Marvel – Still Alive and Kicking
Let’s jump right to it. This is a Marvel movie. Sure, they are as common as Mars bars at the minute but god damn if they aren’t as delicious as those Lindor truffles!
I say it in almost every Marvel review but the foresight of Marvel studios is astonishing. Building out the wider Marvel universe is one thing but the real magic is keeping viewer fatigue at bay especially since doctors orders was to take 1-2 films, twice a year for 10 whole years!!
Charlie Sheen might disagree but you can have too much of a good thing!
However, by drip feeding us new characters like Black Panther and changing the style of films with Captain America being more of a drama and then along comes Ant-Man as a comedy crime caper.
So where does the Sorcerer Supreme fit in?
Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) is a rockstar doctor who can do no wrong but after being involved in a horrific accident he has to look for unconventional healing methods after western medicine fails him. It’s here in this quest that he finds The Ancient One (Tilda Swinton) who introduces him to, essentially, a new way of living.
If you strip back all the mysticism and Inception style visuals you are left with a film that is incredibly similar to Iron Man.
I really wish the structure and character journey could live up to the name the doctor’s last name and taken us to mind bending places but that’s not the case. It is another Superhero film, but it’s an excellent one!
Doctor Strange, without question, packs in the greatest acting talent ever assembled in a Marvel film and because of this we are treated to some of the best performances in a Marvel movie accompanied by some of the hardest god damn names to write correctly.
Obviously Benedict Cumberbatch as Doctor Strange and Chiwetel Ejiofor as Mordo are both excellent but the supporting cast are just as excellent – if not better. Benedict Wong as err… Wong… is brilliantly placed as the hilariously humourless head of the Hong Kong sanctum whilst Mads Mikkelsen as Kaecilius is instantly one of the Marvel’s best enemies if slightly underutilised.
In my eyes though it’s all about the ladies. Tilda Swinton as the Ancient One was endearing, creepy, captivating and untrustworthy all at the same time. It’s another perfect piece of casting. There has been a lot of negativity over Rachel McAdams’ role as Christine Palmer and yeah, absolutely, more could’ve been done but at the same time she represents the viewer in being on the fringes of an unknown world where things don’t quite make sense.
I’ve neglected the real star of the film though: THAT CLOAK!
Oh man. I have never wanted a cape/cloak more than after watching the film. I won’t say anymore for fear of spoilers but I want one, I want one, I want one.
You should probably also give this a watch for some really interesting CGI. Doctor Strange really packs it in. Freezing time, rewinding time, one-take teleports, kaleidoscope visuals all take second place to a fight scene with Kaecilius that is like watching an M C Escher painting come to life.
It’s a shame that Dormammu was probably the worst of the film’s CGI repertoire because if you Google him he looks like a cool flaming head hell beast but in the film he’s mostly a disembodied cloud with glowy eyes.
I would fully understand if you thought this was a 3 star film but to me it still felt fresh, it was funnier than I was expecting and with such a good cast I think it’s up there with Marvel’s best.
The Good, The Bad and The Outcome:
+ New Cape-abilities
+ Excellent supporting cast
+ Interesting CGI
– Strange Iron Doctor Man
– Rachel McUnderutilised