Flash, Bam Boom: Keanu Reeves’ brilliant return as John Wick


, , , , , ,

Keanu Reeves as John Wick in John Wick: Chapter 4. Photo Credit: Murray Close

Who—or what—is John Wick, really? A nearly indestructible assassin, sure. A lonely widower, definitely. A loyal friend, yes. A lover of dogs, certainly. But as John Wick: Chapter 4 gloriously proves, he is also a live-action cartoon character, as well, a Roadrunnerfigure who melds the qualities of that elusive desert bird with his genius for evading the falling anvil or rolling boulder with those of his hapless antagonist, Wile E. Coyote, who never gets to avoid the anvil or boulder. In his fourth and final outing as the character, Keanu Reeves gracefully inhabits both qualities, dodging bullets and flying fists and feet while expressing the pain of every bone-rattling encounter.

With Wick still among the living despite their best efforts to vanquish him, his vexed former employers at the criminal underworld’s High Table have reached out to a new psychopath to front their organization and bring Wick down. Arrogant and supercilious, Marquis (Pennywise himself, Bill Skarsgård) is a coward at heart who relishes in inflicting cruelty on others. One of his strategies in pursuing Wick is to isolate him from his allies, beginning by decertifying New York’s five-star hotel for the killer elite, the Continental, a dark turn of fate for manager Winston (the magnificent Ian McShane) and concierge Charon (the late Lance Reddick, the picture of elegance). The Tokyo Continental and its manager, Shimazu (Hiroyuki Sanada, Reeves’ costar in 47 Ronin), are similarly endangered by the Marquis’  lethal initiative. To further insure success, he blackmails one of Wick’s friends, Caine (Hong Kong icon Donnie Yen), a blind assassin, into targeting his buddy. And Marquis keeps raising the bounty on Wick’s head, unleashing an army of killers, including Tracker (Shamier Anderson), who, like Wick, loves dogs.

Fans of Walter Hill’s 1979 classic The Warriors will delight in John Wick’s third act, which is framed as a homage to that action thriller, only instead of traveling across New York, Wick speeds across Paris. And instead of encountering Gramercy Riffs, Baseball Furies, and Rogues, he is beset by a seemingly endless horde of killers intent on earning millions by taking him down.

In this fourth outing together, neither Reeves nor director Chad Stahelski have lost a step. Reeves is all-in as the nearly indestructible Wick, kind of the anti-Tom Cruise, in that you know that that one is always going to come out the way he started, fit and fresh as a daisy. With Wick, no one would be surprised if he had full-on hip and knee replacements between the last film and this or wore an elaborate brace beneath his impeccable tailoring. Reeves makes us feel every punch, fall, and other crunching shock to his system. And it’s a lot of such trauma: Stahelski rarely eases up on the action of tension for long. As a former stuntman, he knows how this kind of action is supposed to work and he is a genius at execution. The film is nearly three hours long but the time flies by.

Every Roadrunner cartoon eventually comes to an end, and so it appears the same with John Wick. But if this is Reeves’ last go-round in Wick’s skin, he is going out in a glorious hail of flash, bam, boom. It is a fitting goodbye to an indelible character. –Pam Grady

When the personal interferes with the political: ‘What We Do Next’


, , ,

What We Do Next might as well be titled The Road to Hell Is Paved with Good Intentions, for it is perceived good intentions that lead to murder and incarceration for one character and a ticking time bomb in the careers of two others in writer-director Stephen Belber’s claustrophobic drama.

The good deed is $500 that lawyer Paul Fleming (Corey Stoll) gives to community activist Sandy James (Karen Pittman), who hands it off to Elsa Mercado (Michelle Veintimilla), a teenager she’s counseling. Over What We Do Next’s slim, 76-minute running time, Sandy will insist over and over again that she had no idea the money would go toward the purchase of a gun that Elsa would use to murder the father who was sexually abusing her, protests that ring increasingly hollow in the face of Sandy’s own behavior.

Whatever the truth is, it never came out at Elsa’s trial. Sixteen years later, when a now system-hardened Elsa is paroled, Sandy is a rising political star with an eye toward becoming New York’s mayor in the not-too-distant future. Paul is a divorced sad sack but still a successful corporate lawyer. And there is a reporter hot on the trail of the real story behind Elsa’s crime – leverage for someone with ambitions of her own but with zero experience and a prison GED.

