WE AT IT AGAIN, FOLKS! That’s right! It is Marvel movie time yet again and this time we are focusing on a brand new character that’s making their film debut in Phase III. Plus, judging by the trailers we’ve seen over the past year, we are into something more stranger than the usual Marvel flick this time around. Yes, it is all about Doctor Strange, the next film in Phase III of the Marvel Cinematic Universe as we step away from everything going on with the Avengers (and how fucked up things got for them) and like Guardians, we’re meeting some new faces and let’s see how this will turn out.
Dr. Stephen Strange’s (Benedict Cumberbatch) life changes after a car accident robs him of the use of his hands. When traditional medicine fails him, he looks for healing, and hope, in a mysterious enclave. He quickly learns that the enclave is at the front line of a battle against unseen dark forces bent on destroying reality. Before long, Strange is forced to choose between his life of fortune and status or leave it all behind to defend the world as the most powerful sorcerer in existence.
*TWO HOURS LATER*
OH DAMN!!! Did I magically took acid before watching this? (To note, don’t be under the influence of anything while watching this. You would panic and spazz out like a maniac.) Because the first thing I will have to mention for this is the astounding visual effects and its sequences with how magic is incorporated into the movie, especially in 3D. Yes, absolutely see this in 3D (either way IMAX or Real D 3D if you can’t afford IMAX) because the visuals are mind-blowing and worth seeing on the big screen. The action wasn’t the basic superhero format it usually is for these movies with some familiar tropes in there. Fighting-wise, it can be very violent during the physical attacks and that’s violent in the sense of it knows how to hold back. I have to give props to director Scott Derrickson and the VFX team for their wildly imaginative style of the movie.
And now that I got that out of the way……story-wise of this…..yeah, I know, I know, it’s like the origins of Tony Stark and Iron Man. Yeah, he’s a self-centered dick but a dick that can save your ass and is driven at what he does.
Steven Strange does have that smart-ass and overzealous way about him that can make people say that yet I don’t feel like it’s a cheap retread but it also means the character has that feeling of tragedy happening to them followed by searching a new way of overcoming it but then tried to own it yet it’s not going to be that easy of a task to do. Yes, story is not all that extravagant but it’s also doable and watchable. Benedict Cumberbatch excels as the title character with the stride of pride that the neurosurgeon got, even with the fucked-up hands and the comedic moments of him are indeed funny, especially in scenes at the Kamar-Taj.
Other characters…….OK, I know of the whole white-washing thing with the Ancient One is very controversial and awkward all that and I do see some of the points made about that and that being said, Tilda Swinton is a badass in this role. As for the other characters…..Wong, played by Benedict Wong, is….alright. I want to say that his type of humor on here is like how Drax was in Guardians but I feel like Drax did it better but that’s not say that Wong got some funny moments in here.
Modor is definitely a well multi-layered supporting character that often questions his loyalty to the Ancient One and wonders if all he ever did was worth a damn and Chiwetel Ejiofor did an excellent job, along with having great dynamics with Cumberbatch’s Strange.
I will say that while Rachel McAdams is good as Christine Palmer, my interest in the character was ‘meh’. Yeah, I get they are the Earthbound part of the movie and I do get that and all but I will say at least they didn’t do some stupid shit like put her in danger or anything like that. Oh, and Mads Mikkelsen…….well, he’s a Marvel villain with a typical evil villain plan albeit I’ll say he’s more of a Jeff Bridges than a Corey Stoll or a Christopher Eccleston and he does have good moments. All-in-all, the writing here might tread a bit familiar, it is still an entertaining spectacle of a movie with all three writers Derrickson, Jon Spaihts and C. Robert Cargill share credit and even Dan Harmon who added some additional material in there as well.
FINAL VERDICT: Dr. Strange is another great addition to the MCU and for the 2nd movie of Phase III, it felt like the beginning of that phase since Civil War was more of a closer for Phase 2. The movie has a wide range of imagination and the visuals to match that and while the story treads familiar ground, it does change it up in some areas and still remains to be an entertaining and thrilling movie. It’s up there with the first Iron Man in terms of quality.
So how strange this rating is going to be?
And that ends another year of Marvel movies and yeah, both of them are great and watchable as usual.
I’m MAK2.0 aka The Blue Hybrid, and no, really, DON’T GET HIGH watching this!
DOCTOR STRANGE – courtesy of Marvel Studios / Walt Disney Motion Picture Studios