While waiting for the post-credit scene in Doctor Strange, I started mumbling to myself. I didn’t realize I was doing this until my friend asked what was wrong. I said that I was going to have to re-evaluate my list of favorite Marvel films. The Captain America trilogy(?) occupy the first three spots, and everything after that depends on what day it is.
I try not to overreact or go into a hyperbolic fit upon my first viewing of a movie, but sometimes–as with The Dark Knight–it happens. Thankfully, my opinion of that movie hasn’t changed. My fear is that with Doctor Strange, I was geeking out over the special effects and 3D, and future viewings will alter my perception. So to speak.
As a rule, I don’t care for 3D. I saw the second Hobbit movie and X-Men: Days of Future Past in 3D, and other than Hobbits in barrels and Quicksilver in the prison kitchen, I couldn’t see what all the fuss was about. Doctor Strange is not wall to wall 3D goodness, but it is used to good effect early and often. Thanfully, there is more to Doctor Strange than just pretty pictures.
Dr. Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) is an arrogant so and so, who performs surgeries that other doctors say can’t be done. After a car crash, Strange’s hands are so damaged, he can barely write, much less operate. He spends his last dollar traveling to Tibet after hearing how a paraplegic (Benjamin Bratt) was healed while there.
That’s where Strange meets The Ancient One (Tilda Swinton) and Karl Mordo, (Chiwetel Ejiofor) who reluctantly agree to take him in. They’re reluctant because a former student, Kaecilius, (Mads Mikkelsen) just went Kylo Ren on them.
If I had to nitpick one thing about the movie, it would be that at times it was too funny; which is different from trying too hard to be funny. The jokes were successful, but occasionally unnecessary. Doctor Strange is Marvel’s biggest gamble since Guardians of the Galaxy, but that doesn’t mean that they should repeat the formula. Speaking of which, the character Wong, (Benedict Wong) while vastly improved from the comics, now (in a way) reminds me of Drax.
I don’t know if Marvel didn’t trust the script, the audience, or both. I won’t spoil anything for you, but there is a dramatic scene near the mid-point which was undercut by a comedic “button;” and that’s a shame. Some of the other bits wouldn’t have been out of place in a Harry Potter movie, but feel tacked on here.
Back to the positives: Dr. Christine Palmer (Rachel McAdams) is a well acted and written character, who is not the love interest, which is a refreshing change for movies in general. Hopefully, Marvel will know how to integrate Dr. Palmer in future movies. Unlike some other characters.
I had a wonderful experience watching Doctor Strange in 3D, but it’s not going to be a regular thing. Of all the trailers prior to the film, only a few felt 3D-worthy. I love Star Wars as much as the next person, but I want to see Rogue One in good old-fashioned 2D. I wouldn’t mind viewing Valarian in 3D, because Cara Delevingne’s eyebrows.