The story of this messy trio plays out over seven chapters in a chamber piece that speaks to Belber’s other job as a playwright. So, does the dialogue, which is literate and sharp – these are people who wield words as if they were knives. Sandy and Paul insist they are on the side of right and may have even convinced themselves of that. But they will never fool Elsa who is only too aware that she did long, hard time while the people who abetted her got off scot-free and are now craven in their attempts to stay in the clear.

The film is billed as a crime drama but, really, it is more a morality play as Belber peels back the layers of Sandy and Paul’s hypocrisy. They have convinced themselves that Elsa’s anger and bitterness are misplaced but she has to listen to their self-justifications, which might enrage anyone.

Paul is a well-meaning weasel, ostensibly willing to do the right thing but when doing so might impact the life he’s built for himself, he quickly back pedals. He is divorced and freely admits to  being a crap father, so not stepping up is apparently embedded in his DNA. If he’s incapable of being there for his son, what chance does Elsa have?

As for Sandy, we all know a Sandy. She is our councilperson or Congressional representative or governor or mayor. She is all about the big picture and she is dedicated to raising the lives of the underrepresented and underprivileged. She wants to help. She insists on it and backs it up with proposed legislation. The problem is that it is all abstract with her. She’s not so different from Orson Welles’ villain Harry Lime in The Third Man who looks upon people as “dots,” except while Harry is indifferent to all that humanity, Sandy is laser focused on proving how much she cares. She’s all about improving the lives of the masses.

But the masses are one thing, an individual like Elsa in all her messy humanity is something else. Sandy prefers the anonymity of all those dots to one woman she sees as an unfortunate blast from her past who could potentially stand in the way of the future she has so carefully mapped.

Belber delivers a tight, taut, and enraging drama, performed by three actors at the top of their game. It is a chilly film, the only heat coming from Elsa’s unregulated emotions and all the more powerful for that. Like Sandy, What We Do Next never loses sight of its end game. –Pam Grady

Higher than the average bruin: ‘Cocaine Bear’


, , , , , , , , ,


What would Ranger Smith do?

What would Ranger Smith do if Yogi Bear and Boo Boo stumbled onto a lost shipment of cocaine, got into it, and went all angry grizzly on any human that crossed their paths?

Well, Ranger Smith was never as quick as the ursid smarter than the average bear, so he’d probably end up Yogi’s lunch, which is not far off from what happens in the brutal, wickedly funny Cocaine Bear.

The horror comedy, written by Jimmy Warden and directed by Elizabeth Banks, is based on real events that happened in 1985 when a drug dealer named Andrew Thornton jettisoned the cargo of their overweight plane over a national forest. A bear stumbled on the stash of coke, snacked on it, and died. He apparently did not live long enough to lay waste to any passing tourists.

The motley assortment of people wandering the woods in Cocaine Bear are not so lucky. This is one of those movies in which the majority of the characters are simply fodder. They are walking and talking and soon to be bear food. They include a trio of teenage hooligans; a pair of European tourists; amorous Ranger Liz (Margo Martindale); Peter (Jesse Tyler Ferguson), the wildlife inspector Liz has a crush on; drug kingpin Syd (Ray Liotta); Syd’s grief-stricken son Eddie (Alden Ehrenreich) and his best friend Daveed (O’Shea Jackson Jr.); narcotics cop Bob (Isiah Whitlock Jr.); tweens playing hooky Dee Dee (Brooklynn Prince) and Henry (Christian Convery); and Sari (Keri Russell), Dee Dee’s mom on the hunt for the wayward kids.

The smartest thing about the movie is that it is set in 1985 and it feels like 1985, specifically a drive-in movie from 1985. The action is bonkers with body parts flying and the bear behaving with all the homicidal hunger and intent as Jaws’ shark with not a Roy Scheider or Robert Shaw in sight to stop her coke-fueled rampage. She is having quite the binge!

High praise goes to little Convery as a foul-mouthed tyke who will say anything to pretend to knowledge he doesn’t have. Ehrenreich and O’Shea share amiable chemistry as best buds, reluctant in their mission to find the wayward drugs. Veterans of typically more dramatic fare, Martindale, Whitlock, and the late Liotta (to whom Cocaine Bear is dedicated) are clearly having a blast in their unaccustomed roles of starring in a live-action cartoon. Seriously, Yogi Bear would not be out of place if he were the animal out of his mind.

