MOVIE THEATER REVIEW: A week back, I saw “Doctor Strange,” which stars Benedict Cumberbatch (Star Trek Into Darkness, The Imitation Game), Chiwetel Ejiofer (12 Years a Slave, Z for Zechariah), Tilda Swinton (Snowpiercer, Moonrise Kingdom), Mads Mikkelsen (Hannibal [TV series], Casino Royale), Rachel McAdams (Midnight in Paris, Mean Girls), Benedict Wong (The Martian, Prometheus), and Stan Lee (The Avengers, Spider-Man ). It is directed by Scott Derickson (The Day the Earth Stood Still , Sinister), who also wrote it with John Spaihts (The Darkest Hour, Prometheus) and C. Robert Cargill (Sinister, Sinister 2). Dr. Stephen Strange (Cumberbatch), a neurosurgeon, is on top of the game as usual; that is, until a car accident permanently ruins his hands, forcing him out of his job and passion. Seeking help, he stumbles upon a new realm of wonders, where magic and fierce mentality are used as weapons against foes of mystical arts.
It took a long time, but I finally got out to see “Doctor Strange.” To me, a lot was riding on this picture: stellar cast, sci-fi story (separate from typical superheroes), and beautiful visuals. I hoped that this would live up to expectations, and while it did in some aspects, I was let down by the overall product. Mind you, I gave this film a really good score. There’s no doubt that this movie is amazing to watch. The cinematography, visuals, and actions scenes are by far the best Marvel has offered to date. I was both blown away and tripped out in viewing this, and I loved every minute of it. I just wish that it met my expectations in terms of the story, and I’ll explain my concerns. This is essentially your Iron Man tale. Rich, arrogant guy gets turned around when he discovers a new realm to his profession. Tony’s was weaponry, Strange’s was medical/psychological. “Iron Man” was performed better than this release, however, because I grew more attached to Tony than I did Stephen. Benedict Cumberbatch was great in the role; I’m surprised he actually signed on because of his professionalism with cinema (not that we shouldn’t take films like these seriously). In fact, everyone did a good job in their roles. It’s just that the character development was rushed, and there wasn’t enough meat to Strange to really sink into. I understood what he was going for, and loved watching him fight, but there wasn’t as much emotion going into him as I wanted. His transition from doctor to sorcerer lasted about twenty minutes, which is understandable since the essence of this release is in his growing of powers, but it didn’t help the character development either. Looking at the plot from afar, there are many scenes that are good; actually, I enjoyed many moments. The comedy wasn’t as strong as the writers let on, but I still had some good laughs. The problem solely relies in the fact that this film needed more exposition and time to flesh out characters. It’s an awesome movie to sit back with friends and bask in the aesthetics, but there isn’t much to invest in when it comes to a superhero film. Switching over to pros, I mentioned them early on. Honestly, I’d recommend you to go just to see the visual effects alone. The digital arts department outdid themselves and they should be proud. How they used this in the action sequences was terrific, and I had a real blast. The whole concept and world of Doctor Strange is intriguing, and I loved seeing him work in that sanctuary. The costuming and design of that setting as well as others were top-notch. As you can tell, this is a movie worth looking at. You’ll have fun no matter how you view the story, and I was generally pleased with the results. If only the writers took more time to meticulously craft this story, I’d give it a more perfect score. FINAL SCORE: 88%= Juicy Popcorn
Here is the trailer: