A Marvel Cinematic Universe movie starring my favorite actor? Sold!
Yes, it’s finally time to review my most anticipated film of the year, Doctor Strange. So how does the origins of the Sorcerer Supreme hold up?
Well, let’s get some negatives out of the way first. Firstly, the music. The score was done by Michael Giacchino, who’s done the music for several Pixar movies, Lost, the first 2 JJ Abrams Star Trek movies and he recently revealed that he’ll be doing the score for Spider-Man: Homecoming. The score for Doctor Strange isn’t bad by any means, but here’s the problem. If you listen closely, a lot of the music sounds suspiciously similar to his score for the Star Trek movies. This is a slight spoiler but I’ll keep detail to a minimum. There’s a scene where Stephen falls and something saves him and when he comes back up, there’s this big swell in the music. Now before or after you see the movie, look up the scene from the first Abrams Star Trek movie where the Enterprise emerges from the rings of Saturn and tell me if they sound similar in anyway.
The other major issue I have regards the design for one of the villains because the way he looks is an extreme redesign from what he looks like in the comics. I get that things have to be changed sometimes and I can kind of understand why they did. But still, I was really disappointed because this character has a really cool design in the comics.
Now onto the good and My Word! Where do I begin? The visual effects in this movie are incredible. This is what really makes the film stand out from other superhero films. It’s so surreal yet so creative. This also makes for some really cool action sequences. They can be a bit tricky to follow but in a strange way(no pun intended), it kinda makes sense. It is reality itself being literally bent to the characters wills. The New York chase sequence is probably one of my favorite battles in a superhero movie ever.
While the story is yet another origin story, does it really matter if we get another one as long as there’s enough new elements to make things interesting? No one complained about Deadpool showing the characters origin. Despite all the other things people complained about with Batman v Superman, I didn’t see anyone complain about seeing Bruce Wayne’s parents die again and that’s something we’ve seen a thousand times. Marvel Phase 3 is introducing several new characters that haven’t had a cinematic debut before, so do you really want all the new characters to just show up already with their powers and everything and they’re backstories just explained in exposition or something? The key to properly reusing a formulaic story structure is adding enough new elements that haven’t been used by other stories that use the formula and/or mixing it up in a way that’s never been seen before. But I digress. To put it simply, it’s not what you use that matters. It’s how you use it.
Now onto the characters. Do I even need to say Cumberbatch is awesome in this seeing as he’s awesome in pretty much anything? He just has such a strong onscreen presence. Even in the scenes where he’s playing the egotistical doctor who’s only in it for the money, you just can’t help but find him charismatic and charming.
While her role in the film was a little too downplayed for my taste, especially given how much of rise in the number of strong female leads there has been in media, I thought Rachel McAdams character brought a lot of heart to the movie and I thought she and Cumberbatch had great chemistry. It’s not quite as good as Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone’s chemistry in The Amazing Spider-Man or Ryan Reynolds and Morena Boccerin’s in Deadpool, but it’s definitely one of the better ones among other romances in superhero movies. And her reactions to all the magical stuff is just hilarious.
I actually really enjoyed Mads Mikkelsen as Kaecilius. While he’s not quite up there with Loki, Ultron or any of the Netflix series villains, he’s definitely one of the better MCU villains. It’s hard to say why I think that. Best way I can think to describe it is to say I felt he was a bit more complex that some of the others we’ve gotten in the MCU.
Tilda Swinton was fantastic as the Ancient One. You can’t go wrong with Chitwetel Ejiofor. Benedict Wong was fun. The whole cast is great.
This is probably my favorite standalone Marvel film. And I don’t count Civil War because of how big a cast that had. It has great acting, action, comedy, and visual effects. If this doesn’t get an Oscar nomination for the effects, something’s wrong. Doctor Strange is a ton of fun and gets 4.75 out of 5 Sling Rings.
Next time, it’s time for my first Review Retrospective of 2017 with the xXx Trilogy.