Wow, wow, wow.
I’m almost not even sure where to begin. There was so much incredible detail in this movie; I want to discuss it all but I’m sure no one wants to read a sixteen page essay on Doctor Strange.
Doctor Strange has Benedict Cumberbatch yet again playing a genius – but dare I say this one is perhaps his most human genius yet. (Which is odd considering he’s a sorcerer in this and in most of his other films he’s entirely human ) Stephen Strange is an asshole. And yet, we like him. He’s charismatic, but in a quieter way than say Tony Stark. He’s smart, and the best at what he does, and he knows he’s the best at what he does. He’s wealthy, but he flaunts it in subtle ways like his drawer of watches (and some not so subtle ways, such as his car.)
At least, until the accident.
I’ll leave it there in terms of plot. Benedict Cumberbatch absolutely carries this movie, and he does it seemingly effortlessly. I’ve been following his career for some time, ever since Amazing Grace, and it’s amazing to see him taking over the screen.
The casting in general was fantastic; I liked the diverse cast. I know there were people who had an issue with Tilda Swinton, but I liked her. Admittedly, I’m not familiar with the source material, but I liked her as the Ancient One. She stuck out, but in a way that both Greg and I thought captured her air of mystery.
Mads Mikkelson is another that has been fun to watch. In North American media, he’s usually cast as the villain and in this film, he did so wonderfully.
The visuals. The visuals were stunning. It was like Inception meets Star Trek meets LSD. I loved it. But even the scenes that weren’t in a bent mirror realm were gorgeous to look at, with a lot of little things to appreciate. Stephen’s watch drawer for example; it was just a little way of showing us that not only does he have money, he spends it. As Greg said, “A closet full of suits wouldn’t have had the same impact. Who needs that many watches?”
Also interesting was the one watch that he winds up with in the end was the most humble.
This brings me to the one issue I had with the film; all of the events pre-accident (and some of the scenes after) felt too rushed. I get that they had to probably cut scenes for the sake of time, but the earlier bits felt too much like a montage. I felt like we didn’t really get to know the “before” Stephen, and that impacted the feelings towards “after” Stephen. We’re told of what he’s like, and we got a glimpse, but I would have liked more. This movie was good about show, don’t tell in so many ways, I just would have liked more in that regard.
I definitely would have liked more scenes with his love interest/friend/whatever, Christine. Their scenes felt too short, and while we’re told there was more there once (and shown that in an engraving), it would have been nice to have seen more of their interactions pre-accident. That would have made their fight after more meaningful.
Though, even in their brief scenes, they still had more chemistry than Thor and Jane.
Also too montage-y was Stephen losing it all. I wanted to be shown more of that. I noticed the piano – and later no piano – but I wonder if that was as obvious to everyone else?
All in all, this is probably Marvel’s best film to date.
Greg’s score: 7.5/10 (the best film he can think of scores a 9/10)
Bev’s score: 8.5/10
Do we recommend this film? Absolutely. Go see it. Do it. Go.