Housekeeping first: I hope everyone had a happy Halloween last week. I basically missed the last 3 days of Crypt-ober due to general busy-ness. Hey, at least I did a blog a day for the majority of the month. Now, let’s dive in.
I’m a major, major fan of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. I don’t think that the MCU can do anything wrong at this point. Heck, I have even basically turned my opinion around about Jessica Jones (in that I will totally watch Season 2 when it gets released). (Agents of SHIELD is basically the only exception. Screw that show.) Marvel has even proven that their obscure comic properties can be turned into uber-massive hits. So I was super hyped when Doctor Strange was announced. The hype only got bigger and bigger for me the more we saw trailers and posters. I didn’t know anything about Dr. Strange going into this. So, how was the movie? Let’s find out. This is Doctor Strange.
Dr. Stephen Strange is a great surgeon known for his steady hands and huge ego. Or, rather, he WAS a great surgeon. A car accident left him with his hands in shambles and unable to remain steady. So, he goes off in search of a miracle cure and instead finds a temple that teaches mystic arts. Suddenly, Strange finds himself in a… well, STRANGE new world. Furthermore, there’s another magic user that’s looking to bring about an apocalypse of sorts. Can Dr. Strange become a mystical master or will the world fall to the great Dormammu?
So, let’s get some obvious stuff out of the way. First, the effects in this movie are AMAZING. The fight scenes are some of the most beautiful and energetic fights in any Marvel movie so far. The world is massive and complicated and really unique even in the superhero movies. However, my one complaint about the visuals is that someone was overly in love with kaleidoscope effects. It was interesting to watch, sure, but anyone who gets motion sick easy should be weary. Still, if you can watch the entire world basically spin in every direction, it’s certainly cool.
Benedict Cumberbatch was PERFECT in the role. He had the right smarmy attitude, the “better than everyone” smirk, the great attention to detail. He was fantastic to watch as he learned how to become the mystical sorcerer from the comics. If I had one complaint about HIM it’s that he felt a little too much like Tony Stark. He was a bit too wisecrack-y, a little too sarcastic to absolutely everyone. Still, at least Benedict did the role he was given wonderfully.
Those two small complaints are honestly acceptable for the type of movie they were trying to make. However, there are two characters/actors that are horribly mishandled. Mads Mikkelsen plays the baddie, Kaecilius and, while he played it well, the bad guy just wasn’t all that interesting. He didn’t have an interesting backstory, just the usual jilted student we’ve seen at least 2 other times in these movies. I mean, he looked cool, and I liked his dead-pan deliveries, but he just didn’t have a lot to do here.
Neither did Rachel McAddams, the… love interest(?) of the movie. She’s in like 4 scenes and she just isn’t given a lot to do. She feels so far shoved into the background that she might as well not be in there.
The story here is your basic origin story where Strange has to learn magic and how to wield and use it responsibly. The build up to the ultimate bad guy of the movie is pretty well done but the big climactic battle really steals the show. I don’t mean the “backwards time” battle, I mean the battle with the big “god-like” villain of the movie. It was really smart and a great twist to the movie. A lot of people are saying this movie’s story is unoriginal but a good ending and great set-pieces more than make up for any unoriginality.
Look, I can praise this movie up and down for its visuals, it’s cool main characters, it’s breathtaking environments, and so forth. However, I’m pretty sure the whole world is already sold on the MCU. I don’t need to convince anyone that you should watch this film. Either you will or you won’t given your tastes. Just keep an open mind. I promise this movie will definitely thrill you.
PS The Stan Lee Cameo was just sorta okay.