PLEASE NOTE: THIS DISCUSSION IS FOR ANYBODY WHO HAS ALREADY SEEN DOCTOR STRANGE. THERE WILL BE SPOILERS!
I watched Doctor Strange yesterday. Again. This second time though was the way the gods intended movies to be watched: IMAX 3D. And I enjoyed it even more than on my first viewing now that I had those trippy visuals flying at me from the biggest and best screen around. And judging from the queues, a lot of you guys were watching it as well.
As you’ve already heard I loved the film’s physics defying set-pieces, strong acting and cracking script. I particularly loved the film’s final showdown, which actually eschewed Marvel’s traditional trope of destroying a city and closing a portal, by instead rebuilding a city and going though that portal, and then to have what’s on the other side not be another big fist fight, but instead see Benedict Cumberbatch’s Strange actually use nothing but guile and cunning and some neat magic trickery to save the day. That was not a refreshing bit of cleverness, but also very much in fitting with the character.
And while I felt that Mads Mikkelsen’s talents were wasted a bit on Kaecilius, as the villain ended up being a bit undercooked (you actually learn more about him in Marvel’s tie-in “Doctor Strange Prelude” comic book), I really applaud them for taking their time with Chiwetel Ejiofor’s Mordo. In the comics, Mordo is a villain from the get-go – actually the second villain Strange ever faces after Nightmare – but he’s about as stereotypical as they come. By having Mordo start off as a good guy here, and only turning bad right at the very end, it means that when the inevitable Doctor Strange sequel rolls around, Ejiofor’s Mordo would already have a lot of character development to draw on. And just those few snippets of him and Strange disagree philosophically had me all tingly for the eventual showdown they would have.
But that’s enough from me. I want to hear from all of you. What did you think of the movie? Love it? Hate it? Think the Cloak of Levitation is the coolest comic book sidekick since Bucky starting hanging out with Cap again? Sound off below! And to get the ball rolling, here’s what some of our other writers thought of the movie.
I really enjoyed Doctor Strange; more-so than I thought I would. I wish I had watched it in 3D IMAX to no doubt experience the visual spectacle as immersively as possible. Even in standard 2D, though, it impresses with its creativity, and a surrealness that pays tribute to the Psychedelic 60s that spawned Marvel’s most mystical hero. For all the controversy about the Ancient One’s “whitewashing”, I found Tilda Swinton’s enigmatic but warm performance to be one of the absolute highlights of the film. No forced Matrix gravitas here! Actually, the fairly standard set-up story is elevated all round by its accomplished cast, and the fact that it’s more a “midlife crisis” origin tale with adults changing life direction – as opposed to teens looking for purpose. My only major gripe with the film is that I found the fight scenes very difficult to follow, between the busy visual effects, rapid editing and over-use of close-up shots.
The real highlight of Doctor Strange is the incredible visuals it throws at you throughout. It truly is a mesmerizing feast for the eyes that needs to be seen. However, it’s also more than just a dull story line wrapped in pretty clothing, it has a lot of heart to boot. While it’s the typical Marvel film we’ve come to expect, it does add a different magical dimension and some surprisingly witty comedy to separate it from the rest. And also despite its story line introducing elements of fantasy we have not seen in previous Marvel movies, the genius is that it still fits in with the greater franchise. It is also incredibly well executed from the spot on casting, particularly of Benedict Cumberbatch and Tilda Swinton, to inspired action sequences and a story that takes you through several dimensions of its lead characters. It’s not perfect and has its misgivings, especially in how Doctor Strange progresses through his abilities so quickly. However, it is what a movie is supposed to be: entertaining. And it provides this in massive doses.
Despite the usual gripes I always have with a Marvel movie, Doctor Strange makes up for its weak points in spades. On the negative side, Doctor Strange suffers from the typical cookie-cutter cardboard cutout of a villain, who doesn’t seem to do anything but serve as a catalyst to move the plot along. The story arc is also fairly typical, and didn’t hold too many surprises, though there were some enjoyable twists. On the plus side though, this movie is just loads and loads of fun. It’s really funny, laugh-out-loud funny in several places, and jaw-droppingly stunning. This has to be one of the most visually arresting movies I’ve ever seen, not just of the Marvel Cinematic Universe but in general. I got to see it in 3D, and I can only imagine how gorgeous it looks on IMAX. As another shining jewel in the sparkling crown of the MCU, I heartily recommend Doctor Strange, and I can’t wait to see more of him and his world.
Hot damn, I enjoyed this film. As already mentioned by everyone it is stunning, Life of Pi type of stunning. It is also very funny, something I was really not expecting. I watched Iron Man again last night and noted quite a few similarities in the characters. It’s almost like Cumberbatch is moving in to replace our aging hero Tony Stark (Downey is now 51), and I have absolutely nothing against that. Chiwetel Ejiofor brings some serious weight to the film as does Tilda Swinton but I have to admit that I was rather disappointed with Mads Mikkelsen. Marvel once again failing in its attempt to bring a notable bad guy to life, even when using an actor of Mikkelsen’s caliber! I am glad that the movie did so well over its first weekend and look forward to more entries in the series.
Last Updated: November 7, 2016