This weekend Doctor Strange opens in theaters nationwide, to rabid audiences who have been drooling over screen shots and trailers of Benedict Cumberbatch as Dr. Steven Strange, the talented, narcissistic doctor, turned Sorcerer Supreme in this Marvel Cinematic Universe epic. Although some of the recent Warner Bros./DC Comics films have fallen flat, met with mixed reviews (“Batman vs. Superman” and “Suicide Squad”), died quietly like the last X-Men film, or is waning like the Avengers franchise, it was questionable whether Doctor Strange had what it took to revitalize the superhero genre, especially with massive team-ups and additional solo movies slated for 2017 and beyond. Was this origin story going to be as bad the original 1978 film or worse, as bad as Fox’s “Fantastic Four” 2015 reboot?
You can breath a sigh of relief, because Doctor Strange is well worth the ticket price.
Special effects straight out of the movie Inception, respected theatrical actors like Benedict Cumberbatch, Chiwetel Ejiofor, and Mads Mikkelsen, and a solid director in Scott Derrickson and script, Doctor Strange seems to be the jump start the MCU needed to maintain viability.
Although there was a lot of controversy in the hiring of Tilda Swinton as The Ancient One (represented in the comics as an elderly Tibetan monk) and the whitewashing of Hollywood in respect to Asian roles, the film did not support the story given to the press earlier that Swinton was a Celtic mystic in Tibet, and the switch was made to appease the Chinese audience. I call a red flag on that.
Doctor Strange is a visually beautiful movie that has a good deal of action, and offers us a well balanced degree of humor and story. His cape will remind Disney fans of the magic carpet in Aladdin and Strange’s personality a less cockier version of Iron Man, but with enough differences to make him a good stand alone character.
Talking about Tony Stark, Doctor Strange is being reported by some early reviews, as being as good as the first Iron Man film. As preparations are being made to the Defenders and upcoming Avengers titles, it will be interesting to see how Doctor Strange is folded into the MCU. We can’t wait.
If you are curious about the original 1978 film, check it out on YouTube below: