Dr. Strange, General Zod, Spider-Man, and Beast join forces to play real-life superheroes Thomas Edison (Benedict Cumberbatch), George Westinghouse (Michael Shannon), Samuel Insull, (Tom Holland), and Nikola Tesla (Nicolas Hoult) in a race to introduce electricity to the civilized world. Vigilantly designed and lit, if not photographed; director Alfonso Gomez-Rejon’s random “pay attention to me” framing (excess headroom, characters shunted to either side of the frame, etc.) tends to distract rather than illuminate. Cumberbatch is less the man Spencer Tracy braced up and more of a flummoxed Fred MacMurray looking to invent Flubber. And other than an occasional “canary that ate the cat” sidegrin, Shannon is uncharacteristically dull. Why a director’s cut of a film that never played theatres? Originally a production of TWC, Harvey Weinstein was riding herd in the editing suite about the same time allegations of sexual misconduct torpedoed the gig. The November 2017 release date was pulled, the picture shelved, and the rights sold to 101 Studios. Not as bad as I’m making it sound, but not too good either. (2019) — Scott Marks
This movie is not currently in theaters.