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This Doctor Strange 2 Scene Means More Than You Think For Sam Raimi And Danny Elfman

Contains spoilers for "Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness"

There are many fight scenes in "Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness," though most of them are against Wanda "Scarlet Witch" Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen), who's so overpowered that the scenes are more about delaying the inevitable than they are evenly-matched battles. Even the semi-balanced brawl between Earth-616 Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) and Illuminati Karl Mordo (Chiwetel Ejiofor) is somewhat misbalanced by the fact that Mordo has a sword, and Strange is wearing magic-dampening handcuffs.

The one truly even fight scene in the movie is arguably between Strange and a Darkhold-corrupted, three-eyed variant of himself — and, fittingly enough, it's also one of the most inventive moments in a movie that's absolutely brimming with them. The battle between the Stranges takes a musical theme early on, and both sorcerers just decide to roll with it, bombarding each other with magical notes and musical cues while the soundtrack weaves the whole, chaotic thing into a cohesive piece, complete with some fun classical references. As it happens, the scene may also hide a deeper meaning for director Sam Raimi and composer Danny Elfman.  

The fight between two Doctor Stranges weaponizes Danny Elfman's score

The battle between the Stranges essentially turns Danny Elfman's score into an even more active component of the movie than it usually is, to the point of outright weaponizing the composer's tunes. As the Strange pair bombards each other with magic music, Elfman's composition — a piece with the appropriate title "Lethal Symphonies" on the soundtrack — narrates every single blow and counter, while still magically managing to sound like a pretty sweet piece of music in its own right. Because the scene goes so hard with Elfman, It's difficult to see it as anything but a straight-up homage to the composer's work. 

The fact that such a scene exists in a high-profile Sam Raimi movie is actually pretty heartwarming, because while the esteemed composer and director have collaborated multiple times over the years, they had a pretty bad falling out over "Spider-Man 2" (via Indie Wire). Back then, Elfman complained that Raimi kept him in too tight a leash, and though they eventually made up, it's still fun to see one of the wilder pieces of Elfman's score so front and center in one of the most pivotal battles in "Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness" that it's pretty much its own character.