DOCTOR STRANGE REVIEW ***** (five stars) by Rob “The Encyclopaedia” Deb.
As the MCU continues to expand in delightful ways, Strange exists as a film to give some breathing space to the relatively cramped Marvel Universe depicted in Civil War. For those unfamiliar with the character this is a bold step for Marvel, one they waited to introduce until the right time and they do it brilliantly.
Opening with an origin story We see the witty lines, the rejoinders and the now obligatory pop music sound track commentary that admittedly made me feel I was about to embark on an Iron man retreat. However this hand holding is crucial for the realms about to be introduced. Strange is a man, like Stark, at the top of his game and a crisis pushes him into learning humility and real power.
As he travels to heal his hands we see an incredibly Strong supporting cast in the roles of Wong, The Ancient one and Moro. Mordo Deserves special mention at this point, by giving what was previously a sinister Evil twin to Strange, into a fully fleshed character and motivation in his own right . Fans of the comics know he becomes one of Strange’s greatest enemies, but here we see a partner more than rival and how he will develop in the future.
The story itself without the performances or the rich characterisation is pretty route. However, the Finale and the way the greater evil is defeated is something really setting up the tone for future Doctor Strange adventures.
A film cannot exist on its spectacle alone, but the spectacle in this is truly outstanding. It’s very much like watching Ditko’s most fevered dreams smeared across in the screen in dazzling delight. As a side note, for an adaption that takes so many ques from the comics visually it was irritating to see the new Marvel studios intro logo. Rather than the montage of Doctor Strange comics within the letters, we get clips from various previous marvel films, a choice I feel distances the universe from its heritage and is a bit insulting. Having said that the changes it made with the original source has definitely contemporised the characters in a way that a more ‘trad’ telling would have been frankly questionable.
In short it has definatly reinvigorated my interest in the MCU and I look forward to further adventures of The dark/mirror/multiversal realms Strange Travels.