If you came here looking for a review that tore apart Doctor Strange and the Marvel MCU– you’ve unfortunately come to the wrong place. Many Doctor Strange reviews have shown that this is one of the better Marvel movies–and I tend to agree with that sentiment.
Marvel has done an incredible job of showing us characters that were not necessarily as well known to the common movie watcher like Guardians of the Galaxy. They’ve been very different compared to DC who is content with giving us only well known material like Batman and Superman. Marvel on the other hand takes these lesser known characters, makes them important to us and have consistently shown us the reason why they should be loved just as much as comic nerds have loved them for several years.
Doctor Strange is no different to this Marvel treatment that we’ve been receiving for years. For instance: they took an arrogant drunk and made him the most important character in the MCU (that being Tony Stark of course, AKA Iron Man). And they’ve done it again with Doctor Strange. While I do believe that they missed the mark on a couple things, Marvel once again has shown that even the most outlier of Heroes are still important and what they do means something to the universe. Now, I won’t be going very far deep into the MCU– just simply because going into politics about who owns what rights and other issues like that take away from this simple fact: Doctor Strange is a good movie and should be seen.
The movie starts out with trying to show us that this Stephen Strange (Played by Benedict Cumberbatch) is very similar to Tony Stark: He knows he’s the best and he wants to make sure everyone else knows this fact as well. Ironically, I don’t think they actually went as far as they should on that. Stephen Strange is an arrogant jerk and not setting that up to its fullest potential takes away from the fantastic redemption story that this movie actually is. Doctor Strange, like other Marvel movies shows us that Heroes can come from anyone: be it from arrogant jerks, to Boy Scouts, to Gods, to anything in between. Now, do I think that Doctor Strange is setting up for a “Marvel Illuminati” storyline (A group of high level marvel hero’s like Iron Man and Professor Ex that make major decisions involving world threatening beings.) like we had in the comics one can only guess. But what they did show us in this movie is that there’s more than just Science and the Gods of Asgard, they are showing that magic is a thing which brings together the universe so much more than it was before.
This review is here to tell you that if you want to see a very good superhero film that firmly puts its hand in something that you don’t see too often: Mysticism and Magic. Doctor Strange is the movie you should see, and luckily because this is Marvel we are talking about, we will most likely be seeing him in other movies if the odds are in our favor. Benedict Cumberbatch as the title character of Doctor Strange was a fantastic choice he portrays the arrogance that makes his redemption so much better. He also gives off the aura of power and shows his dominance in very subtle ways that we don’t notice at first. The supporting cast was excellent in setting up the story and why these people are important to us. From Rachel McAdams as Christine Palmer, the person who is used to really show us the depths of Cumberbatch’s arrogance…to Tilda Swinton taking on the role of The Ancient One (amid controversy of whitewashing a typically Asian male role) Stranges’ teacher of the mystical arts. Benedict Wong was great as a librarian who really is a great comic foil for Strange (and gets a slight upgrade from the comics where he is Strange’s manservant). Chiwetel Ejiofor was interesting as Baron Mordo…his arc is definitely just beginning. And I would be a fool to not mention Mads Mikkelsen and his performance as Kaecilius–the antagonist of the movie. They all round out the film quite well and make Doctor Strange an interesting movie.
I think there could have been a bit more pomp and circumstance involving the title of sorcerer supreme and how that relates to the overall universe but we can hope that is addressed later. The cinematography is used well to show the scope and power of this magic where it can bend worlds, move to and from other dimensions, control time or whatever that may be it shows that this is not just parlor tricks and birthday parties this shows that magic is a formidable force and that Doctor Strange is a force to be reckoned with and also in contention to be one of the more powerful beings in the Marvel Universe.
Overall whether you want Doctor Strange to stand alone or be a part of the MCU this movie shows that this character is worth knowing and will hopefully be around for a long time.