(SPOILER WARNING!!! This article does contain spoilers, if you haven’t seen the movie, just see the first paragraph to be informed without spoilers!!!)
(Editor’s Note: To all my fellow comic book and fanboy nerds and geeks: Check out this podcast (I was a guest on an episode), called Certain Point of View. I enjoy listening to these guys banter on everything in the world of fanboys and nerds. The review on Doctor Strange will come in a future podcast, but until then you can hear episodes on Luke Cage, Star Wars, and Suicide Squad. Go to certainpov.com, and make sure to subscribe, rate, and review the podcast. Who knows, you may win a prize if you do!!!)
Doctor Strange has some of the best CGI in a comic book movie that I’ve seen in a while. It shows that the Marvel Cinematic Universe can bring something new to the table and not disappoint!!!
Rating: 4.5 Stars
The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) is bringing in a new character that is completely different than from the normal heroes they have brought out so far, Doctor Strange. My knowledge of this hero is not all that great, but what I do know is that he has magical powers and can manipulate other dimensions. One way to put it, he is the Harry Potter of the MCU with wizards and sorcerers saving the day. Not only that, his story will really expand the world of the MCU with other dimensions that leads to other worlds. I knew this film will bring a different aspect of superhero movies, and give it a breath of fresh air. Man, was I right.
What I Like: The CGI for a lot of the action scenes were some of the best special effects for a comic book movie I have ever seen since Guardians of the Galaxy. It was like the MCU and Inception had a baby and created Doctor Strange. In an early scene where Dr. Stephen Strange, played by Benedict Cumberbatch, started tumbling through other dimensions, the special effects were so trippy that I thought I took some acid before watching this film (maybe the director was and that’s why its awesome (don’t do drugs kids)). Some of the action scenes were mind blowing. Just think of the Harry Potter movies, but on big time steroids. How all of the regular things in the city of New York just bend and create crazy shapes and views that will keep your brain guessing what the heck is going on. Director Scott Derrickson, who is known for horror movies, did a tremendous job in making a unique superhero movie that people have not seen before and we all can enjoy. What was surprising about this film was how hilarious it was. I haven’t laughed so much in a comic book film since Guardians of the Galaxy. From some of the funny one-liners to seeing Dr. Strange sneaking into a library with portals to steal books, to seeing the Cape of Levitation controlling Dr. Strange and beating up on villains. It was funny visually which I did not expect whatsoever, and made me enjoy it so much. The acting was pretty good too, which is expected with its solid cast. Cumberbatch playing Dr. Strange was great and really captured his intelligence and ego. He’s definitely tamer than Tony Stark, but has some humility as he actually cares about doing the right thing and using his intelligence wisely. I also enjoyed seeing Chiwetel Ejiofor as Baron Mordo, where he played a mentor to Dr. Strange, and how he slowly becomes the villain because of his values and ethics using mystic powers and staying within the “natural law.” I also enjoyed Benedict Wong as Wong, who provides comic relief and information in his relationship with Dr. Strange. I did enjoy Tilda Swinton as The Ancient One. She was the person that trained Doctor Strange, and pushed his limits to show his true potential. I liked what she stood for in protecting her dimension, and taking the risks necessary to do what is right. Her death passes the baton for Dr. Strange to be the protector, and do what is right for the world. I enjoyed the ties it brought in for the MCU, like the after credits scene where Thor, played by Chris Hemsworth, cameos and sets up for Thor: Ragnarok. Also a scene with Baron Mordo turned to the dark side setting up for potential sequels. Last, it introduced another Infinity Stone setting up for Avengers: Infinity Wars with the Eye of Agamoto. I enjoyed the scene where Dr. Strange utilized the stone to outsmart Dormammu, voiced by Cumberbatch, by creating a time loop, which was hilarious, and preventing a big catastrophe by making a deal with him. I can’t wait to see more of Dormammu in future movies.
The So So: The MCU tends to have weak villains which I have mixed feelings about. The main villain was Kaecilius, played by Mads Mikkelsen. He was a former student of The Ancient One but used his magic to free the dark lord of another dimension, Dormammu, to overtake the world. It is a typical motive for a villain, but it did pertain to the story and created some depth to the world of Dr. Strange. His fights scenes with Dr. Strange were fun to watch, but he definitely wasn’t a force to be reckoned with. Baron Zemo, played by Daniel Bruhl, was more interesting and smarter than him.
What I Didn’t Like: Maybe I’m being too nitpicky, but all the magic and mystic arts talk made me a little confused and lost. They try to explain everything, but the explanations happen so quick that I didn’t grasp all of it. Once they show it visually, it made me understand it better but that was only for a few tricks, not all.
Overall: This is not your typical comic book movie in the MCU. It is something completely different involving magic and sorcery that can be a breath of fresh air. It is a good origin story for Doctor Strange, and it gets me excited for what they have in the future for this superhero. It just proves that Marvel reigns supreme in the comic book movie genre this year, and looks like there is no sign of it slowing down anytime soon with Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 coming up next. Finally, it closes a good year of comic book movies on a great note, and looking forward to what next year will bring starting with the Logan movie. I can’t wait!!!
Rating: 4.5 Stars