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Matt’s Movie Corner: Doctor Strange


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The most recent addition to Marvel’s increasingly vast cinematic universe is Doctor Strange, another superhero movie about another superhero that manages to just be different enough to be good. Starring Benedict Cumberbatch, Tilda Swinton, and Rachel McAdams, Doctor Strange offers up yet another movie for Marvel fans to digest in theaters this November

The ancient one trains Dr. Strange Photo Credit: Marvel Studios

The ancient one trains Dr. Strange
Screen captured by Matt Schnettler

The protagonist of this movie is actually Doctor Steven Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch), a neural surgeon with healthy dose of egocentricism who loses function of his hands in a car crash caused by him so foolishly texting and driving. He becomes obsessed with finding a way to cure his nerve damage, which leads him to an ancient group of magic users in Nepal. These wizards are led by a woman called The Ancient One (Tilda Swinton); they’re sworn to defend earth from multiverse threats (Marvel fans will understand, casual viewers won’t need to bother). These sorcerers take on Dr. Strange, and he learns quickly their magic ways. Of course that doesn’t last very long, a former wizard is now a bad guy and is trying to take over the world to no one’s surprise.

Doctor Strange falls victim to what so many Marvel movies before it have, an intense fear to reach outside the comfort zone and take risks with the filmmaking. The character of Dr. Strange is so familiarly written of a character that you could make him the lead of almost any other Marvel movie. White male, 20’s to 30’s, attractive, cool, wisecracking, but with some flaws. Sound familiar? There was quite a bit of backlash when it was announced that Tilda Swinton would be playing the ancient one, a traditionally Asian character, and it was a bold move, but the acting was neither good nor bad in any direction.

Dr. Strange in the mirror dimension Photo Credit: Marvel Studios

Dr. Strange in the mirror dimension
Screen captured by Matt Schnettler

The real success of Doctor Strange comes from the stunning visual effects. While most of the fights in this movie are choppy and hard to follow (as it is with every Marvel movie), the amazing backgrounds and the beautiful kaleidoscope effects very much make up for that.

Doctor Strange is a treat for the eyes, and as for everything else, it’s mediocre.

Grade: B-

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