There Is A New Wizard In Town

October 26th, 2016

Yesterday night I had the opportunity to go and watch a preview screening of Doctor Strange, the latest entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. As always, I have some thoughts.

First of all, let me start by saying that I personally knew who Strange was in the Marvel comic universe, but I’ve never read too many of his stories. I went into the cinema with an open mind and before entering I decided to forget everything I thought I knew.

Having said that, I’ve found the movie overall very enjoyable, especially if you consider that this movie is an origin story, and we all know how bad those can be.

The pace of the first half is quite good and it allow the viewer to get comfortable with who Strange is and especially how is mind and ego work together. This is especially important to then understand the transformation he’s going to go through later on in the movie.

Speaking of transformation, I absolutely loved how Cumberbatch portrayed Strange. Of all the Avengers, he is definitely the one as actor that looks almost identical to his paper doppelgänger. Being an MCU entry, attention to details for the costume is a given and once again the wardrobe department doesn’t disappoint. Strange’s Cloak of Levitation perfectly conveys the essence of this character and despite being mostly made in CGI, the few scenes where it’s real are an examples of how this movie succeed on its attention to details.

Now to the lesser good part of the movie. I didn’t find the enemy particularly threatening in this movie. I almost feel it wasn’t needed at all, or at least it doesn’t add too much on the whole narrative. The reason why it’s needed is to transform the Doctor into an Avenger, rather than being just a selfish man on a personal quest. The only reason why Strange gets into the Mystic Arts is to heal his own body and not to save the Universe from the Dark Dimension. Every hero needs a kick in the beginning to realise their powers should be used for the greater good, but of all the kicks seen so far, this was probably the weaker of all.

Also, I think the movie doesn’t really use Kaecilius (Strange Nemesis in the comic) and Mads Mikkelsen performance to great effect. He’s supposedly the bad guy, but he’s also a very forgettable bad guy. So much so that I don’t even think he’s the real intended baddie here1. He as Strange gets trapped in a bigger world, but unlike the Doctor he’s not able to use it to his advantage.

Few final honourable mentions.

  1. Tilda Swinton does a great job portraying the controversy of being The Ancient One. Great delivery on all her lines, making for a perfect spiritual guide for Strange.
  2. Chiwetel Ejiofor’s Mordo doesn’t get too much love throughout the movie, always being shown as “The Weird One”, only to reveal his true nature at the very last second, giving more meaning to the overall performance.
  3. The writers on the movie. Dialogues are great and being a MCU movie there’s always a underlying level of light comedy that contributes to the tone and pace of the movie to great effect. Also, this does differentiate a bit the Doctor Strange movie character from his comic book cousin, being more lighthearted and less of a a*****e.
  4. The CGI, used here to great effect, it’s not overwhelming but actually enhance the Mystical Arts and makes you trip quite hard.

All in all a very enjoyable movie, which add another great Avenger to the roster. The Infinity War is going to be so awesome.

Now…If only I could learn to refill my drinks so easily…

  1. Remember not to leave your seat until the lights turn on in the cinema if you want to test my theory.