Meh, It Does Its Job. Doctor Strange (2016) Review

Dr Strange is an engaging superhero film with a unique world and mythology, however in terms of story it conforms to the effective but predictable origin story.

Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) is a surgeon who loses the use of his hands in a car accident. Seeking for a cure he joins an enclave in Nepal but he discovers that the group is an army of sorcerers, preparing to battle a dark force bent on destroying reality.

dr-strange-pic
PFFFT.

Stephen pretty much goes through the same arc as Tony Stark did in the first Iron Man film. He starts as an annoying egotist and by the end is an empathetic savior. Unlike Tony who was in love with indulgence, Stephen is in love with his work. He just wants to fix his hands so he can be a surgeon again. He’s a well written character.

The Ancient One (Tilda Swinton) is also pretty well written. She’s Strange’s teacher and you’d think she’d be the stereotypical film mentor who is all wise with no personal flaws. Not in this film. I won’t spoil anything but I will state that her past actions viciously contradict the code of the enclave. She’s an original take on the mentor archetype.

The other characters however are your standard archetypes. They’re a bit two-dimensional but I don’t think they’re supposed to be anything more considering how minor their roles are. There’s the love interest (Rachel McAdams), the comic relief (Benedict Wong) and the monstrous villain (Mads Mikkelsen).

As someone who’s unfamiliar with the comics I liked the film’s mythology. It showed a world where magic is a practical, scientific ability that has to be taught and practiced. I appreciated how unique the world was especially in the age of Harry Potter, those books and films had a major influence on how worlds of sorcery are constructed.

The main issue I had with Dr Strange was how similar it was to previous Marvel films. The structure was so familiar the film became predictable. For example, the opening scene shows the villain breaking into a compound and stealing the McGuffin of the film. Avengers, Captain America, Ant-Man and Thor: The Dark World pretty much all have the exact same opening.

Despite the recycled plot Dr Strange does bring some good characters and unique concepts to the table and is a must see if you want to keep up to date on the MCU. I recommend it.

I give Dr Strange a good 7 out of 10.

UPDATE: Sorry about the lack of content over the last few weeks, been busy with Uni as usual. In case you didn’t see them I put up a new article on MoviePilot, it’s a list of 3 actors who’d be better playing Captain Planet than Don Cheadle.

I also managed to crank out a Metalico Halloween video, I know it’s November but I’d appreciate it if you all checked it out.

Hope you’re all having a good 2016. -Luke