It is a little sad that Cocaine Bear is arriving in theaters in February. Universal should have held back or the summer months so those towns still blessed with drive-ins could play this ultimate drive-in fare. Maybe with Tucker and Dale vs. Evil on a double bill. Possible with streaming, of course, but don’t wait for that. The mayhem Banks creates with her deranged bear deserves to be seen on a big screen in all its visceral, outrageously funny glory. –Pam Grady

THE FABELMANS: Spielberg relates the birth of a filmmaker


, , , , ,

Steven Spielberg’s The Fabelmans is irresistible from its opening frames as midcentury computer scientist Burt (Paul Dano) and pianist Mitzi (Michelle Williams) take their firstborn, six-year-old Sammy (Mateo Zoryon Francis-DeFord) to his very first big-screen movie, Cecil B. DeMille’s 1952 circus spectacular The Greatest Show on Earth. Sammy is dubious and uncomprehending as his father explains to him the concept of persistence of vision. It is a short, funny scene that expresses Spielberg’s lifelong (not to mention, extremely lucrative) love affair with flickering images and the stories they tell.

Billed as Spielberg’s most personal movie to date, well, of course, it is. The fictional family may be named Fabelman but this is the story of the Spielbergs, however much it may fudge the facts. Written by the director with his West Side Story collaborator, Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Tony Kushner, it is both a kind of Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man as it portrays Sammy’s passion for making movies and also a portrait of an American family that buries emotional landmines under the veneer of fixed smiles. It is both Spielberg’s origin story and his coming to terms with his past.

As dramas go, The Fabelmans is overlong. There is fat to be cut, which one imagines teenage Sammy Fabelman (Gabriel LaBelle) – shown often hunched at his desking, editing his movies – thoughtfully removing from the work. But Spielberg isn’t 16 anymore, he is 60 years older and it is clear that every frame is important to him emotionally, occasionally to the film’s detriment. In particular, a scene with Judd Hirsch as Sammy’s lion-tamer great uncle who understands his great nephew’s artistic impulses, telling him, “You’re going to join the circus,” is lovely – and wholly unnecessary.

And once the family moves to Northern California when Sammy is in high school, bringing the problems in the Burt and Mitzi’s marriage into sharp focus and introducing Sammy to antisemitism and first love, the wheels kind of fall off the movie before righting itself again in The Fabelmans’ closing scenes. It’s more a matter of rhythm than anything else. Scenes play out too long and some become repetitive. Again, it is hard to fault Spielberg. This is his story, and he has to tell it the way he needs to tell it even if his younger self – the guy who made Duel and Jaws and the wunderkind who was 22 when he directed screen legend Joan Crawford in the pilot episode of Night Gallery – probably would have sent him back to the cutting room to more sharply hone his creation.

LaBelle is terrific as Sammy, perfectly expressing hurt, anger, and confusion at his family’s situation and in his complicated relationship with his mother. But he is even better in the scenes in which Sammy starts on the path that will define his life. The moviemaking scenes, whether on location explaining to his cast how he wants a scene played or alone in his room cutting away, are fabulous, expressing youthful passion and wonder at the act of creation.

Even better are the products of those creations. The movies within the movie are enchanting. Recreating his own early experiments in filmmaking, the past six decades fall away. Spielberg finds his young self in these scenes and they are simply magical. As one of Hollywood’s most successful directors, he has become an auteur of blockbuster filmmaking but this time he scores with a story that is much more intimate.

It is a little disconcerting seeing Paul Dano suddenly grown middle-aged – has it really been that long since Little Miss Sunshine? – but he is wonderful as Sammy’s genius and too good-natured for his own good dad. Williams as highly strung Mitzi once more makes a case for GOAT of her generation. Director David Lynch is hilarious in a small cameo playing one of Sammy’s (and Spielberg’s) directing idols. On the technical side of things, Oscar-winning cinematographer Janusz Kaminski (Schindler’s List, Saving Private Ryan) delivers luminous images in which every moment seems to be magic time and 90-year-old John Williams contributes one of his most elegant scores.

