“Doctor Strange” Review

25 October, 2016

Director: Scott Derrickson
Screenwriters: Scott Derrickson, Jon Spaihts, C. Robert Cargill
Director of Photography: Ben Davis
Cast: Benedict Cumberbatch, Tilda Swinton, Rachel McAdams

Synopsis: Left disfigured and damaged after a severe accident, neurosurgeon Dr. Stephen Strange searches for a way to regain the use of his hands and finds himself on a path of self-discovery when an androgynous being named The Ancient One agrees to teach him the secrets of the mystic arts.


Doctor Strange Review:

Delivered with the promise of opening up a brand new facet of the Marvel universe, “Doctor Strange” is essentially the studio’s “Batman Begins,” although it fails to construct a world mind-blowing enough to suggest that it will only keep getting better. While the presence of horror specialist Scott Derrickson is barely felt over the course of the film’s running time, “Doctor Strange” feels welcomely removed from the more standard plotting that we have come to expect from the “Avengers” and “X-Men” movies and this effect is mostly created by its complex reshuffling of the laws of time and space.

Despite a lot of the film’s large-scale “Inception” elements being the main point of focus in the trailers, “Doctor Strange”’s stargate sequences and time loops are much more confined and experimental than a lot of the promotional materials even dared to imply. It’s a shame that a lot of the magic is presented as nothing more than a collection of fire circles, making the movie feel more “Dragonball Z” than “2001: A Space Odyssey,” but its style and aesthetic are mostly the result of a heavily condensed screenplay which leaves a lot of the meatier elements of mysticism skimmed over, unexplained, or often avoided entirely.

On a purely narrational level, “Doctor Strange” feels like the prelude to something bigger and better yet the feeling that something is lacking never once undercuts the visuals which remain compelling from beginning to end. While undoubtedly another abbreviated and somewhat butchered studio production, “Doctor Strange” still manages to be a funny, well-cast movie with its very own brand of magic. If correctly reworked by later filmmakers it could be the door to something truly wonderful.

 

   

Summary
Review Date
Movie
Doctor Strange
Rating
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