Dr. Strange Reviewed
Dr. Strange (2016) is Marvel having fun with their Universe, and it’s enjoyable. The only thing I have to complain about is Benedict Cumberbun’s accent. I think everything else is pretty acceptable. The action, the effects, the characters, and even the dialogue works pretty well for what this movie wants to do. Did you like it?
What does this movie want to do? This is not a deep, philosophical drama or even a whiz-bang action movie, but it’s somewhere in between. The good thing about Dr. Strange as a character is that you can really explore psychedelics or strange, mystic mysteries pulled from Marvel’s behind. It’s a wide-open arena, not governed by more realistics like those used by Captain America or SHIELD. Dr. Strange explores some of that, but I’d say that they don’t go far enough with the crazy psychedelics, as in Steve Dikto’s art. There is one scene where Cumberbun as Dr. Strange flies through the multiverse and the endless complications therein, which was great visually.
The characters in this movie are decent and have their moments. Even Wong, who was only a servant in the comics, gets a promotion to librarian and mystic defender. I liked that. I was kinda confused about Mordo, who is made into a nice guy and a likeable character, when he’s supposed to be Strange’s biggest rival. At first, I thought they were going for that when Mordo and Strange were practicing against each other, but that dynamic was quickly dropped. On the plus side, I like the extras they added to The Ancient One’s background. Her character is good.
The effects are great. I like how magic is shown in the movie, and I’m guessing that they thought long and hard about how to show “magic” visually on the big screen. The mystics arts are more abstract than Captain America throwing his shield or Tony Stark shooting lasers, which I’m glad they pulled off. I thought even the ending worked, which is probably the most criticized scene in the movie. I will say that Dormammu’s appearance was a little quick and I would have liked to see him be the massive villain for the movie, not some other guy I’ve never heard of played by Mads Mikkelson.
Overall, this is a decent movie. I still think Iron Man or Iron Man 2 are better movies, and Captain America: The Winter Soldier wins in the action or political arena, but Dr. Strange is adventurous and fun. Cumberbun does some good work and his performance is good but his American accent is annoying. Unlike some other critics, I think Rachel McAdams as Christine wasn’t wasted and isn’t one-dimensional. She has an arc with Strange that works. The one-dimensional character is the villain. The rest of the movie more than makes up for that though, as a light and fun adventure. I love Dr. Strange as a character and am willing to accept this movie as a first go at an awesome franchise.