Welcome to the family Doctor Strange! The 14th movie under the Marvel Studios banner is very much an origin story, and I couldn’t help myself but to compare it to other firsts like Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, and Ant-Man. It’s funny how easy it is to spot Marvel origin story formula, which they once again went with for Doctor Strange. That’s not entirely a bad thing, but I am holding my ultimate excitement for Doctor Strange until I see him on screen with The Avengers. Before we get there however we have to find out where Stephen Strange comes from and how he comes in touch with the mystical side of this universe. This is something that has yet to really be explored so far, so there’s no reason to look past this movie.
We don't know much about Doctor Strange, does this movie do a good job of filling us in?
As already mentioned, Marvel Studios has a formula they seem to use with every origin movie they make. Doctor Strange does not waver from that formula whatsoever and we get your basic A to Z story on how Doctor Strange became something more than just a doctor. We get the same jokes that are to be expected in a Marvel movie (some fall way short of being funny). The exciting and original part of this story comes with the magic, which was definitely the highlight of the movie.
Origin stories don't always make for the most amazing movies, what did they do to make it work or how did they miss the mark?
I know they’re connected but the origin of Stephen Strange is dominated by the non-magic side of his life. It’s great, he was a highly skilled surgeon, but I want to see some of this insane magic I’ve seen in the trailers. Most of the movie was lacking something, since as I already said, I’ve seen these origin movies done by Marvel already. It wasn’t until Strange got desperate and stumbled upon magic when the movie really turned into something special.
Is Benedict Cumberbatch a good Doctor Strange?
I’ll go with yes, and no. I had a really tough time with Stephen Strange before he learned the mystical arts. I somehow thought I was seeing some bizarro version of Tony Stark with the way they handled his personality, before he learned a ton about himself (and other dimensions). It’s an origin movie, so it’s going to have some yawn inducing moments, but once they got past the boring stuff Cumberbatch really filled out the Doctor Strange role.
We love a good bad guy here at the site, does Doctor Strange give us a new villain to hate on?
For story purposes, Dormammu as the main bad guy made sense. Since Kaecilius (the amazing Mads Mikkelsen) was really just his lackey, the villain quality falls a little short. Kaecilius and Strange put on some great action scenes together, but Dormammu was wrapped up really abruptly. This is the kind of stuff that can be explored in more Doctor Strange movies if they want to build on that, but for this movie the villains end up being a little forgettable.
How's the rest of the cast, anyone you want back for the sequel and who would you like to have seen added?
They put their own spin on a few of the characters, most noticeably Mordo, who I think could be a huge character in future Doctor Strange movies. I want more of Mordo and can’t wait to see what he can eventually become in this universe. As far as new characters, the sky's the limit on the number of alternate-dimension characters they can use to make things interesting and explore more of this magic they introduced. I definitely want to see more of the Cloak of Levitation, which probably deserves its own spinoff movie.
Speaking of sequels, do you want more Doctor Strange?
Yes and yes. I’d love to see Doctor Strange develop into Sorcerer Supreme in his own franchise. The thing that really gets me excited is seeing him a part of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, The Avengers. We get a little taste of it in this movie, but Strange is going to play a pivotal role in the Infinity War that is to come.
Do you want other movies in this new mystical side of Marvel?
Absolutely! They only touched the tip of the magic spectrum in this movie, and I would love to see so much more explored. Scarlet Witch uses magic, but has come off as just an ability so I'd love to see Doctor Strange and Scarlet Witch together and see what kind of magic can truly be explored. There's a ton of other magical characters from Marvel comics they can play around with but I suppose it always depends on who holds the rights to some of these character's movie rights.
The visuals gave us Inception flashbacks, how did it all turn out in the end?
I understand the comparison but Doctor Strange certainly did things that surpassed what Inception did. The visuals couldn’t have been any better in my opinion, and it should really be one of the main reasons that you go see this movie. I haven’t had this kind of an experience with a movie and its visuals in a long time.
Finally, was the movie any good?
It was a good movie. The comedy was flat for half of the movie, but I’m already looking forward to seeing Doctor Strange interacting with more characters (Avengers) within the MCU, already making this movie an afterthought to me. The magic was the best part of the movie, as well as those great visuals that I just talked about. Without that, this would just be a generic Marvel Studios origin story that could have fit any other character. It was a challenge to bring a weird character like Doctor Strange to the big screen, but they ended up being successful with this adaptation.
"It’s really tough for a Marvel origin movie to separate itself from others, luckily Doctor Strange had magic on his side, as well as some really strong visuals. They brought the Strange character onto the big screen, and made it work."
RELEASED: November 04, 2016 | WATCHED IN: Theater | FORMAT: Normal | RUNNING TIME: 1:55
STORY - 3/5
VISUALS - 5/5
FAITHFULNESS - 3/5
MAIN VILLAIN - 2/5
- The visuals are worth the price of admission.
- Doctor Strange’s future is going to be a lot of fun in the MCU.
- Another origin story following the Marvel Studios pattern.
- Cloak of Levitation was the funniest part of the movie.
- Good casting saves an almost forgettable villain.
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