Review: Doctor Strange (2016)

“Death is what gives life meaning. To know your days are numbered and your time is short.”
– The Ancient One

SYNOPSIS: A former neurosurgeon embarks on a journey of healing only to be drawn into the world of the mystic arts. – via IMDB

Goodness, it only took me forever to get to this! Finally I did so, and I must say, it is a Marvel film. It’s just what you expect. Good actors, decent story, decent effects, a silly love interest thrown into the mix, and some humour… you know, the regular recipe. This felt like your average Marvel film, which is both a good and a bad thing. It means you get a consistent viewing experience on the one hand, and on the other, it’s pretty generic and won’t stay with you forever. Yes. I said it.

I didn’t buy into the hype when this came and people lauded it. That is done for all Marvel releases, and only some of them are actually worthy of it. That being said, I was still interested to see what the studio would do with this, especially when I heard it get compared to things like Inception and The Matrix. I needed to see. I agree I can see where some of these comparisons come in, but unlike the other movies, there is not real stroke of brilliance here. For all the magic and sorcery that was spoken about, it just didn’t have the same vibe and feel here. It felt like things were rushed a bit, yet the movie felt overly long – yes, the pacing was a bit of an issue.

Doctor Strange did look good though. Really good. There were actually way too many effects going on for me, but I also think it was handled really well and looked awesome. The movie was also carried by an exceptionally good cast, and they all performed as best they could with the material they were given.  I think Cumberbatch was a fantastic choice to play Doctor Strange. There was the super awesome cape (I totally need one of those), and I enjoyed some of the humour. Wong was the best, and there was all sorts of mystical knowledge to be explored. It even had Mads Mikkelsen in it, peeps. But all of that could not save the movie. Ultimately it is rather forgettable. There is a very unfortunate love story squashed in, the pacing is all over the show, the story is actually pretty damn weak, and it never really goes for gold. Well, it feels like it doesn’t.

At the end of the day I was not bowled over as most people were. It is not a bad movie, not by a long shot. It is entertaining, looks good, and has an awesome cast attached to the project, these things cannot be denied. But the experience is pretty flat, there is nothing really new brought to the table, and it will not stay with you after all is said and done. For popcorn entertainment, it wasn’t bad, but it isn’t something I will be rushing to rewatch.

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20 thoughts on “Review: Doctor Strange (2016)

  1. Often Off Topic says:

    I agree the pacing was a little all over the place! I was not excited for this one at all, despite being a Cumberbatch fan, but I enjoyed it loads more than I thought! Really can’t wait for the new Thor movie now too 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • Zoë says:

      All over the show! Definitely enjoyable, just not fantastic. As for Thor… the only reason I have ANY interest this time around is Waititi hehe.

      Like

  2. thebookprophet says:

    I liked it for what it was: an origin story. Because Strange will be in the new Thor movie, and unlike with what DC is doing, Marvel introduces their main heroes and gives them their own solo movies before throwing them into the big mix of things so that you’ll know the characters. I always enjoy Marvel movies so this was a home run for me.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Zoë says:

      I definitely prefer the way that Marvel handles introductions for new characters, and then brings everything together – Warner Bros could really take some pointers there where setup is concerned.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Tom says:

    I think you said it pretty well here Zoe, this one seemed to come and then go without much thought from me. I did enjoy Cumberbest in the role and that Cloak of Levitation was badass! I was a little disappointed in the formulaic story because this universe seems so unique. Same problem I kind of had with Guardians of the Galaxy, but that movie was way more entertaining

    Liked by 1 person

    • Zoë says:

      Thanks Tom, much appreciated. Cumberbatch was fantastic, and we all need a cloak like that in our lives. I expected the story to have some more bite, but alas, it was not meant to be. Guardians of the Galaxy definitely was the better between the two, and the bigger surprise. Formulaic, but so much fun.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. lukebbtt says:

    I think this is the kind of film that was excellent in the cinema, with those visual effects on the big screen, but I reckon watching it on DVD will force it to fall back on the story and there it is going to find itself a few problems.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Natasha says:

    Great review my friend. I liked this one, the cape and the graphics especially, but lately I can see a superhero film once and never again – it is rare to find one that I’d watch on repeat like the older ones. Benny is in here, and he’s always fine, but I want him with the British accent

    Liked by 1 person

    • Zoë says:

      Thanks bestie! Yeah, this was okay, but it was not fantastic. Great ones are rare. Ooooh that British accent not being present totally screwed with my head!

      Like

  6. garethrhodes says:

    You make a good point about the generic nature of these ‘chapters’ in the MCU. I’m also noticing that our heroes are now fighting Gods…how are they supposed to go back to saving cats in trees? That said, I’m with you, this was enough fun and Benedict was a good fit.

    Liked by 1 person

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