By definition, multiverse is oral. Maar moet hulle regtig so alomteenwoordig wees? Die multiverse-konsep het 'n speelse, flipperspel van narratiewe merker in die Spider-Man-franchise, and unleashes an anarchic onslaught of silliness in Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert’s forthcoming Everything Everywhere All at Once. But in this latest outing for Benedict Cumberbatch’s Dr Strange, who is tasked with protecting dimension-hopping teen America Chavez (Xochitl Gomez) from nefarious forces intent on stealing her powers, the whole multiverse business is starting to feel more like a joylessly efficient get-out card to be played whenever the screenplay finds itself written into a corner.
There’s an early high point in which Strange and Wong (Benedict Wong) are forced to do battle with a monocular giant octopus, while Rachel McAdams’s Christine, whose wedding has been interrupted by the tentacled gatecrasher, simply rolls her eyes. But the fun is short-lived, courtesy of Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen) and director Sam Raimi’s commitment to grisly visual flourishes. Unlike movies such as Black Panther en Shang-Chi, which functioned as self-contained entities, this film requires an encyclopedic knowledge of Marvel minutiae and world-class cross-referencing skills to fully work. And who, outside the diehard fanbase, has the bandwidth for that level of commitment?