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Doctor Strange

Updated on December 03, 2016
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Steven Escareno is an amateur film critic that writes about movies in his spare time.

Stevennix2001's Rating:

8 / 10

Pros:

  • Great art direction
  • Directing was great.
  • Acting was solid for the most part.
  • Jokes were funny.
  • Action scenes were unique, as it seemed reminiscent of the stuff you'd see in "Inception" or "The Matrix"
  • Cinematography was outstanding. Out of all the Marvel films ever made, this was probably the most beautifully shot film they ever produced. Everything from the camera angles, the wide angled shots and close ups were on point, and helped immerse you into this universe perfectly.
  • Visual effects were amazing. i cannot say enough about them.
  • Both end credit scenes set up the future movies nicely.
  • Although the movie is mostly an origin story about Doctor Strange, it also does a great job on adding to the lore and world of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
  • 3-D conversion was excellent. Definitely worth checking out in 3-D if you can afford it, or if you can handle that format.
  • Pacing was good. Although the film was a bit exposition heavy at times, it still flowed at a great pace.
  • Script was decent.
  • Sound effects were great.

Cons:

  • Very predictable and cliched story
  • Villains are a bit generic, and one dimensional. But then again, what can you expect out of a Marvel film at this point?
  • Some of the references (and the cameo in the end credit scene) may not make sense if you haven't seen most of the Marvel films up to this point.

Unlike Marvel's other films, this one will take you on one helluva an acid trip that you won't soon be forgetting.

"Doctor Strange" is certainly Marvel Studios' strangest movie to date. Bad puns aside for for minute. "Doctor Strange" is a great film as to be expected, so there's really no surprises there. Unlike the mixed bag of current of comic book films coming from Fox and Warner Bros. these days, Marvel studios can seemingly do no wrong among most people. Granted, there's been a few hiccups here and there, but nothing major to make audiences lose confidence in them.

While the story for "Doctor Strange" isn't anything amazing, it certainly delivers on it's promise to deliver something that audiences have never seen before from a comic book film. Granted, the film is basically an origin story as you'd expect. However, it also works well setting up the rest of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU for short).

The story involves a successful neurosurgeon by the name of Dr. Steven Strange (played by the talented Benedict Cumberbatch). Similar to Robert Downey Jr's Tony Stark, Dr. Strange starts off as a bit of an egotistical prick, who cares more about making money, and making a name for himself with his career, than he does about saving people's lives.

However, he gets into a tragic car accident that permanently screws up the veins in his hands. And since Steven is unwilling to become a consultant, and spends almost all his money trying to fix his hands so he can get his life back, he inevitably starts to go broke. Pushes the people that try to help him away, and he eventually starts to get desperate. However, he soon learns about a person called the Ancient One, who might be able to help him.

Upon meeting her, he naturally mocks her methods. Calling her methods of healing nothing more than a generic scam. But as she's quick to point out, sometimes things can be deceiving. After showing him a world of infinite possibilities, Dr. Strange begs the Ancient One to treat him, and train him in the mystical arts. And like the comic book, Dr. Strange picks up on the training rather quickly, as he ventures on his path to becoming the sorcerer supreme.

Like most Marvel films, it features a basic "good vs. evil" setup, with a lot of comedy and action mixed in between. The villains are a bit generic for the most part, as it stems from an all powerful baddie that simply yearns to take over the Earth, while manipulating others to join his cause with false promises of immortality. And if you're one of these Marvel fanboys that's more attracted to the "world building lore" aspects to these films, then have no fear, as they do introduce another infinity stone that'll inevitably lead up to the next "Avengers" film down the line.

Overall, "Dr. Strange" delivers everything that a fan could want. An interesting story, with some interesting characters. The humor compliments the action and serious undertones of the story quite nicely. Granted, the villains are a bit generic for my tastes, as it stems from them being the traditional boring, "I want to rule the world crap because I'm just evil" schtick. However, I've learned by now that most of these marvel movies tend to have generally weak villains that aren't written particularly well.

But apart from that minor detail, along with it being a bit predictable, the rest of the story is told quite nicely. Sure, you know what's going to happen at the end, but it's always been more about the journey itself, when it comes to these films.

As for the technical aspects to this movie, I have to say this film features some of the best visual effects that I've ever seen in a Marvel movie before. Seriously, if this movie doesn't win an Oscar for "Best Visual Effects" next year, then I don't know what the hell it'll take for Marvel to win an Oscar because they really out did themselves this time. In one particular scene, Dr. Strange is taken on a trip around the universe, after he questioned the Ancient One's methods of healing. It presented a strangely psychedelic type of experience that frankly whoever came up with the concept for that scene must've been a mad genius, as it was probably one of the most visually unique scenes that you'll ever find on the big screen.

Add in all the interesting camera angles and close up shots for the psychedelic scenes and action sequences, and you got yourself arguably one of the most visually interesting films ever made. In fact, this is probably one of the few Marvel films out there that truly looks amazing in 3-D.

However, one thing that intrigued me the most was how most of the fight scenes were choreographed. When I first heard about this film, I was curious on how they were going to do the action scenes considering that we've seen wizards fighting on the big screen before.

We've seen Gandalf fight in the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy, and we've seen Harry Potter using his magical skills as well. Therefore, when I heard about the "Doctor. Strange" movie, I was a bit curious on what Marvel was going to do to differentiate the style of Dr. Strange's fights from that of Gandalf's or Harry Potter's.

However, it seems like Marvel took a different approach than what I could've expected. Unlike Harry Potter, who often chants phrases to cast various spells, while occasionally relying on potions, Dr. Strange seems to rely mostly on physical attributes, where instead of using magical connotations to create energy blasts or whatever, he relies on his magic to conjure up mystical energy weapons to fight opponents. He can also change the setting of his surroundings to his advantage, but mostly his fights revolve around him dealing with physical combat. It's an interesting approach to be sure, and it definitely helps differentiate "Doctor Strange" from other franchises that feature magical wielding beings.

While I'm not going to say "Doctor Strange" is the best film that I've ever seen come out Marvel, but it definitely offers one of the visually unique experiences that you'll ever find on the big screen. It works great as a stand alone movie about a man going on a spiritual journey to become the hero he never thought he'd be, while also doing a great job at building upon the world that the MCU has set up for future stories for years to come.

Whether you're a Marvel fanboy or not, "Doctor Strange" is worth checking out if for no other reason than to see arguably one of the most visually interesting films ever made.

© 2016 Steven Escareno

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