Doctor Strange: Multiverse of Madness has finally come to Disney+ streaming service. However, does the film deserve a second viewing?
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness officially arrived at Disney+ on June 22. Even though the film initially received divisive responses among fans, some may be considering giving it another shot. However, the real question remains: is watching Multiverse of Madness for the second time worth it?
In their initial reactions, many fans may have disagreed with many creative decisions that the film embraced, especially regarding character developments and plot. Wanda Maximoff’s dark turn to the Scarlet Witch left many feeling confused and unsatisfied, but a second viewing provides a new perspective. The details in Multiverse of Madness also help to better explain the interesting choice of antagonist now that a good deal of behind-the-scenes information has come to light.
The production team revealed that they used a scan of Elizabeth Olsen’s pupil to create Gargantos’ eye, hinting at the true villain behind the scene. Director Sam Raimi also pointed out that his direction of Wanda never meant to portray her as a villain. She was a traumatized mother who wanted to reunite with her children instead of causing destruction and killing life. Rewatching Multiverse of Madness could potentially change some audience members’ initial judgment of Olsen’s character and highlight her vivid micro-acting that captured the fear and transition she went through as a first-time villain.
Although the initial excitement toward big cameo revelations will drastically decrease upon second viewing, Raimi’s creative character deaths, on the other hand, still shine through the screen. While fans may have been disappointed when the newly-minted Illuminati members didn’t last on screen for more than five minutes, they can still experience the highlight of when Mister Fantastic turned to strips. Black Bolt encountered a Matrix-style mouthlessness before his brain was blown off internally. Captain Cater’s live-action debut ended with her being cut in half by her own shield. Even with the different emotions and reactions that viewers experience during rewatching, the horror element stays fresh in Multiverse of Madness. The lack of surprise at the plot also doesn’t seem to affect the film’s horror level.
Raimi’s horror-infused psychedelic adventure through the multiverse is unlike any other Marvel film. With viewers being more accepting of plot developments and twists that they might not have initially agreed with, watching it for the second time allows them to appreciate the film’s brilliance and spectacular visuals. Exploring Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness without pressure and anticipation of how the film will connect to the rest of the Marvel Cinematic Universe also makes it a much more enjoyable experience.
A second viewing also reveals hints that fans might have missed the first time while trying to catch up with the plot, which sometimes left them feeling confused and disappointed. Rewatching with a specific question in mind can also help a viewer find traces and details they weren’t expecting. With Marvel films, there always seems to be more to explore and discover through rewatching, and Multiverse of Madness is no different.
However, there’s no guarantee that the second viewing would change fans’ minds, especially if they really hated the film the first time. There’s always the possibility that a second viewing might further affirm their previous opinion, although it seems highly unlikely given the number of details and the thoughtful creative process that went into the creation of Multiverse of Madness. Individual experiences will always vary, but Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness bears great potential and deserves a second chance.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is now available to stream on Disney+.
Katrina Yang is a TV/movies features writer at CBR.