By Erik Brandt
Like any big blockbuster series that has its highs and lows, Marvel seems to be experiencing a golden age on the silver screen, and Doctor Strange is one of their most visually spectacular entries to date.
They took a risk with Guardians of the Galaxy, Ant-Man and it’s still paying off with their latest movie, Doctor Strange. It’s like if Inception met Interstellar on a heavy dose of DMT. The best part is you don’t have to consume recreational substances to enjoy this—at least not on the first viewing. It gives you a visual acid trip just by watching it in 3D alone. I wouldn’t even put it past the Academy board to nominate this film for best visual effects of the year, because it certainly deserves it.
My favourite thing about this is that it feels like its own standalone film. It’s still in the MCU, but it doesn’t rely on that to tell the story like the Iron Man, Captain America and Thor films did. It stands on its own two feet and it sets the stage for a new character to come into the mix; building its own mythology and lore like Guardians of the Galaxy did; all while paying respects to their comic book origins.
English thoroughbred Benedict Cumberbatch, plays Doctor Strange with support from Rachel McAdams, Tilda Swinton, Mads Mikkelsen and Chiwetel Ejiofor. And while Benedict looks the part, he doesn’t really feel like it at times. For one, I don’t buy his Yankee accent that seems forced in some scenes and he borrows a lot of his characters wit from Hugh Laurie, on the popular drama House (House does it way better for the record). Another thing that bothered me was how badly they were tethered to their Sling Ring. A device that helps them travel anywhere they please, provided they have that on them. It made for some great visual sequences, but when Strange lost it, it felt like a burden. He should be able to use his powers to travel and teleport without it. Perhaps it might be a Doctor Strange 2 thing? And lastly, by the end of it, he’s still an arrogant prick. In fact, he’s more arrogant than Tony Stark. But after going through what he went through in the movie, he should be more of a humble person. Perhaps that might be a Doctor Strange 2 thing as well…
Fortunately, that’s about all the bad and ugly I have to rant about. It doesn’t take away from all the good or distract that much from the visual effects sequences and the way they improvise their powers to avoid situations or fix them. But let’s give credit where it’s due, to the hard working post-production team at ILM (Industrial Light & Magic) and other studios, who’ve probably put in overtime and all-nighters to get each frame of the film to the tee of the director’s and Marvel’s vision. There’s an Oscar hope for this film deeply embedded within me.
So with that, I highly recommend you watch this movie in IMAX 3D or at least AVX 3D (don’t be cheap) to really indulge those trippy visual effects and action sequences. If you decide to see it for a second time, consume a psychedelic drug of your choice or even the good ol’ Mary Jay.