Doctor Strange 2 Explained: What’s Up With the Ending?

Doctor Strange: In the Multiverse of Madness Ending Explained: Who Was at the End of ‘Doctor Strange ll?

Dr. Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) attends the wedding of his ex-girlfriend Kristin Palmer (Rachel McAdams), but before he can enjoy his first Martini, screams from the street catch his attention. And there, a huge Cyclops octopus tossed cars and buses, trying to get to a certain girl. Stephen remembered that this girl appeared to him in dreams, where he tried to save her in some parallel universe, and hurried to her aid.

It was not easy to defeat the monster, but Strange himself came to the aid of his old friend Wong (Benedict Wong) – the Supreme Sorcerer of the Kamar-Taja Monastery, Strange’s mentor and friend. Together they coped with the monster and began to find out from the girl who she was and why such terrible demons were hunting her.

The girl said that her name is America Chavez (Sochil Gomez) and that she has the ability to travel through parallel universes. However, she cannot control this ability of hers, and portals to other worlds open for her only when America is very scared of something.

Strange and Wong took the girl to Kamar-Taj, where she will be protected by monks who have mastered the methods of energy struggle under the guidance of Wong, after which Stephen went to ask for help from Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen): he considers her the most powerful of the entire team of Avengers.

However, during a conversation with Wanda, Strange found out that it was she who was hunting for the girl and it was she who sent the demons after her. Wanda became obsessed with the desire to move to a parallel universe in which she has two children – Billy and Tommy. Moreover, Wanda wants to take away from America the ability to move through parallel universes, and this girl will certainly kill her.

Stephen tries to appeal to Wanda’s voice of reason, but she does not want to listen to anything and declares that she will soon arrive in Kamar-Taj for the girl, and if America is not handed over to her voluntarily, then they will have to deal with the Scarlet Witch, with whom even the forces of all monastery, Strange and Wong will be impossible to handle.

***

The first “Doctor Strange”, released in 2016, I really liked. Benedict Cumberbatch created an original and memorable Marvel Cinematic Universe superhero, director Scott Derrickson skillfully balanced between the obligatory comicsoid component, impressive visual solutions and good humor, and more subtle than the usual jokes of Marvel superheroes in the respective films.

This film turned out to be multi-layered, like the crown of the creation of nature – a herring under a fur coat. With him, each layer of the audience got its own: some saw another spectacular movie comic, others saw astral bodies, parallel worlds and the pupation of space, others saw a neat banter over the genre, in fact, a self-parody, which, however, looked like a parody only for those who read these relevant clues.

The sequel was also to be directed by Scott Derrickson, who claimed that the first film was just the “tip of the iceberg” and that he had big plans. At the end of 2018, Derrickson signed a contract to shoot a sequel and began working on the script, with fans promised that the new film would be scary enough, but in January 2020 the script was still not ready, the studio did not agree with some of Derrickson’s script decisions, in as a result of which it was announced that Scott was dropping out of the director’s chair, remaining as an executive producer.

In February, Sam Raimi, director of the three Evil Dead films and the first three Spider-Man films, was hired to direct, Raimi announced that he, along with Loki (as well as Rick and Morty) writer Michael Waldron, would write their own script, after which the work started.

Filming was greatly hindered by coronavirus restrictions, because of them, after the end of the main process, I had to do all sorts of reshoots, the studio also demanded reshoots of some scenes, and only by the end of January 2022 was the version ready for test screenings, which went well, well, in May In 2022, the picture was finally released.

What did they get out of all this? This film is not a pure continuation of the first “Doctor Strange”: it is shot in a slightly different style, it contains certain elements of horror and horror, and this is probably the scariest film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. In addition, interestingly, the main antagonist in it was Wanda Maximoff, she is also the Scarlet Witch, and probably no less time is devoted to her character here than to the character of Strange. That is, it’s not even very clear here: is this a continuation of Strange’s solo release, or is this the first full-length solo album of the Scarlet Witch at all ?!

