Just got back from watching Doctor Strange and my mind is racing!
— Planet Nestor (@PlanetNestor) November 4, 2016
There really is a lot to process the first time you watch this movie. I’m sure I missed some subtle nuances that I often pick up from watching the MCU movies multiple times. This is another MCU movie I hope to see again. It really was enjoyable. I usually have a feel for what to expect from Marvel Studios and I usually love what they deliver. This is no exception. Marvel seems to excel with their “underdogs” so to speak, their lesser known characters. Maybe because they come with less expectations or maybe because they bring something new to the genre. Make no mistake, this movie deserves accolades for the visuals that are presented, but there really is more to the story, and that’s what I enjoyed about it. I was always intrigued by the idea that Steven Strange was an exceptional surgeon, and here it is firmly demonstrated. This is key to many of the themes presented. I was surprised at how emotional things got, especially as Steven becomes desperate after his accident.
There really is no way to review this film without touching on the cast, which has become a controversial topic for some. Having seen the final product, I do applaud the diversity presented and feel like most of the casting decisions were on point. Of course, Benedict Cumberbatch delivers as Doctor Strange, he handles the humor and pathos well and seems invested in the role, and that is something I appreciate. I was intrigued by Mordo being played by Chiwetel Ejiofor because he was an excellent villain in Serenity, but I enjoyed the fact that this Mordo was much more layered than his comic counterpart. Mads Mikkelsen does a decent job with his few moments as the heavy Kaecilius, I only blame limited screen time for the fact that we never truly got to understand his motivations. Rachel McAddams also does the best she can with limited screen time as Christine Palmer and is more grounded than I expected; I was hoping for some kind of Night Nurse easter egg! At least we have Claire Temple doing her part over in the Netflix MCU. The casting of Tilda Swinton is an unavoidable hot button for some and I understand why. Having said that, I knew that there was no way she was sticking around. She did a decent job with what she was tasked to do, but I knew ultimately they would expire her. I mean, if this version of the Ancient One is also the Sorcerer Supreme, then she’s gotta go if Doctor Strange takes on that mantle. Interesting that the Ancient One is a mantle as well as the Sorcerer Supreme. Wrap your brain around that! I was very excited to see Benjamin Bratt in this movie, again, small part but very meaningful and great performance. Of course, I saved my favorite character for last: Wong. As played by Benedict Wong, the MCU Wong is no man-servant or even a sidekick, he is a powerful and integral character and I am very excited to see him expand his role in Avengers: Infinity War.
Let’s take a moment to acknowledge the music. This was probably one of the best musical scores for any MCU movie, and Michael Giacchino did great work. Usually Marvel excells at their needle drops, but their scores may not be as memorable, this movie’s score was simply wonderful. I did enjoy the “Shining Star” needle drop which reminded me of the Punisher on season two of Daredevil, it was his favorite song to hear with his family. Maybe it is all connected after all?
As they have done in the past, Marvel Studios once again gives us an unlikely character we all fall in love with: we had Antony in Ant-Man, now we have The Cloak of Levitation which steals the show! Of course, expected bombshells drop as we discover the Eye of Agamotto is actually an Infinity Stone and we also were treated to two really good after credits scenes! The idea that now Doctor Strange has embraced becoming a hero and that he will rub elbows with the Avengers is very exciting!
I hope you enjoyed my quick info dump of thoughts about the Doctor Strange movie, and now we await the next theatrical MCU release: Guardians of the Galaxy: Volume 2.