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Doctor Strange – I Need Mana!

MOVIE REVIEW – Marvel has been pretty grounded regarding hocus-pocus and curses. Every time there is something related to magic it gets explained as an overly complicated method of science. This grip on reality was kept up until Avengers 2: Age of Ultron where Wanda Maximoff had dimension bending powers, and mind control, so she was pretty close to being a sorceress. Marvel’s reluctance to embrace fantasy (since Thor is half science) now ends with Doctor Strange. Interestingly this is the billionth Marvel movie, and it also serves as an origin movie for the character – who is played by Benedict Cumberbatch.

 

The film sets up the groundwork for much less realism for future Marvel films, and implements the elements of magic, and wonder for the universe.

Darkness, Sherlock, and Dormammu

Mr. Sherlock is living the high life, a prestigious doctor who is always looking for the next big patient to fix up. Always seeking a challenge, but also in a way emotionally cold towards his girlfriend. A perfect gentleman that are also professional in his work. Sadly this all goes to hell one day when he ends up in an accident that ruins his hands. After many months of searching, and using most of his funds, he travels to Kathmandu Nepal, where he meets the Ancient One, a being capable of restoring his hands. However Strange’s ego gets the better of him, and it takes a lot of convincing for the Ancient One to accept Strange into the Order.

The rest of the movie regarding plot is fairly average; we have our typical bad guy aka Mads Mikkelsen who plays Kaelicious a former student of the Ancient One. Plus the usual big bad that Strange has to defeat the Lord of Dark Dimension – Dormammu. It hits the usual beats of an origin story for the big screen. The suffering, training, struggle, and then ultimate victory over the big bad. The one significant departure from the usual Marvel movies is the very end, that is (without any spoilers) is done in a clever way that breaks the mold of the typical Good Guy vs. Epic Boss.

The best way I could describe this story is Iron Man with magic spells. This sounds great at first, but sadly I found the spells used in the movie to be limited. Doctor Strange is a weird movie, as it dances around being an origin film, but also establishing magic in Marvel’s world. It does the origin part well, but I felt the magic lackluster Sure Strange, and most of the other characters are sorcerers, but that boils down to summoning weapons. What I sort of was expecting maybe a big “Kamehame” moment between the two main characters (Strange and Kaelicious). Instead, we get a fist fight and shield fight. Plus we get some effects from Nolan’s Inception movie when it comes to using the mirror world like a spell.

The movie looks gorgeous, and all of the effects look magnificent, and the trippy world of the Dark Dimension is something straight out of the comic books.  The set design is superb, and all of the scenes related to the mirror world are magnificent to look at. The spells are (while basic), do look good on the big screen, and the movie stays the hell of a lot colorful. My only gripe is that the soundtrack is really forgettable, and none of the tracks add to the movie.

I Summon Thee!

Still, in the end, Doctor Strange is a great movie, which while does nothing new regarding the Marvel Cinematic Universe is a fun movie to watch. The actors are great, and the movie is well shot, looking magnificent as it can be on the big screen. My two main gripes with the film is the above-mentioned soundtrack being forgettable, and how some of the jokes should not have been in certain tense scenes.

Still, it is probably 2016s most fun and trippy movie.

-Dante-

MOVIE REVIEW – Marvel has been pretty grounded regarding hocus-pocus and curses. Every time there is something related to magic it gets explained as an overly complicated method of science. This grip on reality was kept up until Avengers 2: Age of Ultron where Wanda Maximoff had dimension bending powers, and mind control, so she was pretty close to being a sorceress. Marvel’s reluctance to embrace fantasy (since Thor is half science) now ends with Doctor Strange. Interestingly this is the billionth Marvel movie, and it also serves as an origin movie for the character – who is played by…
A great movie, with the usual Marvel tropes, but it has its own signature style.

Doctor Strange

Directing - 8
Actors - 8.2
Story - 7.3
Visual World - 8.6
Ambiance - 8.6

8.1

EXCELLENT

A great movie, with the usual Marvel tropes, but it has its own signature style.

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