And this is quite interesting. Because if Doctor Strange was first introduced into the Marvel Cinematic Universe as a solo character with his own film, and then began to appear in the next Avengers, Thor and Spider-Man, then the Scarlet Witch initially wandered as many as four ” The Avengers”, where she was rather a third-rate character, but then she was awarded her own interesting series “WandaVision”, and now she has received, if not a solo album, then at least in this film her role in significance and duration is not much inferior to the role of a doctor Strange.

The personality of the director, Sam Raimi, is clearly visible here, and this is not often the case in comic books. From the “Evil Dead” – the very elements of horror, horror and even slasher, created with great skill, and from “Spider-Man” – all sorts of obvious allusions and jokes, and, besides, this film in any case has very close ties with the recent “Spider-Man: No Way Home” where it was Dr. Strange who made all sorts of temporal transfers in multiple worlds at the request of Spider-Man so that he and his friends could go to university.

Elizabeth Olsen in the role of the Scarlet Witch (yes, this is the character we need to talk about here in the first place) demonstrates a really serious, deep and virtuoso acting game: she was very good in Wanda Vision, but here, in my opinion, reached some completely new heights that you rarely expect to see in a comic book movie. Wanda Maximoff is experiencing the true tragedy of phantom motherhood, she has tremendous power, which, in general, she did not want to possess, but since this power will allow her to achieve what she wants, she will use it.

And I don’t really understand why some critics and viewers write that the motivation of her character is incomprehensible, illogical and generally poorly spelled out in the script, and how she was forced to back down is, they say, some kind of shame. I do not agree with this even once: it seems that these people just watched this film very inattentively. There everything is in order both with motivation and with the development of events.

Benedict Cumberbatch, as usual, is very good in the role of Doctor Strange: effective, sarcastic, moderately cynical, and there is practically no narcissism left in him (I’m talking about the character, of course). I really liked it, and the story of how he had to meet another Strange from a parallel universe – she was quite curious.

As for Sochil Gomez, who played America Chavez, whom Doctor Strange touchingly took care of, there is little that can be said so far: she was not impressed, to be honest. I don’t know if any continuation is planned for her character, but so far everything is rather modest: the girl is pretty, but she lacks charisma, and most importantly, acting skills. In episodes where America was supposed to be very afraid, Sochil looked very unconvincing.

From a visual point of view, there is no such riot as in the first Strange, but what was shown looked, in my opinion, quite worthy. A twisted parallel world from Strange’s dreams, a giant octopus, the defense of Kamar-Taj, a very funny New York from the parallel world of Earth-838, another universe destroyed by “coupling”, Strange’s duel with an alternative Strange, the final battle in the style of “Evil Dead” – it all looks very impressive.

I was also pleased that the sequel managed to retain the layered element inherent in the first film: everyone will also find their own in it – another movie comic of the Marvel universe, a new approach to franchise films, an ironic banter over the genre itself.

In general, I’m not disappointed with the sequel at all, I watched it with pleasure. Let’s leave the whining of some film critics about this film on the conscience of the film critics themselves, and the headline on the 7days.ru website “Doctor Strange: In the Multiverse of Madness”: the same Marvel film that disappointed everyone “from a certain Ivan Afanasiev – well, here I don’t even know how to help a person who believes that if for some reason he didn’t like the film (and it’s still unclear in what form he watched it at all), then everyone didn’t like it.

On Rottentomatoes, it has a decent rating of 74% from film critics and a high rating of 85% from viewers. And at the box office, he collected almost a billion, showing an excellent TCC 5.0. Yeah, yeah, no one liked it. Some sort of panopticon.

PS And one more important point. Movie comics are often very long and go for three hours. This movie runs almost exactly two hours, which is also good.

PPS However, Bublik and I cannot fail to note that, after all, the question of the “multiverse of madness” is much better revealed in the film “Everything is everywhere and at once.”

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness

Director: Sam Raimi Cast: Benedict Cumberbatch, Elizabeth Olsen, Chuitel Ejiofor, Benedict Wong, Sochil Gomez, Michael Stuhlbarg, Rachel McAdams, Patrick Stewart, John Krasinski, Hayley Atwell

Budget: $200 million, Global gross: $953 million
Fantastic action movie, USA, 2022, 126 min.

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