Directed By: Scott Derrikson
Starring: Benedict Cumberbatch, Mads Mikkelson, Chiwetel Ejiofor
Doctor Strange tells the origin story of one Stephen Strange a successful and brilliant surgeon who suffers seemingly irreversible damage to his hands after an accident. Desperate he travels around the world and winds up studying mystic arts with the Ancient One (Tilda Swinton) and generally on his way to superhero land.
Everything I had heard about the effects in this movie was true. They really are amazing. I made the point to see it in 3D and didn’t regret that at all. (I also liked the way they did the new Marvel Logo at the beginning of the movie.) The effects really make the movie for me.
Because the strange thing is even though this movie was good to even great (effects) I felt kind of disconnected from the whole thing. The cast is really good. I think Cumberbatch was a good choice to play Strange. He actually does make the character likable even though he’s also kind of an ass. There’s a mid-credit scene that makes me look forward to see how he’ll fit with the other Avengers.
It’s a top-notch cast overall. Mads Mikkelson as the villain definitely fares worst but at this point that’s not saying much for a Marvel movie. Rachel McAdams and Chiwetel Ejiofor, as love interest and friend of Strange, they’re really good but it’s more in terms of potential. They have a lot of potential with their characters and interactions with Stephen but I felt like it didn’t connect in this movie. Tilda Swinton probably got the best arc (that wasn’t Strange’s) as the Ancient One.
Besides the usual villain problems I felt like Doctor Strange was trying to hard to be funny and a lot of it fell flat for me. Not every superhero movie has to be so quippy. They could have dialed back the attempted humor. I also though the villains overwhelming plan was a bit of a mess but again I’m not sure any villain worked after Loki. (Even Thanos is bloody taking forever.)
So Doctor Strange works for the performances and the amazing special effects but otherwise it’s a pretty typical “origin” film. A whole lot of potential for the future but left me kind of cold in the end.
Recommend: Yes– for the special effects works alone.