The Fabelmans is not Spielberg’s final film. Just this past week, he announced a new collaboration with Bradley Cooper that will resurrect Steve McQueen’s Bullitt character. Nevertheless, the drama has the feeling of a summing up, a story he needed to tell before time runs out. Luckily, for all the rest of us, who get to watch the tale unfold. – Pam Grady

A bloody good time: Partying with BODIES BODIES BODIES


, , , , , , ,

In a remote mansion, while torrential wind and rain rage outside, the power goes out and so does the life of one person after another in this wicked horror black comedy that has the ancient bones of an Agatha Christie mystery but a style that is every inch Gen Z. Amandla Stenberg and Pete Davidson head up an ensemble cast in a film that might be summarized as love hurts while blood spurts.

Stenberg is Sophie, a recovering addict, who shows up at the party at her lifelong BFF David’s (Pete Davidson) parents’ estate unexpectedly, new working-class, immigrant girlfriend Bee (Maria Bakalova) in tow. Sophie wasn’t expected, not even David is happy to see her, hissing, “What’s she doing her?” to his actor girlfriend Emma (Chase Sui Wonders), hinting at the bridges Sophie’s burned. She and Bee aren’t the only interlopers: oblivious podcaster Alice (Rachel Sennott) has brought her new, middle-aged Tinder boyfriend Greg (Lee Pace), a genial hippie nearly old enough to be her dad the others believe to be an Afghanistan war veteran.

Completing the group and the only partygoer without a partner is Jordan (Myha’la Herrold), an ex of Sophie’s who also feels a bit out of place in the company of rich kids. She is, as Alice points out, upper-middle-class, but she doesn’t feel that way since her parents are but professors – at a state college. Her unease and apparent unresolved issues with Sophie add to the uneasy dynamics in a house in which none of the couples quite fit and the snobbery is as rampant as the drug and alcohol abuse. Add to that the titular party game, in which one person is the designated murderer, another becomes the victim, and then rather than solve the mystery, everyone fights. It’s a tense atmosphere long before the first real body drops.

Sophie and Bee are the most fully realized characters and Davidson’s David is the most head-scratching, not quite believable as a scion of enormous wealth. But Davidson wasn’t cast for that but because he’s a gifted physical comic who can deliver a funny line. And while there are nods to the class struggle in the way Bee and Greg are treated by the group, the film is not social satire. It’s a broad comedy with a body count.

In an era of inflated running times, Dutch director Halina Reijn (Instinct) wisely keeps hers down to 95 minutes, keeping the suspense running high and the laughs coming. Shooting in near darkness in many scenes where the only light appears to come from flashlights, cell phones, and glow stick jewelry, cinematographer Jasper Wolf creates an atmosphere of menace. Adding to that ambience is Disasterpeace’s strident score.

Bodies Bodies Bodies’ greatest strength is its screenplay by Sarah DeLappe, adapting Kristen Roupenian’s New Yorker story, which offers a memorable portrait of a certain segment of a generation while building up to one blisteringly hilarious denouement. There is nothing new under the sun when murder is afoot in a big house in the middle of nowhere but DeLappe transforms a story that could easily have been hackneyed into something fresh and hilarious. This is a film modest in its ambitions that delivers a big payoff. –Pam Grady

TRIANGLE OF SADNESS trailers drops, plus a word about THE MAGIC CHRISTIAN


, , , , , , ,

Force Majeure and The Square filmmaker Ruben Östlund satirizes the super-rich with Triangle of Sadness, starring Harris Dickinson, Charlbi Dean, and Woody Harrelson, coming to theaters October 7.

Watching the trailer, I couldn’t help but think of another ill-fated cruise with the affluent on board. No, I don’t mean Gilligan’s Island and the Howells, but good guess. No, The Magic Christian, starring Peter Sellers as Guy Grand, the world’s richest man, and Ringo Starr, as his freshly adopted son, Young Man, also involves a ship full of the uber-wealthy. The title of this whacked adaptation of Terry Southern’s novel (with a screenplay by Southern and director Joseph McGrath with assists from Sellers and Monty Python’s John Cleese and Graham Chapman) is the name of the vessel, part of a subplot in a wild lampoon in which Grand pulls prank after prank as he sets out to prove everybody has a price.

