Here are five thoughts I had after watching Doctor Strange. SPOILERS!
If I had to give one reason for someone to see this film it would be the visuals. Doctor Strange’s plot follows a pretty formulaic Marvel film, but these type of visuals are something we haven’t seen in a Marvel movie.
The film has an Inception type look to it, well actually times Inception by a 100 and you would have the visuals for Doctor Strange. For example, there are actually scenes where Stephan Strange is being ripped and dragged through time and space itself. A really unique looking film.
Benedict Cummberbatch is Likable but Doctor Strange Doesn’t Stand Out
I really enjoyed Bennedict Cummberbatch’s performance in the movie, but I don’t think I became a Doctor Strange fan walking out of the film. This is mostly because Doctor Strange’s personality is similar to other Marvel characters we have seen in the past, especially Tony Stark. The movie plays Doctor Strange as the likable jerk, but I wanted something a bit more distinct with his character. So even though his powers were very original, I needed his personality to be more distinct.
The Cliché of Marvel Girlfriends
This is one of my biggest problems with not only Doctor Strange, but Marvel movies as a whole the trope/cliché of Marvel girlfriends. The reason I have such a problem with this cliché is because of the lack of strong female representation in Marvel movies as a whole. Female Marvel heroes just haven’t gotten the necessary screen time or character development in Marvel’s films. The Marvel girlfriends seem to get the most screen time, but are mostly used as plot devices. The only character I can exclude from this category is Pepper Potts, and in my opinion she is the strongest MCU female movie character that we’ve received.
Doctor Strange sadly continues the trope of the Marvel girlfriend being used as a plot device. Rachel McAdams brings personality to Doctor Palmer, but in the end she’s only there to ground Doctor Strange’s story. She doesn’t even have a satisfying ending in the movie. The last time we see her is when Doctor Strange runs off to battle. She’s not included in the epilogue, even though she seemed like a pretty important character. It would have been nice to see where her character ended up after seeing the world of magic.
Even though I feel Doctor Strange brought a lot of personality to their cast of characters, sadly this didn’t translate to the movie’s cast of villains. Mads Mikkelson plays the villain with the most screen time, Kaecilius. We get a bit of background about the character that never pays off in the end of the movie. The character is set up to be more important than the role he actually plays in the film. Kaecilius is a minion for the main villain Dormammu, a cosmic villain from the Dark Dimension. Dormammu plays a very similar role to Thanos in the Guardians of the Galaxy movie, but at least in this movie Doctor Strange and Dormammu fight. Dormammu is hyped up to be a great and powerful villain, but the third act of the film doesn’t convince me that he is this juggernaut villain that he was hyped up to be.
Supporting Characters Have Potential
The supporting characters of Wong, The Ancient One, and Mordo surprised me in this film. Wong, probably the least developed, still was a fun character. Benedict Wong and Bennedict Cummberbatch had great chemistry, and it makes me excited to see their future interactions.
The Ancient One next to Doctor Strange was the most developed character, and it felt like she had a full story arc. The character was painted as a teacher with flaws, which I really enjoyed. She could have easily been used as a plot device to just teach Doctor Strange about his abilities, but instead she gets a full story where we learn more about her character. The audience has a reason to care when she moves on from being the Sorcerer Supreme.
Mordo has a lot of potential as a character. He was a little bland in the film until the last act, but I hope and believe that his next appearance in the MCU will explain his motives more. It looks like they may be setting him up as the next major villain for Doctor Strange.
Overall, I’m happy I saw Doctor Strange. I think it’s a movie worth watching for the visuals alone, but this movie also highlights some flaws Marvel has had with their past films.
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