Hello, fellow moviegoers!
Doctor Strange is directed by Scott Derrickson, and it stars Benedict Cumberbatch, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Rachel McAdams, and Mads Mikkelsen. It is the latest film to be released by Marvel Studios as part of their Marvel Cinematic Universe. It tells the story of Dr. Stephen Strange after a series of events leads him on a journey of learning to harness the powers of the mystic arts.
Doctor Strange is probably the weirdest film to come from the Marvel Cinematic Universe yet, except for maybe Guardians of the Galaxy. The major difference between this film and Guardians lies within the superhero genre itself. Guardians of the Galaxy is very different from other Marvel films, but it still feels like a superhero movie. Doctor Strange does not. This movie is a fantasy story that feels more in the vein of Harry Potter than it does Captain America or Thor.
The originality of Doctor Strange, when compared to the rest of the MCU, might be the best part of the movie. This movie works on its own. You can watch this film, not knowing anything about The Avengers, and it will still make complete sense. It doesn’t suffer from the franchise exclusivity that hurt Captain America: Civil War earlier this year. Doctor Strange could exist completely independently from the MCU and still work as well as it did. This film is a perfect example of Marvel doing what they do best. First and foremost, Marvel focused on making a good movie here, then secondly they worked on fitting into their universe. They put the quality of the story of the film ahead of the ease of connection to the MCU, and it paid off big time.
Benedict Cumberbatch’s casting as Doctor Strange is comparable to the likes of Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man and Ryan Reynolds as Deadpool. Cumberbatch is one of the biggest stars out there right now, so you would think it would be distracting seeing a very familiar face up on the screen like this. However, he disappears into this role. It’s a little weird hearing Cumberbatch do an American accent for the first few minutes, but then you start getting used to it. You no longer see Benedict Cumberbatch; you see Stephen Strange.
The rest of the cast gave good performances as well. Chiwetel Ejiofor gave a performance in this film that rivaled that of Cumberbatch. He also slipped into his character extremely well and helped to elevate the film as a whole. Benedict Wong and Tilda Swinton both worked very well in their roles although there wasn’t a whole lot for them to do. Rachel McAdams played Christine Palmer, the sort of love interest for Strange. While she wasn’t the cliché love interest you see in many comic-book films, she didn’t add a whole lot to the movie. The character was one that worked really well in the film; I just don’t think it necessarily needed to be Rachel McAdams. Anybody could have played this character and the film would’ve been unchanged.
Mads Mikkelsen played the villain Kaecilius in this film. Kaecilius was a student of the Mystic Arts before Strange, but he chose to follow a darker path. Marvel throughout many of their films has suffered from the same flaw over and over again. Their villains. A vast majority of Marvel’s villains are really bland characters that are carbon copies of their heroes. It's obvious they are there exclusively to be a bad guy. Mads Mikkelsen’s Kaecilius was no exception to this. While he wasn’t as bad as say Ant-Man’s villain Yellowjacket, he wasn't really an interesting character. Mikkelsen’s performance was the character's saving grace. Had they cast anybody else in the role, he probably would’ve been like Yellowjacket, but Mikkelsen did the best he could to make the character more compelling.
Now for the part that everybody will be talking about. The visuals. The visuals effects in Doctor Strange film were absolutely magnificent. They were so fine-tuned and interesting that they almost became their own character in the film. The psychedelic aspect of the visuals made for some of the most complex and interesting scenes in the film. These kaleidoscopic effects put the audience in a state of awe. Many people have been comparing the visuals to those of Inception. There is much more to them than that. Yes, there are Inception-esque moments, but there is much more in the visuals that just a cityscape folding in itself. Doctor Strange will, without a doubt, be nominated for Best Visual Effects at the Oscars this year, and don’t be surprised if it wins.
Doctor Strange is one of the best films Marvel has put out yet. It’s mind-bending, it’s funny, the visual effects were brilliant, and the overall tone of the film was very different from anything else Marvel has done. You can watch this film without seeing any of the other Marvel films, and still, understand what’s going on. I would highly recommend seeing this film, especially in RealD 3D or IMAX if you have the chance!
So what did you think of Doctor Strange? How would you compare it to the other Marvel films? Let me know by commenting on this post! Also, if you enjoyed this review, share it on Facebook and Twitter! It really helps! Don’t forget, I post every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, so check back then for more movie reviews and miscellaneous movie thoughts!
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