When Marvel started their joined movie universe I don’t think they knew how popular it would be and how influential it would be on modern cinema. It’s grown far beyond just throwing a bunch of super heroes together with some special effects and become a way of telling a story using a wide range of different characters, tones themes and genres and somehow making it palatable to the same huge audience.
Where Thor brings in the mythological and fantasy side genre, Guardians of the Galaxy represented Sci-fi, Ant-man was a height movie, they all play a part in a much bigger franchise. Now we have Doctor Strange which brings raw magic to the Marvel universe which is something they tried to avoid from the start but managed to pull it off pretty well.
When they made Iron Man even though it was pretty much science fiction they tried to walk done a fine line of just science, with Thor they introduced gods and magic but explained it all as advanced science. For this movie they haven’t bothered to explain the mystic powers but I think it still works ok, they play this one very self contained compared to the other Marvel movies. There are a few nods to the Avengers, obvious the infinity gem but also things like at one point Strange turns down operating on someone from the military with a spinal injury which sounds like Rhodey.
If I was to explain the movies I’d compare it to a cross over between House MD meets Harry Potter set inside someones Inception dream.
Benedict Cumberbatch plays a good sorcerer and is a great actor but his accent seemed to switch on and off throughout the movie, it wasn’t a major thing. His character development seemed to try and emulate the redemption we saw in Iron Man but just wasn’t handled well and seemed to go too fast. He seemed to go from someone who didn’t believe in magic one day and by the end of the day was a well trained master of the arts. A few scenes throughout the movie seemed to close off abruptly leaving you with the distracting action but asking questions about how that happened after.
Maybe the most wasted casting Marvel has done yet was to make Rachel McAdams Christine Palmer in the movie, she’s an amazing actress and could have carried a much bigger part in the Marvel Universe, maybe Wasp or Jane Foster. I think it’s a shame we probably won’t see her much in upcoming Marvel movies.
This was one of those movies like Transformers which tries to sell more movie tickets by setting bits of the film in different major cities around the world for no real reason. I don’t think they pulled it off well and if anything it was just distracting from the story.
I didn’t walk away from Doctor Strange wondering when I could see the movie again, more just asking questions about plot holes and trying to remember what the generic bad guys names were.
The special effects in the movie were maybe some of the best we’ve seen in a Marvel movie, they were pretty seamless and you can see a lot of effort went into them. Visuals like this worked well in movies like Inception but only when they are complimented by a big imaginative story which this movie just didn’t seem to have.
Other than in the post credits scenes there aren’t any cameos from other Marvel movies, I think they must know this was more of a filler movie than anything, there isn’t any reason for Marvel to get lazy with movies anymore, they have massive budgets and all they have to do is get a basic coherent story right to make an amazing movie.
Overall Doctor Strange was a fun movie and enjoyable but it could have been a lot better with a little more work.
Posted by Adi Mursec on November 8, 2016
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