Movie Review: Doctor Strange – NO SPOILERS

Now I’m not the biggest Doctor Strange fan by any stretch. Even among the Marvel fanbase, he’s not huge front line wise compared to say the X-Men, Spidey, and the Avengers. However my limited knowledge of the character was enough for me to walk into this movie excited. How was it? Well, it was pretty good. But it didn’t wow me the way I had hoped. Not too long ago, Marvel made Ant Man, and Guardians of the Galaxy work on screen. Trying to ground everything in realism for Phase 1 to talking raccoons into the later Phases of Marvel, it was always going to be interesting how they would bring the Sorcerer Supreme to life.

Starting with Benedict Cumberbatch as Doctor Strange, I was actually quite pleasantly surprised with how much I liked him as a character. I did go in a bit worried that I’d be taken out of the movie because all I’d be seeing was Sherlock on drugs. But instead I was presented with an updated Stephen Strange. Though at times, he was almost bordering on Tony Stark lite. Here’s hoping for a Mustache Bros high five later on. The decision to make Baron Mordo a secondary protagonist as opposed to his arch villain from the comics was also quite interesting. The story of Strange and Mordo works well enough that the conflict suddenly becomes more personal if and when Mordo shows up and turns bad like he does in the comics. The Ancient One worked quite well, and the slight tweak to the story we all know was welcome enough that I could see it eventually driving a wedge between Strange and Mordo. As for our main villain, typical Marvel bad guy, it’s especially difficult when with any Marvel movie, most tend to measure any antagonist against Loki.

With regards to the story, not much else to say except for the fact that it really is a standard Marvel Origin story, but with Magic. I will however say that there were times I felt that the jokes were getting to be a bit too much. Having said that, it was no where near the level of over the top one liners that we got in Age of Ultron. The magic and spells were great and while they still leaned towards a science and magic approach like Thor, it was still great once the actual fighting happened. And rather than the old traditional Magic battles that you would think of,like in Harry Potter for example, here, we’re effectively getting Kung Fu Magic. My own personal take, this is how the action in M. Night Shyamalan’s The Last Airbender should have been.

Overall, the movie works as it is, but it’s not going to be at the top of my Marvel list. However, when the top of the list of favorite Marvel movies is The Winter Solider, it’s actually not too bad. It’s still miles ahead of Iron Man 3. The characters are likeable, and there is, as always room for a sequel. This may have also detracted from it a bit, because of the need to keep sequels open. Having said that, it’s still a very enjoyable Marvel movie, and a good addition to the MCU as a whole.

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