You all knew this was coming sooner or later. Doctor Strange is another superhero film from Marvel and Disney. It was recently released November of 2016, October if you are in Hong Kong.
Doctor Steven Strange is the titular protagonist of the film. He is kind of a dick. He is like Dr. House, but more vane. You’ve seen him before, the dick that learns that maybe he can be more than a dick. Has pride in what he does and is self-destructive because of it. Think Iron Man, but magic.
Doctor Christine Palmer is Dr. Strange’s kind of girlfriend. She obviously cares for him, and is a doctor as well, so spend a lot of time together. She is just kind of there to remind us that some people still like Strange.
Ancient One is …. the master. She is a bit sassy, but other than that, exactly what you expect. Immortal being that teaches Strange the way of the force…. I mean magic.
The dickish Doctor Strange is an egotistal dick that has awesome and steady hands that make him the greatest surgeon ever. But he gets into a car accident and his hand is forever shaky. Looking for procedures to fix his hands, he spends all his money. But one event leads to another and he ends up in Nepal and meets the Ancient One.
Ancient One teaches Strange the ways of the magical world, but Strange has no idea what he is getting into. He thought he signed up to get his hands fixed, turns out they want him to join their cause to protect Earth from spiritual world ending threats.
Well, let’s get this one out of the way, the whitewashing. The Ancient One from the comics is an Asian old man, but the one from the movie is young white woman. And this decision was a very political move on Marvel’s part. The Ancient One is from Tibet, and China denies that Tibet is a country. And China is Marvel’s golden goose, and who wants to upset their golden goose? So Marvel said “Fuck it, make him a white woman”.
With all this magic, I was hoping to see different kind of fight scenes, something more … subtle and mystical. Instead I got the usual face punching. The cities being replicated was great to see, but they are only there to be places to punch each other’s faces. Why could’t the fights be more like Harry Potter or Avatar: the Last Airbender (the show, not the live action movie)? The fight scenes were something I’ve seen before and seems like a wasted potential.
Comedy was everywhere, even in places they shouldn’t have been in. What I am talking about is having dramatic moments be dramatic, and have comedic moments be comedic. In this movie, they push comedy into every scene so often it seems like they did not know what they were doing. There was a scene that take place and ends with Strange crying tears of loss, then this dramatic scene was destroyed by his sentient cape trying to wipe his tears and embarassing him. Then there was this heart pounding action scene that somehow evens in Strange playing tug of war with his magic cape. In another scene ….. I think I made my point. And it is not the cape’s fault, as there are plenty of scenes that push comedy to looking weird without the cape.
Marvel always had really weak villains. Oh all the Marvel movies, the only villain I like is Ultron, and I know Loki has a huge fan base as well, but he’s not my thing. There is a bad guy, and I don;t even remember his name. He wasn’t memorable…. I am a huge DC fan and maybe that is why, but DC villains are bit more memorable. There is the Joker (obviously), Lex Luthor, Ra’s Al Ghul, Talia Al Ghul, Scarecrow, Doomsday, Reverse Flash/ Professor Zoom, Deathstroke/Slade, and so on, and these are just from TV and movies.
Everything is about the Infinity Stones. Everyone at this points know about the Marvel cinematic universe, they don’t have to push it in your face, but again… they do. I will not say too much here since it is techinically a spoiler, but they make it clear you know this is part of the universe.
Parts of the movie felt very… Lovecraftian. The emphasis on that there are things our mind can’t even grasp, these things that are organic and stellar at the same time, a star made of things we recognize but cannot comprehend as a whole….. those were great. And the final battle seemed to go more of that direction.
I don’t want to spoil the ending, so I will be very vague. The final boss battle was not about battle but something more subtle. I guess I got what I wanted after all! It was battle between a mortal and something beyond his understanding.
- Will I see it again? No. Once was enough.
- Do I recommend this? I really don’t know. It did not blow me away in any means… but it was rather competent film. I like the actors, the special effects were good enough, and the final fight was worth the watch. But it was just okay overall, not great. If you like Marvel Movies, then yes, you might like this one. If you’ve never liked them, this is not going to convince you.
It was better than what I expected, but was not as good as I hoped. I was excited about Doctor Strange because he seemed so different from the other superheroes. And there was a glimpse of that, but only a glimpse. After hinting at the larger picture of the universe, it goes back to punching each other in the faces. And we’ve been seeing that for decades at this point. It was good, but I wasn’t blown away.
Hope you liked the review. Let me know what you though!