Magical mystery tour

Will Ferris
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Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness (12A, 126 minutes)

Mystic arts and witchy goings-on are what draw me to the never-ending spectacle of Marvel. Make no mistake, I’m no harsh critic. The canon is so vast, you’ll never hit a dead end. So, as years pass, new tales will be adapted, characters will evolve and, as long as Kevin Feige keeps the money rolling in, the saga will live on.

Now, with big purple Stalin – Thanos – out of the way, we find ourselves exploring the multiverse, where franchises collide and studios come to amicable agreements to merge.

Fresh from sealing up a big bad split in his universe, Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) is trying to adjust to a lonesome life with the guilt of the infamous ‘snap’ weighing heavily on his shoulders.

Then comes plucky teen (and multiverse jumper) America Chavez who, quite literally, punches her way into Strange’s world harping on about demons chasing her down.

Realising Chavez is a key to many doors dark forces wish to open, Strange enlists the help of a very mentally unwell Wanda Maximoff, because the best person to help is naturally going to be a total fantasist who also happens to be the most dangerous witch in existence.

What director Sam Raimi gives us is a rip-roaring chase through alternate realities in what becomes Marvel’s scariest and most violent film. There’s some classic Evil Dead callbacks, cheesy cameos and fun paths being paved to an exciting future, with long awaited arrivals who could well do a certain family of four some justice at last.

Multiverse of Madness is enjoyable, fast, dark and risky. Thank the gods they’re willing to take those risks for the sake of a thrilling story.

Elizabeth Olsen, who has now sealed her position as a major player in the post Endgame Marvel universe, delivers a remarkably chilling and raw performance as Scarlet Witch. She’ll bewitch you, play with your heart and, the moment you turn away, annihilate the hell out of you.

Bravi, Miss Olsen.

RATING: 9/10

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