After his hands are destroyed in a car accident, a talented surgeon travels to Nepal in order to receive healing from a mystical sect led by the immortal Ancient One. After joining their ranks, Strange learns he’s now on the front lines of a battle that spans dimensions and time itself.
The latest film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe has arrived and boy does it take on a very strange topic, at least a strange one to the established cinematic universe. Magic.
Director, Scott Derrickson who is known for his horror films delivers a solid and necessary entry that continues to serve the larger plan Marvel has in the pipeline. The entire film is dripping in his visual style. The beginning of
Strange’ story could’ve definitely used more breathing room and time to develop, you eyes are still given a treat.
After watching the film in 2D, I highly recommend that you go view it in 3D or IMAX if possible only because the aesthetic of the film is so wonderful.
The comparisons to Christopher Nolan’s Inception are bound to be made because of the visuals, but thankfully the film is far enough from it to establish it as its own story and style.
A colleague of mine who I attended the screening with voiced a complaint afterwards that he did not enjoy how the film explained the magic away with science, but I feel like Marvel did this to appease fans because leaving something so important to understanding the film unexplained would cause an outcry. Given that Marvel is building towards interconnected films, they unfortunately do have to set up parameters for this new universe given that it will come into play.
Because of this, the film is exposition heavy, lots of exposition to take it, but I really didn’t notice it as much. These are general critiques that I read which I disagreed with. In a world like Dr Strange, you are introducing new concepts to an audience and inhabiting a new world so explanation and education is a necessary part of the process.
Dr Strange isn’t a perfect Marvel movie, but it a wonderful visual fest told with an excellent cast.
Benedict Cumberbatch is the perfect Dr Strange, portraying the Sorcerer Supreme with the right amount of arrogance and charm. In a another critique of the film that I stumbled across, some believed that he doesn’t have the right amount charisma that Robert Downey Jnr. has as Tony Stark, but as similar as their personalities are, they needed to have a difference in temperament which is something that Cumberbatch managed to achieve.
Marvel still have a villain problem in their films that they can’t seem to fix. Mads Mikkelsen does an excellent job, but he does feel underused…especially in light of his Hannibal role where you know he can deliver as a villainous character. I really hope that Marvel swiftly get the hang of their villains and give them legitimate reasons to do what they are doing, otherwise more and more fans will depart.
There was the casting controversy surrounding Tilda Swinton as the ancient one, and no one can deny that Tilda Swinton took the role and delivered. There was a very interesting dynamic to her character that was quite enjoyable to watch play out, and it helped that she built that relationship with Benedict Cumberbatch.
Part of the reason why I assume Marvel change her character from comic to movie is because otherwise there would have only been one female character for the whole film.
Marvel did an excellent job in casting a wide variety of ethnic characters in roles for this film. People of colour and non-white characters are effortless sprinkled into the story, and only enrich the viewing experience, especially as a person of colour.
The signature Marvel humour is there, with enjoyable actions sequences, most notably the climatic end battle is wonderful to watch because it is the complete opposite of destruction. I would elaborate but I don’t want to spoil what happens.
Dr Strange is a quite the strange affair, but my is it a lot of fun.