Friday, November 18, 2016

Doctor Strange - Review

Devastated by the inability to properly use his hands after a gruesome car accident, headstrong neurosurgeon Steven Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) finds a possible solution in Nepal, where a order of monks are tapping into mystical powers and preparing for a ruinous strike from a roguish former student. DOCTOR STRANGE should be celebrated as one of the more original visions of super heroics on film if not for the straight up fact that it follows the standard, now tiresome Marvel movie formula. Yet another origin story with an arrogantly smart and sarcastic white male who has a major setback, slowly become nicer and more powerful with outside guidance, has a flirty relationship with a white female in a throwaway subplot, and saves the world from a villain destined to die. It even offers up a scene where Strange mocks and compares a stoic guy's one word name to famous pop culture artists like Beyonce, thus leading to an obvious gag later on where the mocked one is merrily listening to a pop song amid ancient decorum. Though Marvel fatigue is sitting in my heart and I was further dismayed by the poor handling of hand-to-hand magic battles, the film is still an entertaining ride with a plethora of audacious flourishes not seen in the average blockbuster. The special effects are mindbogglingly fantastic, from the surreal mind trips to the dimensional rejiggering of gravity and mass to the finale where the importance of time is graphically fought over. I also heavily applauded the deviations director Scott Derrickson and his co-writers brought to the story, such as the creation of a mirror world in order to have big mystic exchanges without harming real people and buildings, the romantic angle not leading to a happy ending, and especially how the flexible maneuvers and hypocritical nature of the film's top heroes brings about harsh ramifications. The film ultimately tides you over thanks to its magical theatrics and the breadcrumbs of future films but it will forever remain as just another serviceably good entry in the pantheon of Marvel movies.


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