Tuesday, 28 March 2017

DOCTOR STRANGE (film) was a refreshing installment from The MCU

Director: Scott Derrickson.
Cast: Benedict Cumberbatch / Chiwetel Ejiofor / Rachel McAdams / Tilda Swinton
Content Rating: PG 13 for sci-fi violence and action throughout, and an intense car crash sequence.
Source: Rented.

While on a journey of physical and spiritual healing, a brilliant neurosurgeon is drawn into the world of the mystic arts.

I love Marvel. DC has never blown me away, but Marvel has always delighted me. Their rich characters, pitch-perfect humour, excellent fight sequences, very rarely fail to win me over.
So Doctor Strange was on my list to watch, obviously; the temptation made even more delicious by the cast: Cumberbatch and McAdams together on screen?! For some reason I just love the idea of them as a couple; don't know why. They just seem to go together.
I didn't know what to expect when I sat down to watch DS. But I came away satisfied by the result.

The special effects were spectacular. It was visually radiant, and the colours coupled with the action on screen were vibrant. Every scene was so rich and lavish, and I loved soaking it all up.
The dialogue was very boring and forgettable, and the cinematography was nothing special. The actual backbone of the story (with regards to magical realism, etc) did not make sense, and it's the kind of story you just have to suspend disbelief for; and I admit I struggled with that during the first half. It's so bizarre, and, specifically from a Christian's point of view, totally unrealistic. (I'll talk more about that in a moment).
You have to be willing to just relax and enjoy it, otherwise you'll end up hating or over-analysing or criticising every other-worldly occurrence.

The story was satisfying, refreshing and classy. The beginning was very shaky and pace was rather off, but it improved when it got going. It was nice to see a whole new set of characters and a brand new story detached from The Avengers' plot lines, etc etc. There were fresh characters with their own, never-before-seen personal stories, fresh stakes, and I enjoyed the change. Stephen Strange is a wonderfully flawed character, and the writers did an excellent job with him. I just hope to see more character development in Infinity War, since I was rather disappointed with the amount of his backstory they left "un-revealed."

Benedict Cumberbatch was the highlight of the film for me. He was fantastically compelling as Strange, and it was almost impossible to pay attention to the other actors when they shared a scene with him. He was superb, and completely carried the film; it would not have been the same without him.
Rachel McAdams was a comforting presence, and her acting was how it usually is: solid, but never amazing. I did like the scenes between her and Cumberbatch, and her character wasn't as "pointless" as I admit I was expecting. I really liked Christine, and McAdams' screen presence was easy to enjoy.  
I wasn't won over by Tilda Swinton's performance. She didn't seem to fit the character, and while her acting wasn't bad, exactly, I just wasn't convinced by it. I was disappointed in her.

On a personal note, I just thought I'd mention how, as a Christian, I perceived the other-worldly aspects of the film: There were a lot of "God-like" parallells which did not sit well with me, and I did not agree with the backbone of the plot; that being, that are other dimensions we will be able to access if we simply "believe". It reminded me a lot of that Scarlett Johansson film, Lucy, which claims we are not using our full brain capacity and, if we do, we can become more than we are and thus unlock certain other-worldly potential. Or powers, so to speak.
To cut a long story short, I didn't agree with the messages Doctor Strange was sending out.  

I feel like I'm rating everything three and a half flowers these days...

Doctor Strange was a refreshing Marvel instalment that was both satisfying and entertaining. Carried by its cast and spectacular special effects, it was a good film, but not an amazing one.  I wouldn't watch it again, but I'm glad I did.  


  1. I was surprised in how much I enjoyed this movie. For some reason I just thought I wouldn't care much for it, probably because I'm one of the only non-Cumberbatch fans. I really liked how it wasn't super easy to do magic. You actually had to practice a lot and get the gestures right.

    Lauren @ bookslaying.com

    1. Yay I'm so glad you did :)
      Yeah good point!
      Thanks for stopping by, Lauren :)

  2. I haven't seen this but I want to. I always kinda liked Dr. Strange I read a few of the comics. I wasn't sure how Tilda Swinton would do as the Ancient One. They seem to be mashing together a lot of the comic elements from what I've seen, but I know it's a movie and I guess they have to do that. Glad Cumberbatch was good! He certainly looks the part. :)

    I can see where as a Christian some of the otherwordly stuff could be problematic. I always liked the idea of other dimensions but if they get into "gods" and stuff I can relate.

    I had friend who was a huge Dr strange collector in high school and his parents were not happy as they were quite religious.

    1. You should!
      I haven't read the comics, so I wouldn't know. But it's interesting to hear all that.
      Yeah he does :)

      Yeah agreed.

      That's really interesting to hear. I mean, I wouldn't not watch it or enjoy it because of that, but I do know where I stand and I won't necessarily agree with whatever messages they put across.

      Thanks for stopping by, Greg!

  3. I love Benedict Cumberbatch, so that's my main reason for wanting to see this film XD And also for the awesome special effects, so I'm glad those didn't disappoint! Fabulous review :)

    Brittany @ Brittany's Book Rambles

    1. Confession: That was my main incentive too ;)
      Yeah they were awesome! And thank you!

  4. Doctor Strange was a fun film, but I don't know... it doesn't necessarily carry the same moral dilemma / character conflict that's presented with Iron Man and Captain America, but it is still his first film. *shrugs* The HISHE is quite funny, though.

    xoxo Abigail Lennah

    1. Yeah I guess you're right. Still, I found the change refreshing.
      Yeah :)

  5. Nice review! just a head up there isn't much more character development for Strange, the movie captured all the aspects of his character already. I did think they did a good job with the movie, but I've never been a fan of Strange so it wasn't like I was like "wow that was awesome!!". It was more of a "oh, nice movie but I still don't like the dude"

    1. Thanks! Ah no, okay. I thought they'd go more into his backstory - like with his sister, etc. Oh well.
      Oh I see :)
      Thanks for stopping by!

  6. He's a fantastic actor...I loved him in The Imitation Game. There are so many of these Marvel and DC films and series that I'm way behind and don't know which are worth watching or not. I might give this a try at some point.

    1. He is. Oh I'm dying to see The Imitation Game, it looks so good!
      Yay you should :)
      Have a lovely weekend!


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