‘Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness’ Review: Sam Raimi Just Saved the MCU from Itself

“Sometimes one must break the rules in order to serve the greater good,” a character named The Ancient One proffered during a critical scene of 2016’s “Doctor Strange.” Spoken midway through the 14th installment of a culture-devouring mega-franchise that had already distilled blockbuster filmmaking down to a proprietary formula, that nugget of timeless wisdom carried all the weight and sincerity of an algorithm suddenly insisting that math were less instructive than poetry.

Not even Tilda Swinton could make it add up.While Marvel has since made more effective use of its recipe (“Black Panther”), and even feigned at allowing someone to make a different meal out of it (“Eternals”), the studio has also diluted Doctor Strange (“Spider-Man: No Way Home”) to the point that he began to seem like the last superhero in the Marvel Cinematic Universe who might anchor a movie that actually heeded The Ancient One’s teachings.

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