Beth's Blockbuster Blog: MCU Marathon - Doctor Strange
Read up on my marathon rules here
From otherworldly magic to magic right here on Earth! Also, Disney may be trying to take over every film studio in the world, but Benedict Cumberbatch is definitely trying to take over every leading male film role in the world. Between 2010 and 2019 alone he's been in over 25 different films. I don't know where he found time to become an Avenger as well.
Steven Strange is basically Tony Stark if Tony learned how to do magic to save his life instead of building the arc reactor. So Cumberbatch does a decent job playing the overachieving genius who gets knocked down a peg, but he struggles with the comedy and his attempt at an American accent is distracting. This isn't the best casting choice or his best role, but outside of the his accent, nothing is too bad.
Overall, the only character who has some depth and interest to them is Chiwetel Ejiofor's as Mordo. He is also a student of The Ancient One who has learned the powers, who stays to not only help educate others but also do the right thing. But once it's revealed that his mentor isn't as ethical as she is and he ends up helping Strange break the laws of time he abides by, Mordo decides to change sides. He plays like a watchdog, trying to help save the world from all threats, but once he realizes that neither side is truly ethical, he choses the dark. That's something unique.
This movie has similar issues to Thor in that it tries to spend too much time explaining the rules of the world while failing to truly give anything interesting. What it does right though is that it showcases the magic and isn't afraid to demonstrate how crazy this world is. Nothing makes sense and scene after scene is filled with people jumping through magic portals, walking up buildings, flying through the sky, and the world around them bending and shifting to do as they please. The visual effects in this movie are easily superior to any other film because they do so much. Nothing has to look real in this because it's not suppose to be. The entire point is that their powers shift reality.
The action is also interesting because of the use of the magic, rather than traditional fighting techniques. It's almost reminiscent of taekwondo in the way it's mostly about finding your opponent's weak spots. Contrary to the sucker-punch action of most Marvel fights, this film is a refreshing take on fighting.
This is definitely the weakest of all the Phase 3 films, but it's definitely better than any of the Phase 1 origin movies besides Iron Man. Doctor Strange is a lot more interesting in Infinity War and Thor: Ragnarok so hopefully any future Doctor Strange sequels work with that version of the character. I got two more origin story films to get through, and considering there's a showtime right about now for it, Captain Marvel is my second to last origin to enjoy! So forget everything you know and happy watching!