Triangle of Sadness won’t be here for another two months. The Magic Christian is readily available on YouTube. Check it out. – Pam Grady

IN BRUGES stars Gleeson and Farrell reunite in new McDonagh dark comedy


, , , ,

Martin McDonagh reunites his In Bruges cast, Brendan Gleeson and Colin Farrell, and also adds to the Aran Islands mythology of his plays The Cripple of Inishmaan and The Lieutenant of Inishmore in his new black comedy. Barry Keoghan and Kerry Condon costar. Eagerly anticipated and arriving in US theaters on Oct. 21.

Diving into a rescue operation with THIRTEEN LIVES


, , , ,

(L to R) Colin Farrell as John Volanthen, Joel Edgerton as Harry Harris and Viggo Mortensen as Rick Stanton in THIRTEEN LIVES, directed by Ron Howard, a Metro Goldwyn Mayer Pictures film. Credit: Vince Valitutti / Metro Goldwyn Mayer Pictures © 2022 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Ron Howard bounces back from the disaster of Hillbilly Elegywith this tense, involving drama that re-enacts the 2018 rescue of a dozen youths and their coach from a flooded Thai cave. With the focus on some of those most involved in the effort to save the stranded thirteen before a monsoon would certainly drown them as well as the challenges the cave presented, Howard provides an entertaining drama that illuminates the event and acts as kind of a companion piece to Jimmy Chin and Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi’s award-winning documentary, The Rescue.

Howard quickly sketches the start of the disaster. On June 23,2018, the boys, aged 11-16, members of the Wild Boars youth football team, and a 25-year-old assistant coach entered the Tham Luang Nang Non cave complex, 6.2 miles long and full of tunnels and narrow passages. With monsoon season still a few weeks off, it should have been an uneventful adventure but the rains came, trapping them.

As the story spirals into a global news event, would-be rescuers spring into action. There are practical matters: No one knows where the group is within the labyrinth of tunnels. Water has to be diverted from the mountain to keep from further flooding the cavern. There are also political considerations: The region’s governor (Sahajak Boonthanakit) notes that his stay in office has been extended – in the event lives are lost and there is a need to place blame. The film also capture the circus-like atmosphere that such a story engenders: news crews and reporters jostling one another for stories and space, that families in a fish bowl as they await the fates of their loved ones, the crowds of curious onlookers.

Teeradon ‘James’ Supapunpinyo as Coach Ek in THIRTEEN LIVES, directed by Ron Howard, a Metro Goldwyn Mayer Pictures film. Credit: Vince Valitutti / Metro Goldwyn Mayer Pictures © 2022 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Though the trapped youths attracted would-be rescuers from around the world, including Elon Musk, whose idea of conducting an operation using a miniature submarine was deemed unworkable, Thirteen Lives settles on mainly two groups: Thai Navy SEALS, who are challenged by murky waters that made visibility near zero, and a group of cave divers, led by two Brits, a retired fireman, Rick Stanton (Viggo Mortensen), and an IT specialist who is the father of a young son, John Volanthen (Colin Farrell). Three others join them, Jason Mallinson (Paul Gleeson), Chris Jewell (Tom Bateman), and an Australian doctor, Harry Harris (Joel Edgerton). Stanton, the cynic, is not even sure rescue is possible – but like everyone else, he is not willing to surrender to the seeming inevitable.

What Howard does exceptionally well, aided by cinematographer Sayombhu Mukdeeprom and production designer Molly Hughes and her team, who designed the facsimile of the real cave, is show us the conditions facing the rescuers: the lack of visibility, the narrowness of some of the passages, and the way the cave system snakes off in different directions. On the screen, Howard marks off distances in meters, another indication of the challenge in getting any of those trapped out alive.

This is one of those historical dramas where unless you have lived your life under a rock or off the grid, you know how the story ends. The pleasure in the film is watching, step by step, how the tale reached its famous conclusion. Acting by the international catch is top-notch, double Oscar nominee William Nicholson’s (Shadlowlands, Gladiator) script finds the intensity in even tiny details, and what the film lacks in suspense from the foregone conclusion it makes up for in tension by its immersion in the divers’ experiences and decisions. Thirteen Livesis old-fashioned, grand entertainment, and that is Howard’s strength as a filmmaker. –Pam Grady

Cronenberg returns and evolution suffers a psychotic break in CRIMES OF THE FUTURE


, , , , ,

David Cronenberg, the master of body horror is back for his first foray into the genre since 1999’s eXistenZ and his first feature since 2014’s Map to the Stars. Crimes of the Future is a bloody good time, as body horror morphs into body black comedy in a tale of human evolution run amok, a source of concern for some and entertainment for others.

