November 21, 2016
Review #874: Doctor Strange.
Benedict Cumberbatch (Dr. Stephen Strange), Chiwetel Ejiofor (Karl Mordo), Rachel McAdams (Christine Palmer), Benedict Wong (Wong), Michael Stuhlbarg (Dr. Nicodemus West), Benjamin Bratt (Jonathan Pangborn), Scott Adkins (Lucian), Mads Mikkelsen (Kaecilius), Tilda Swinton (the Ancient One), and Zara Phythian (Brunette Zealot) Directed by Scott Derrickson.
It's good to back in the theater again, and this time with friends to watch it with. When it comes to these Marvel films, it always seems that I can't not be surprised by the end product, no matter how good (or great) they usually are. There's always something to be surprised or amazed by, and the way that this movie universe is built makes for a diverse amount, and even if I don't know much about the comic book they usually end up being pretty good. The same can be said for Doctor Strange as well. It's an entertaining film, in part due to its cast and effects. Strange manages to change throughout the movie in terms of his manner, and Cumberbatch succeeds in conveying that, convincing in his mannerisms and timing, even getting time to say some quips. He's not as arrogant as Tony Stark for example, but he displays some sort of humility and some sort of charm. Ejiofor is also pretty good in portraying a character as rigid as the script allows him to be. McAdams isn't given too much to do, but at least she isn't meant to just be a love interest this time around, having a bit more independence and some sort of grace in the role Any movie that begins with "Shining Star" and "Feels so Good" wins at least some vote by me. The rest of the cast is exceptional, with Mikkelsen playing a fairly entertaining villain (even if half the time he's wearing what looks like glitter...long story), and Swinton and Wong are also pretty good, achieving some sort of mystical allure. The climax is also pretty good, demonstrating some creativity, with two credits scenes at the end that are also pretty well done (par for the course). The effects are where the film excels at, whether during some action or when Strange first meets the Ancient One. It looks really stunning, along with having a good fit with a film as mind-bending as this one, having some fun with the weirdness that goes on. There isn't technically a big bad villain to beat, but this film manages to still go along with a winning formula with its own kind of flair and own kind of imagination to succeed.
Overall, I give it 8 out of 10 stars.