movie-review-doctor-strangeDisney / Marvel
2016
PG-13

“You’ll die defending this world, Mister…”
“Doctor.”
“Mister Doctor?”
“It’s Strange!”
“Maybe, who am I to judge?”

Dr. Stephen Strange, a young, arrogant surgeon with a promising career, loses his ability to operate after a terrible accident. Despondent and suicidal, Dr. Strange seeks advice from a mystical being knowing as the Ancient One and learns that he is the newly designated Sorcerer Supreme, responsible for protecting the planet from evil. With his girlfriend Clea and his loyal assistant Wong in tow, Strange sets out to fulfill his destiny.

So, here we have the final Marvel movie of 2016, and it’s another origin story of another Marvel character that I never really bothered to check out back in my comic book geek days. Truth be told, I was very much “meh” about watching this particular entry in the overall Marvel Cinematic Universe that I would have been more than happy waiting to watch it when it got released onto DVD. But, certain members of the Exalted Geeks felt that I should tag along and watch as a group whole the weekend of its release, going so far as to secure the reservation at the theater we were going to watch it at. That, and we normally record a podcast about it, and I had the recording equipment.

So, I watched it. And, it wasn’t that bad, really. I didn’t think it was going to be bad; like with Ant Man and Guardians Of The Galaxy, I didn’t think I would be as entertained as I was due to the lack of interest in the source material themselves. And once again, I was proven wrong. I sense a pattern, here.

Doctor Strange is the story of Benedict Cumberbatch effecting an American Accent and playing an extremely talented and successful neurosurgeon with the narcissistic ego to match. He gets into a car accident which injures his hands beyond complete repair, which sends him into a downward spiral and spending everything he has to find a way to bring his precious hands back. This leads him to Kathmandu (don’t hold your breath waiting for a Bob Segar joke, turns out the movie already makes one of those), where a mystic known only as the Ancient One reluctantly takes him in and begins teaching him the ways of inner healing…along with a bunch of trippy Hogwarts For Adults kind of things. Which all come in handy when some followers of a dark and powerful entity called Dormammu show up to destroy the three Sanctums and summon their master to this reality to cause darkness and chaos. Armed with his burgeoning abilities, along with the Cloak of Levitation and the Eye of Agamotto (Mister Roboto, domo), Doctor Strange must team up with the remaining slingers of the mystic forces and prevent Dormammu from coming in and messing with the Earth’s feng shui.

Doctor Strange can be boiled down as a mash-up of those Shaolin Kung-Fu movies with Harry Potter. Entertaining, yes; a nice mix of action and humor for balance, and some fantastic effects, especially with the first mystical trip-out scene. Ultimately, this is an origins movie, so the story is pretty straight-forward and not mixed in with the rest of the Marvel continuity as of yet. But, you get some glimpses of possible future usage of the future Sorcerer Supreme in the overall scheme. Most of the characters also have a kind of nuanced depth to their setup, which keeps them from being your standard “Good Vs. Evil” black and white hero story. Something they seemed to forget to do with Kaecilius, though it didn’t really hurt the overall dynamic.

In the end, Doctor Strange did turn out to be a good movie, entertaining and up to the standard Marvel Movie quality. Try and see this one in the theaters for the effects are gorgeous. Other than that, like Ant Man, I don’t really see myself seeing it more than once on the big screen.

Advertisements