Doctor Strange tells the story of a former neurosurgeon who embarks on a journey of healing only to be drawn into the world of the mystic arts.
Going into this film, I was always scared of all the “cumberbitches” running around, shooting down anyone who disliked the film because their person is the greatest thing to grace this planet and hyping it up more than necessary. Although this still remained partially true, I enjoyed the film knowing that there was a strong supporting cast surrounding Cumberbatch, whom I’ve slowly fallen out with over the years due to his fans and often disregard of his fans at countless premiere’s I’ve been too. His character had the sarcasm that reminded me of Tony Stark, though I personally believe Robert Downey Jr. has more of a comedic timing and natural comedic sense in the first place. There were moments that I chuckled to myself, usually at Rachel McAdams expense as she basically represented the audience in this mind-bending world and a few lines by the supporting cast poking fun at each other. It’s a shame that McAdams didn’t really become much use beyond the first act, though this is ashamedly understandable as there were apparently other things to focus on. The character of Doctor Strange is an interesting one, one that hasn’t been seen as of yet in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), and Marvel has definitely done a decent job in bringing his character to life from comic-book to screen.
I always had my hesitancies going into the film, especially with the surrounding white-washing of Tilda Swinton’s character (which was totally unnecessary by the way and could have easily been played by the person of colour it should’ve been played by). despite it not being the best, it’s definitely one of the better Marvel films amongst those like Ant-Man, the Hulk films, Iron Man 2 and 3, as well as all Avengers films. I know people may disagree with the films I’ve just listed as those that didn’t phase too well, but if you really look at them – they could’ve been so much better.
The script was decent and the tone of the film is always on point between the humour and seriousness. Doctor Strange succeeded with this, however the villains were seriously underwritten. The all imposing figure that Mikkelsen’s character supposedly serves doesn’t appear until the final moments, which is fine, but there’s hardly any tension or build up to that moment. He’s not scary and there doesn’t seem to be that much of an opposing threat. Even Mikkelsen’s Kaecilius lacked proper character background and development as well as very limited dialogue. This is truly a shame considering Mikkelsen is a fine actor who really has the chops to pull of something truly evil (see the show Hannibal or Casino Royale). It seems like the bad guys are just bad guys because they’re bad guys and Strange needs someone to fight against. This has always been one of the fault’s of the Marvel films – their bad guys aren’t quite right. There’s surely always something there but there’s always something off putting.
If you want a fun film where you know what to expect when compared to the studio’s previous films, Doctor Strange was for you. I really enjoyed myself though I didn’t exactly find myself totally invested in the film. Instead, I’ll happily look forward to the next Guardians, Cap, or Thor film (of which the latter looks like it’s going to be amazing if the short was anything to go by or the brilliant humour that director Taika Waititi is known for). Here’s to another Marvel film that showed it had potential instead of being a mess of special effects and bad story arcs. Yes, I’m looking at you Joss Whedon.