Friday, November 4, 2016

Doctor Strange

Sorceror Squad! IN COLOR.
Super-short relative to other Marvel movies grade: I give it an Ant-Man Plus.

Short non-spoiler version for people who haven't seen it yet:

Basically, what we have here is the core origin story of Dr. Strange, bent as little as possible to fit it within the framework of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. So sorcery becomes the manipulation of extradimensional energy for those who need to think about it that way, there's an obvious connection to Everything Else, and a few drop-in references, but what's most remarkable is how little they changed. Possibly less than any other MCU movie.

It's also surprisingly non-stupid, which is why it gets an Ant-Man Plus. I love me some Ant-Man, but there's no denying that there's some stupid shit that was not thought through well enough in that movie. Doctor Strange is a lot more, to cop a phrase from the Russos, "Honest-Trailers-Proof".

Our villain is on the strong end of the Marvel Weak Villain Spectrum. I'd rate him below Loki and Ultron, above Zemo and Malekith and Yellowjacket and Stane and Whiplash. On par with a Red Skull, a notch above Ronin. Not a great villain, but one with a halfway decent plan and a proper motivation.

The climactic battle is the most unique in MCU history by a long shot.

The main mistakes involve some excessively wacky business you'll know when you see it, a lot of workmanlike, "good enough" acting from anyone not named Cumberbatch or Swinton, and perhaps a smidge too much of the reality-warping that was a big part of the trailer. I'm not sure why I'm seeing headlines for reviews that think it missed the mark, honestly. Oh, and same double-post-credits structure as Ant-Man.

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