Monday, March 6, 2017

Short Attention Span Review: Doctor Strange (2016)

Short Attention Span Review: Doctor Strange (2016)

As an avid fan of the character, it may be a bit of a surprise that it took this long for me to finally sit down with Doctor Strange, but I have five children and movie tickets are expensive.  Anyhow, I recently viewed Marvel's latest blockbuster, and I must say that I was thoroughly impressed.  In all honesty, while I'm a big fan of the character, this was a situation where I wondered how well the property would translate to the screen.  Of course, I felt the same way about Guardians of the Galaxy and we all know how that turned out--and I guess maybe I should stop worrying about them fouling Iron Fist up.  While I may have wanted a to see a bit more horror in the proceedings, particularly with Scott Derrickson serving as director, I can't complain about the final product.  Doctor Strange may not be a classic, but it is a polished feature film with a wealth of excitement and an ever greater array of impressive special effects.  The characters were well-drawn, the plot delivered far more action than we often see in a typical origin tale, and the picture seems to fit nicely within the Marvel cinematic universe.  Benedict Cumberbatch was a fine choice for the title role, deftly portraying the arrogance, the vanity, and the expertise that make this hero so prickly yet remarkable.  Bonus points: the costume is positively magnificent and the Cloak of Levitation may have stolen a few scenes along the way.  Tilda Swinton was a nifty choice for the part of Strange's mentor, the Ancient One, and Mads Mikkelson oozed menace as the villain.  Casting the versatile Chiwetel Ejiofor as Mordo was another inspired choice, and his role in the franchise could yield some monumental storylines moving forward.  No, this one wasn't on the same level as Guardians of the Galaxy or Captain America: Civil War (or Captain America: The Winter Soldier), but it was a rock solid beginning for a kooky character who brings something decidedly different to Marvel's wildly successful cinematic landscape.

Final Grade: B+

I don't really have any complaints about Doctor Strange, but I would single out star Benedict Cumberbatch and the mind-boggling special effects as the biggest keys to its success.

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