America Chavez, a girl who can travel through the multiverse 1, reaches “our” universe in search of help because a demon is hunting her. The demon turns out to be The Scarlet Witch (Wanda), who wants to kill America to get her power to travel to other universes where she has kids 2. The movie climaxes in a fight between a zombie Doctor Strange wearing a cape made of subjugated Forgotten Souls and Scarlet Witch. And they’re fighting in a remote tower full of monsters and evil spells carved into its walls. When Doctor Strange is defeated and all looks lost, America confronts The Scarlet Witch with the reality that she can’t have children. Wanda finally accepts this and appears to commit hara-kiri when she destroys the tower they were in to prevent anyone from dream-walking between universes ever again.
What does the movie say about life?
- Accept reality as it is. If you don’t, you will make yourself and others miserable. Scarlet Witch didn’t accept that she couldn’t have kids and caused many unnecessary deaths, property damage, and stress.
- Face your fears. Doctor Strange was scared of having a relationship, and that made him lose the woman she loved and a lot of potential happiness.
- Be grateful. At the end of the movie, Doctor Strange feels sad despite having saved the multiverse because he can’t have the love of his life, and he asks the Supreme Sorcerer if he’s happy. The Supreme Sorcerer replies that he sometimes wonders about what ifs, but he feels grateful for the life he has, including good and bad.
- Have faith in people’s ability to change. In most universes, Doctor Strange made the wrong choices of killing America and, in one universe, accidentally killing trillions of people. But America and Dr. X both gave Doctor Strange a chance, and he rose to the challenge.
What did I like most?
The different multiverses that they travel through: one with gigantic floating monk heads, a more climate-change friendly version of ours, one where everything is paint, one made of ice, a bee universe, an underwater universe, a Tron-like universe full of smooth pipes and robots, a death universe full of bones, a dinosaurs universe, a black and white film universe, one full of floating pyramidal buildings, a “Neo Tokyo”-like universe, a Mirror’s Edge 3-like universe, a lava universe, and a greener version of our universe (climate change hint.) Most of the universes looked more like worlds within our universe because the laws of physics didn’t look that different, but still, the short multiverse trip was incredible.
My second favorite scene was the musical fight between Doctor Strange and his Sinister version, where they throw energy-charged musical notes and sound at each other.
And the third awesome scene was the mirror prison where they put Scarlet Witch near the beginning.
What did I like least?
“When you dream, you are seeing other universes.”
Entertaining. I enjoyed the creativity, visual effects, light comedy, and Benedict, Doctor Strange’s actor. However, my suspension of disbelief felt under constant assault, something that doesn’t usually happen with Marvel movies.
- Buddhism and Vipassana (accept reality as it is.)
- D&D Abyssal monsters, especially the Beholder.
- Huberman’s podcast episode on the science of Gratitude (be grateful for what you have.)
- Tim Ferriss’s fear-setting exercise (face your fears.)
- Tron: Legacy (one of the universes they travel through.)