Doctor Strange is the newest film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) and is about the origin of the titular superhero, played by Benedict Cumberbatch. The film, which also deals with the entrance of magic into the MCU canon, is visually stunning.
This film sets itself apart from the rest of the MCU in many ways, one being the way this film looked. The visuals of this film looked as if someone mixed Inception with the ending of 2001: A Space Odyssey. This is one of the few movies where 3D actually enhances the viewing experience rather than just making the film more expensive. There is a scene in this film that could only be described as an insane drug trip, and it is spectacular to watch.
The characters of this film are realized very well. Cumberbatch’s Strange has one of the best character arcs in a superhero movie. The growth his character experiences over the course of this film is significant, and it only makes the viewer want to see more of him. Christine Palmer, played by Rachel McAdams, is another significant role in this film. She is a “love interest” for Strange, but she isn’t the typical damsel in distress. She has a real purpose for being in every scene that she is in and is never in need of being saved by the hero.
Unfortunately, this film falls victim to the typical MCU problem of having a weak villain. Kaecilius, played by Mads Mikkelsen, is easily forgettable and his motivations aren’t very interesting. It’s a shame such a talented actor has been put into a role with very little potential. There is also a second villain who isn’t fleshed out very well, who may return in later films. The film isn’t very clear with this character, but if they chose to reintroduce this character, they need to improve the way they portray him.
Other than a couple mentions of the Avengers, this film very much stands on its own. It fits into the bigger cinematic universe while also telling a story completely apart from it. This was probably because while balancing the introduction of a new major character as well as the introduction of a major element of the universe, it would have been too much to put in elements that related to other films into the story.
The film as a whole doesn’t feel like the typical superhero blockbuster. In fact, the film feels very different from many movies I have seen in general. It is unique, entertaining and it stands out among the crowd of the standardized Hollywood blockbuster movies.
— Ryan Horan