Doctor Strange stuck to the classic Origin format that is tried and true in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The Marvel Origin Story has been a fixture in the MCU, after all not everyone knows these characters (You’re lying if you claim you knew Guardians of the Galaxy before the movie came out). With the origin story, everyone learns about our hero, how he/she ticks and then said hero takes down a bad guy (the call to action).
The problem now is that the “Origin Story” isn’t enough to satisfy movie viewers. Unless you’re living under a rock you probably have seen an MCU movie by now. If you haven’t: a) I envy you b) why are you reading this blog? Because the MCU is so big now and everyone is invested, we want to see that story grow every time a film comes out. How’s Cap holding up? Where was Thor during Civil War? Marvel has people hooked and reeled in but now for some reason they keep reeling. We want a story that is both a good origin story but also plays a role in the bigger universe.
It’s so ironic that The Ancient One told Strange that he’s been looking at the world through a keyhole…when in fact that’s just what the whole movie is: a tiny keyhole to the greater Cinematic Universe.
Going back to what Alex said about it being a weak plot, I really disagree. The movie set up the origin, presented a call to action, had comic relief, awesome fight scenes, a climax and a resolution. If you were one of those rock people that had never seen a Marvel Movie, you would’ve left fairly satisfied. At the time of this post, critics and audiences rated it at 90% on Rotten Tomatoes. Not too shabby.
The effects were amazing and trippy. I can’t imagine that amount of work it took to create such visuals. To coordinate between the graphic studios, director and actors must’ve been tedious. But it was worth it, especially in 3D. I loved the casting graphics, spells glowing in thin air.
Cumberbatch was excellent, a fantastic addition the MCU. I cannot wait to see him interact with Robert Downey Jr. and Chris Evans. Even though the persona of Dr. Strange is that of a pompous arse-hole, and Ben has played those roles numerous times, he succeeded in creating a new character. At no point was I like “hey look it’s Sherlock Holmes!” He played a range of emotions, from a man on top to a guy down on his luck. A know-it-all and a diligent student.
Again, the only criticism I have is that the film should’ve played a bigger role in the MCU. This is why Captain America: Civil War was so successful. It featured a famous story, had a dominating cast, and was uniquely tied to the MCU. It’s no surprise my friend said he wanted more. After Civil War there is a certain expectation that Marvel needs to meet, or fans will leave feeling bummed.
Another possible negative is the ending. Doctor Strange violates the laws of space and time to rescue his comrades and restore the protective seal that stop this ancient destructive being. Dormammu refuses to be sealed so Dr. Strange traps him in a messed up time loop. Eventually, Dormammu cedes Earth and Dr. Strange wins the day. To some, this seems a bit anti-climactic. I would argue that this ending just makes sense. Doctor Strange used his wit and studies (the reason he has powers) to take down an all-powerful being. What, you expected Strange to punch him or throw fireballs? Please.
If you go into the movie knowing that it will only be an origin story, with no surprise appearances, you’ll enjoy it. I know I did. I’ll probably go again just to appreciate all the visual effects that I missed. I hate 3D and normally advise against it but I actually recommend 3D for this film. Marvel stuck to its “origin story format” (whether you like it or not) and churned out another gem.