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The first thing to note (as it comes up at the very beginning of this yet-another-Marvel-sub-franchise) is that I love Tilda Swinton, and I love Mads Mikkelsen to pieces! Seeing either of them in the role of martial-artsy super witchmasters is, however, wrong on all levels (more wrong for Mikkelsen, for some reason, don’t ask me why). I know, it’s great to cash in on the brainless machinery that produces superhero franchises these days, but I feel very uncomfortable watching them touch this. It’s a bit like walking into your parents’ bedroom and seeing, you know… just saying… On the bright side, this is not as bad as other recent comic book adaptations, I have to say. There were some attempts at humour (albeit sometimes force-fed into the plot, see Mr Wong), there were some fun references to greater pieces of art (Groundhog Day, most notably, but also Inception’s fluent approach to city architecture and The Matrix’s, well, matrixness). I am sure diehard comic book fans felt obliged to shout hooray at the expected cameos. That whole universe with witches and wizards sitting next to the Avengers universe of superheroes, however, looks quite stale and unnecessary. While the authors made the best to set up a large parallel franchise, I do not believe there is plenty of potential to tell interesting stories. It is too generic, and the interesting cast members are now gone (one must assume). What’s left is Benedict Cumberbatch, but to be honest, if I want to see somebody wearing Littlefinger’s dress, I would much prefer this to be Aidan Gillen). Cumberbatch has been moved from interesting actor to mannered mainstream commodity, and has never been a reason for me to watch anything to begin with.

Hence: Not my piece of cake…

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