Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness

The Marvel Studios MultiPhasic Blockbuster Franchise Factory drops another massive earner onto an eager pandemic-weary public, and as you’d expect, it’s good. It’s really good.

Bizarre, but in a good way.

The successfully understated Benedict Cumberbatch reprises his role as Doctor Strange, Earth’s one-time Sorcerer Supreme (long story) who finds himself locking spells with a former hero turned multiversal megalomaniac. The story, a expertly-blended tale of power, loss, and regret, takes us across several continents, and several universes where we meet some familiar faces from a franchise far far away. Great stuff – just what the good doctor ordered.

What I really liked about this movie (aside from the humour, the action, the special effects) was the sense of growth. The script, combined with Cumberbatch’s performance showed a powerful man trying to prevent himself from being consumed by it – and his own, almost superhuman arrogance makes the ordeal so much harder. And the other characters grow along the way – even the villain.

The best Marvel outing this year?

Probably.

Eternals

Well, I’ve seen it, and to be honest, I’m not really sure what all the bad-mouthing was about. I thought it was great! Okay, so it’s not the Avengers: Endgame, but it was still entertaining, surprisingly deep, and the plot managed to hold itself together.

And of course, it had that secret sauce that Marvel Studios likes to stir into everything it does: the movie didn’t take itself as seriously as some of the people who reviewed it.

Continue reading “Eternals”

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings

One thing you can say about Marvel Studios … they looooooves their artifacts, especially if they come in a set, and if they can destroy the entire universe then so much the better.

In this surprising outing for one their lesser know players, the world’s greatest KungFu master is pitted against his own father who intends to use the ten rings he acquired hundreds of years before to bring back his dead wife (so at least his heart was in the right place).

There’s no point changing a winning formula, so the film is high-octane, pretty violent, but doesn’t take itself too seriously. I wasn’t convinced by the plot, but with great performances from Simu Liu (the hero) and Awkwfina (the non-romantic sidekick), Michelle Yeoh (who, let’s face it, is brilliant in everything) and Tony Leung, the plot didn’t actually matter so much.

No expense was spared on the special effects, the set design was brilliant, and the fight sequences? … Wow! I mean, yes, it’s a fight film, but some of the sequences were visual poetry; some bits were very much Crouching Tiger – which happens to be one of my favourite flicks.

If I had one complaint, I’d say that maybe the film was a little bit too long; a bit of editing could have shaved off a good twenty minutes in my non-professional-and-so-should-probably-be-ignored opinion. I dunno, is it possible for a finale to overdo it? If it can, then this might be the case study.

Still, a dream of a movie all the same. As I said, a strange choice for the opening of a new phase, but it worked. Oh, yes; it worked.