Doctor Strange is the latest film to debut in cinemas that takes place in the Marvel cinematic universe. This film stars Benedict Comberbatch as the lead character, Doctor Strange. The film comes directed by Scott Derrickson who some may know as the director of Deliver Us From Evil (2014). Doctor Strange also stars Chiwetel Ejiofor, Rachel McAdams, Benedict Wong, Mads Mikkelsen and Tilda Swinton.
Going into Doctor Strange I wasn’t really sure where to set my expectations for it. I had seen some Doctor Strange animated films in the past and have read a few, but not many of the comics and never really got into them. With this film, although it has a lot of great actors that I love to watch, I felt that I was indifferent towards it coming out of the film.
Doctor Strange is an interesting enough character, he’s this very rich surgeon/doctor, he has a cool car like Iron Man does and drives real fast. But he crashes, it paralyses him and he end up unable to continue in his profession. In an attempt to get himself healed, he visits these people in Asia who seem to practice magic, they heal him, he gets powers and bad guys show up threatening the world and he’s gotta stop them. It’s pretty much your general superhero origin story film. I think that’s where the problem is, it’s kind of all been done before and this one just doesn’t stand out amongst other superhero films that released this year, it’s no Deadpool or Captain America.
The actors are all great and I’m happy to watch any of their films and this is no exception. Benedict Cumberbatch is decent as Doctor Strange, but doesn’t seem to have enough great moments for him to be as memorable as a RDJ’s Iron Man. Rachel McAdams is a great actress and she’s got a few scenes in the film, but to me she seemed sidelined and was more for the plot of the origin story rather than being a part of the action towards the end. Benedict Wong is a fantastic actor, but I just wasn’t sure about him here, he needed more. A lot of actors really needed more scenes of great meaning. Everyone was good, but no one seemed to really stand out.
The directing is alright, the special effects are the high point of the film. The starting action sequence had buildings bending in all sorts of directions and it kind of reminded me of Inception (2010), but it was all good, I liked that part of it. Where I think the movie falls down a bit is with balancing the tone. For the most part, it’s fairly serious and feels more serious in tone than most Marvel films do, but then there’s some jokes thrown in here and there, which I think fell flat in the cinema I was in. I didn’t hear anyone laughing at all and I certainly wasn’t either.
Overall Doctor Strange is a fun film to go out and see. For those who are big fans of the Marvel cinematic universe, they’ll probably love this addition and will watch it no matter what anyone says. But for others, it’s kind of a mediocre experience, it’s not a bad film at all and I’m not saying that. But with the magic, the big name actors and the story, it was all about on the same level as The Last Witch Hunter (2015).