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Have you done your homework yet? The internet will lead us to believe that in order to appreciate the twists and turns in this daring, multi-versely haunting MCU sequel, we need to be enamored with the 2016 origin story that introduced us to us for the first time. about Benedict Cumberbatch’s deformed psycho sorcerer, Doctor Stephen Strange. That we should also catch up with two Disney+ live-action TV series, WandaVision and Loki, and the animated series, What If…?, plus all seven of the X-Men’s X-Men films. Fox, not to mention Captain Marvel, The Fantastic Four, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Avengers: Infinity War, Avengers Endgame and Spider-Man: No Way Home.

Nerds love homework (I’m allowed to say so, because I’m one). As it happens, however, no change is needed to follow Disney’s intricate, beautifully action-packed, emotional and very funny adventure, directed by Sam Raimi (taking over from Scott Derrickson).

Of course, if you want to understand the strange behavior of Marvel fan (why would an entire movie theater squeal and writhe with joy when, say, a green dinosaur pops up) why are you wasting your time reading this review? Get crammed.

Doctor Strange Teams Up With a New Teen Hero, America Chavez (Xochitl Gomez)

/ Jay Maidment

During these two hours, we encounter multiple versions of Strange. In a typical line, our hero mentions, “Someone else, another, another me.” And the story is actually very simple. Three powerful characters – Strange; witch Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen, amazing) and a teenager, America Chavez (Xochitl Gomez) – all traumatized. Lost loved ones (lovers, as well as parents and siblings) and our protagonists, crippled and/or artificial and spoiled by survivor’s guilt, must face with their demons.

Because this is Raimi, the demon/vampire/zombie is the coolest thing ever (Zombie Strange might be the most amazing, ie lovable, ponytail on the planet). And aside from the elongated middle bangs, your eyes won’t stop staring. A scene in which Strange and America traverse the universe(s) and temporarily become blobs of paint is as memorable as anything in Pixar’s Inside Out. The part where Strange battles himself through weaponized musical notes is a long stroke of genius.

Rachel McAdams Returns as Doctor Christine Palmer

/ Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios

God bless America too. As a Latina superhero with two mothers, Chavez causes the same tingling sensations as Tom Holland’s Peter Parker/Spidey in Captain America: Civil War. The future is here and it’s very bright. That said, I wish I knew that, despite being gay in the Marvel comics, the character here is purely asexual. I’ve been waiting and anticipating an upcoming scene that never came. You have been warned.

But what a movie. The doctor will see you now and all doctors are worth seeing.

126 minutes, certificate 12A

In theaters May 5

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