Is Marvel’s Doctor Strange Worth Your Money?
Directed by: Scott Derrickson
Screenplay by: Scott Derrickson, C. Robert Cargill
Story by: Jon Spaihts, Scott Derrickson, C. Robert Cargill
Based on: Doctor Strange by Steve Ditko
Starring: Benedict Cumberbatch, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Rachel McAdams, Benedict Wong, Michael Stuhlbarg, Benjamin Bratt, Scott Adkins, Mads Mikkelsen, Tilda Swinton
Running time: 115 minutes
Doctor Strange is the 14th film Marvel Studios has produced for the Marvel Cinematic Universe and it is vastly different from what we’ve seen from them before. This is due in large part to the fact that Dr. Stephen Strange is not your typical super hero, which is also what I think makes this movie better than most of its predecessors.
Benedict Cumberbatch plays our protagonist, who is basically a rip-off of Dr. Gregory House from the TV series House. After an unfortunate accident that leaves him incapable of performing delicate surgery, he goes on a journey to find anyone who can heal him. Instead he finds an ancient order of magicians that teach him their ways. He also finds himself in the middle of a battle that if lost, will bring about the apocalypse. So, you know…typical Marvel plot line.
This movie is not a “good” film per se. Marvel movies aren’t really geared towards the typical cinephile anyway, and that’s fine. Entertainment doesn’t have to be art. Honestly, the writing wasn’t great, especially the dialogue, the direction was mostly awful, and despite having an all-star cast, the acting was pretty weak at times. Mads Mikkleson who plays the villain has been one of my favorite actors since his titular role in Hannibal the TV series. Seeing his uneven performance in this really made me cringe.
When you have so many talented actors bringing subpar performances to the table, you have to start blaming the director, and possibly the writers. Director and co-writer Scott Derrickson is known for making mediocre horror movies, as well as an unnecessary remake of The Day the Earth Stood Still. So giving him this project was maybe a bad idea, however the production team really helped to obscure many of his short comings.
I must digress though, because I fully support seeing this movie. Why? Because it’s fun god damn it! It also had some of the best special effects I’ve seen to date. Once the movie gets rolling you start to forget about it’s inadequacies, you let go and just enjoy it. Let’s face it, if you like Marvel movies, you’re probably used to all this by now. Doctor Strange is absolutely worth your money…if you go see it in IMAX 3D. I don’t foresee buying it on home video when it comes out because I don’t think it will have the same effect as seeing it in the theater. So go see it now with friends and have some fun!