dr Strange brings a mind-blowing emotional rollercoaster full of surprises

From left: Xochitl Gomez as America Chavez, Benedict Wong as Wong and Benedict Cumberbatch as Dr.  Stephen Strange in a scene from "Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness."

Leave the expectations at home, perhaps along with the little ones and a babysitter, as the long-awaited Sam Raimi and Marvel collaboration Dr. Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” drew moviegoers in droves this weekend for a stunning, mind-blowing popcorn dish.

If you think about it, you might want to skip the popcorn this time too, depending on how uncomfortable the theater is for you. Yes, Marvel made a horror film. And it’s absolutely gorgeous.

Multiverse director and horror master Raimi’s fingerprints are throughout the film with his trademark “rock ’em, sock ’em” cinematography.

Raimi draws audiences in early with a car chase, revealing the intriguing new character, America Chavez, played by Xochitl Gomez, and our titular hero trying to escape certain death.

Immediately, viewers will tune in to a high-gas-pressure cerebral jolt that doesn’t quite live up to the typical superhero frame, and the result is amazing, if harrowing at times.

The story aims for the dual purpose of holding the two larger-than-life mystical characters, played by Elizabeth Olsen and Benedict Cumberbatch, accountable for past and current villainous deeds. And for the most part, the film ends up on target.

While it may be unclear who the villain will be, the main antagonist is quickly and beautifully revealed.

Benedict Cumberbatch plays Dr.  Stephen Strange "Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness."

Events planned in previous Marvel projects from 2016’s Doctor Strange and subsequently Avengers: Infinity War, Wandavision and Spiderman: No Way Home all help bring the story to us tell that we have in the multiverse.

In the Infinity War of 2018, our Dr. Strange character used the now-iconic phrase, “We’re in the endgame now.” That line is clearly repurposed here, if left unspoken, to inform us through the storyline that we’re now in the multiverse. And anything goes.

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