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Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness Has Critics All Saying The Same Thing

We thought things couldn't get any wilder after seeing three generations of Spider-Men join forces this year, but it turns out original Spidey director Sam Raimi might have just what the Doctor ordered as a followup. Marvel's next big movie, "Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness," has finally been previewed by critics, and the reactions suggest that the second solo(ish) act from Benedict Cumberbatch is bringing some major changes to the MCU, all thanks to two eagerly anticipated players in this reality-bending blockbuster.

Following the events of "Spider-Man: No Way Home," master of the mystic arts Steven Strange has to clear up the mess he made after tearing the multiverse a new one. Unable to handle things on his own, he crosses paths with former Avenger and super spell-caster Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen), who could hinder as much as help in Strange's mission to set things right. With different dimensions visited, major Marvel Comics legends potentially making an appearance, and enough variations of a Doctor to give the one in the police box a run for his money, it sounds like Multiverse of Madness has a lot to offer. 

However, the biggest draw according to critics isn't the Doctor himself, but the guest appearance from the legendary Wanda Maximoff. The pros have reached a consensus where "Doctor Strange 2" is concerned — Wanda rules and Raimi is at his best, but the story suffers from some, well, multiversal madness. 

Elizabeth Olsen is the MVP in the Multiverse of Madness

With Twitter reactions coming thick and fast following the first screenings for the upcoming Marvel movie, one running theme is the ebullient praise for Elizabeth Olsen's return as the Scarlet Witch. Following her Emmy nomination for her work on the Disney+ series, "WandaVision," "Multiverse of Madness" seems to be yet another engrossing performance from Olsen as one of Marvel's most powerful supers. Dom Fisher of Geek Vibes Nation tweeted," 'Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness' should be called 'The Multiverse of Maximoff' as Elizabeth Olsen completely steals the show."

"Multiverse of Madness" marks Olsen's seventh appearance in the role, and Eric Fransisco of Inverse ranks this one right at the top of her Marvel-ous filmography. He describes it as "one of the most engrossing, layered performances ever by an actor in this genre. No one has understood their superhero on fundamental levels since, like, Christopher Reeve as Superman." 

Admittedly, it doesn't take a Sorcerer Supreme to have seen this coming, given how she left things on her Disney+ spin-off show.

Sam Raimi has given Marvel its first horror movie with Multiverse of Madness

After taking over from Scott Derrickson, who left over creative differences, director Sam Raimi returns to a genre he's not visited since 2007. So how did the man that gave us the original "Spider-Man" trilogy handle things? Horrifyingly well, as it turns out.

When you have the director that gave the world the original "Evil Dead" trilogy and that bone-chilling operation scene from "Spider-Man 2" let loose in the world of "Doctor Strange," things were always guaranteed to get a little creepy. It turns out that it's a marriage of minds and multiverses that pays off in all the right ways, with Raimi sneaking in Marvel's first bout with horror and still applying the classic techniques we've always loved seeing from him. 

Discussing Film's Andrew J. Salazar says that, "From snap zooms to circle wipes to shaky cam in first person POV, the iconic visionary pulls out all the old tricks while fully utilizing the untapped potential of Doctor Strange to further expand his visual arsenal."

As for the genre he's had the most fun in, its tropes and conventions are certainly present. According to Mary Maerz, "Raimi is truly all over it, and the horror elements are something special, but it's so fast as brutal and fun. Did not feel like anything I've watched in the MCU before." 

Things get messy in the Multiverse of Madness

As great as it may be to see Raimi take the reins of a comic book movie again, "Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness" apparently does start to buckle under the weight of its own inter-dimensional plot — at least, according to critics. Amelia Emberwing from IGN wrote, "The script is downright hokey sometimes, and there are odd moments that are weird for the sake of it without adding anything to the overall lore or character development."

Kaila Hale-Stern of The Mary Sue pointed out similar faults saying, "This movie is a mess, but messes aren't always bad. It's not bad, I just don't really know what to do with it, and it feels like it should belong to the Marvel of another era, not helping to kick off a new one." 

Currently rated with 84% at the time of writing on Rotten Tomatoes, the consensus suggests that "Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness" might be worth the trip. See for yourself when the film arrives in cinemas on May 6.