Cronenberg’s History of Violence/Eastern Promises star Viggo Mortensen is performance artist Saul Tenser. Though the dusty city (Athens, Greece, in reality) Tenser inhabits seems so old that it would be unsurprising if Sydney Greenstreet and Peter Lorre returned from the dead to walk its mean streets, it is, in fact, a technologically advanced world where one machine cradles Saul in its bony arms to aid his sleep and another to help him eat. He needs the intervention: The thing that has made him a performance art star, his body’s constant invention of new organs, also makes daily living uncomfortable. The most horrifying element of Crimes of the Future isn’t body horror but the sounds that emanate from Saul, throat clicks and clearings that speak to his physical discomfort and a body at war with itself.

With his partner Caprice (Léa Seydoux), a former trauma surgeon, and a repurposed autopsy table, Saul transforms his maladies into art. He is not the only one, as scarification and surgeries are popular fodder for public consumption.

As one character puts it, “Everyone wants to be a performance artist these days. It’s all the rage.”

What’s happening to Saul and others is evolution gone wrong, according to Wippet (Don McKellar), at the National Organ Registry, a shadowy organization tracking the changing human body. He and associate Timlin (Kristen Stewart) are particularly taken with Saul. They are not the only ones. Lurking around the edges of his and Caprice’s life are Router (Nadia Litz) and Berst (Tanaya Beatty), the technicians who maintain Saul’s machines; Cope (Welket Bungué), a vice detective with a shadowy agenda; and Lang (Scott Speedman), ever chomping on what looks like purple candy bars, and the apparent head of a mysterious cabal.

In The Graduate, a well-meaning adult utters the word “Plastics” to Benjamin Braddock as a suggestion for the new college graduate’s career prospects. Crimes of the Future examines where such a livelihood might have led, to a miserable tomorrow as the body attempts to come to terms with all that plastic waste. At least, that is a working theory.

While Saul cuts a tragic figure – he just never looks or sounds well – and there are several disturbing moments in the film, the overall vibe of Crimes of the Future is comic. It is partially because the performance art – not just Saul and Caprice’s but also their contemporaries’ work – coupled with the hipster audiences watching it plays as social satire. But it is also because much of the dialogue is frequently hilarious. And while Mortensen, Seydoux, and Stewart may be the stars of the film, its true shining light is McKellar. True, he gets the best lines as the timid bureaucrat whose job collecting data on people like Saul gives him a leg up on formulating theories about what’s gone wrong with human anatomy. But it is not just the words he says but how he says them that amps up the dark humor.

It’s been a crime that Cronenberg has been off the big screen for almost a decade. It’s wonderful to have him back and in such fine, outré form. –Pam Grady


Not a review. Let those invested in the MCU write those. This is for those who will go to Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, because, by now, Marvel movies have become habit. Sometimes there is a big payoff as there was most recently with Spider-Man: No Way Home. Other times, not so much.

So, what do you do when you’re squirming in your seat, realizing this Marvel isn’t so marvelous? If you’re me, you imagine drinking games. If you’re you, maybe you play them. And if getting tipsy isn’t your jam, play them without alcohol (or turn them into eating games with some fine chocolate truffles or charcuterie).

Let the games begin:

Take a drink anytime someone says “multiverse.” (Caution if using alcohol, maybe change the rule to every third time someone says it – they beat that dead horse a lot.)

Take a drink anytime some superhero or other who isn’t Doctor Strange or The Scarlet Witch appears on screen.

Take a drink every time Wanda/The Scarlet Witch expresses the desire to reunite with the children that Doctor Strange keeps helpfully pointing out don’t exist.

Take a drink every time those cardboard sitcom children appear on screen.

Take a drink every time the movie pays homage to its director, Sam Raimi, by slipping in a nod to Evil Dead. (This is, by far, the best game.)

Take a drink every time a portal opens to a new universe.

Finally, take a drink, and there will only be one for this game, when you realize that the multiverse means no Marvel character can ever really die, so good luck remaining emotionally invested in any of them. But, oh, such a glorious way to milk that cash cow for the studio.