still having feelings for her and possibly regretting that decision, with Palmer getting married to someone else in this film. McAdams also portrays the character’s Earth-838 counterpart, who is an employee of the Baxter Foundation and the former lover of that reality’s Strange. This version of the character helps resolve Strange’s love story with his own version of Palmer, allowing him to move on to a potential new relationship in the future.

The Illuminati of Earth-838 also includes Patrick Stewart as Charles Xavier / Professor X, portraying a different version of the character that he previously played in 20th Century Fox’s X-Men film series;

Hayley Atwell as Peggy Carter / Captain Carter:
after voicing another version in the animated series What If…? (2021);

Lashana Lynch as Maria Rambeau / Captain Marvel:
an alternate version of her character from Captain Marvel (2019);

Anson Mount as Blackagar Boltagon / Black Bolt:
an alternate version of his role from Marvel’s ABC television series Inhumans (2017);

John Krasinski as Reed Richards / Mister Fantastic:
a member of the Fantastic Four;

Julian Hilliard and Jett Klyne:
The Earth-838 versions of Maximoff’s sons Billy and Tommy, their respective roles from WandaVision;

Topo Wresniwiro:
reprises his role from the first film as Hamir, a Master of the Mystic Arts;

Sheila Atim as Sara:
a Master of the Mystic Arts;


SPIDERMAN: NO WAY HOME (2021) – My rating: 8/10

Spider-Man No Way Home poster.jpgSpider-Man: No Way Home is a superhero film based on the Marvel Comics character Spider-Man, co-produced by Columbia Pictures and Marvel Studios and distributed by Sony Pictures Releasing. It is the sequel to Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017) and Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019), and the 27th film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). The film was directed by Jon Watts and written by Chris McKenna and Erik Sommers. In this version of Spider-man, Peter Parker asked Dr. Strange to use a magic spell to hide his identity that was exposed in the last Spider-man movie.  I wasn’t in love with the last two Spider-man films but I found No Way Home to be quite good.

****  SPOILERS BELOW  ****

After Quentin Beck / Mysterio (Jake Gyllenhaal) frames Peter Parker (Tom Holland) for murder and reveals his identity as Spider-Man in “Far from Home”, Parker, his girlfriend Michelle “MJ” Jones-Watson (Zendaya), best friend Ned Leeds (Jacob Batalon), and Aunt May Parker (Marisa Tomei) are interrogated by the Department of Damage Control. Lawyer Matt Murdock (Charlie Cox) gets Parker’s charges dropped, but the group grapples with negative publicity. After Parker, MJ, and Ned’s MIT applications are rejected, Parker goes to the New York Sanctum to ask Dr. Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) for help. Strange casts a spell that would make everyone forget Parker is Spider-Man, but it is corrupted when Parker repeatedly requests alterations to let his loved ones retain their memories. Strange contains the spell to stop it and makes Parker leave.

Parker tries to convince an MIT administrator to reconsider MJ and Ned’s applications but is attacked by Otto Octavius / Doctor Octopus (Alfred Molina). Octavius rips Parker’s nanotechnology from his Iron Spider suit which bonds with his mechanical tentacles and allows Parker to disable them. As Norman Osborn / Green Goblin (Willem Dafoe) arrives and attacks, Strange teleports Parker back to the Sanctum and locks Octavius in a cell next to Dr. Curt Connors / Lizard (Rhys Ifans). Strange explains that before he was able to contain the corrupted spell, it summoned people from other universes who know Spider-Man’s identity. He orders Parker, MJ, and Ned to find and capture them; they are able to locate and retrieve Max Dillon / Electro (Jamie Foxx) and Flint Marko / Sandman (Thomas Haden Church).  Osborn reclaims control of himself from his split Green Goblin personality. He goes to a F.E.A.S.T. building where May comforts him before Parker retrieves him. While discussing their battles with Spider-Man, Osborn, Octavius, and Dillon realize that they were pulled from their universes just before their deaths.

I found Spider-man: No Way Home to be exciting with a well-thought-out plot.  I loved seeing supervillains of past films as well as previous Spider-men.  The special effects were outstanding and the cast of characters was flawless.  Toby Maguire still holds a special place in my heart as the original Spider-man, as I was happy to see him again in No Way Home.  If you were getting a little weary of Spider-man, your interest will be restored in Spider-man: No Way Home, which appears to be the best of the Spider-man series.  No Way Home has grossed over $1.8 billion worldwide, surpassing its predecessor as the highest-grossing film released by Sony Pictures. It became the highest-grossing film of 2021, the sixth-highest-grossing film of all time, the highest-grossing Spider-Man film, and set several other box office records, including those for films released during the COVID-19 pandemic. I really think there should be another category added to the Academy Awards for  Best Super Fantasy Film.  That way, movies like “Shang-Chi”, “Spiderman”, “The Chronicles of Narnia”, etc. can receive the acknowledgment it deserves. The review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes reported an approval rating of 93%, with an average score of 7.9/10, based on 393 reviews. The site’s critical consensus reads: “A bigger, bolder Spider-Man sequel, No Way Home expands the franchise’s scope and stakes without losing sight of its humor and heart.” I was thoroughly entertained, Spider-man: No Way Home will be available to stream on Starz starting March 22 — Check It out!

[SPIDER-MAN: NO WAY HOME is Oscar-nominated at the 94th Academy Awards for Best Video Effects — Totaling 1 Oscar Nomination]