Before we begin, check out our sweet Doctor Strange items HERE!
SPOILER-FREE MOVIE RANT
+ Great actors, especially Tilda Swinton.
+ Focus on Steven Strange
+ How it doesn't feel like an MCU movie
+ Less of that lame MCU humour
+ Chuck Magione Feels So Good!!
- A couple of holes that are too big for the audience (or at least non-Marvel fans) to fill up on their own
- Unappealing soundtrack
If you have been following my movie rants, I tend to swing to the opposite of how critics judge a film. Well, for example, I actually enjoyed Fantastic Four (yes, the 2015 version).
It seems like Doctor Strange has earned a slightly above average rating for most reviews, but to me, it might be second only to Captain America in terms of MCU's solo movies. In short, Doctor Strange is great. Watch it. And this is a DC fanboy speaking; a DC fanboy who looks for reasons to bash the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe) but constantly fails to come up with many.
Firstly, the actors performed very well in the movie, even if their screentime or character development might, with the exception of the titular character, have been limited (I'll get back to this point later on). I mean, these are REAL actors; Benedict Cumberbatch, Tilda Swinton, and Mads Mikkelsen. There was not a single moment where I felt that they were trying. It all came naturally. I have to admit that even Chris Evans struggles with that problem at times, and let's be honest, most of the pretty faces in the Avengers aren't that great as actors...
I've got to give special praise to Tilda Swinton. The character she plays, and she herself, are so utterly awesome throughout the show! I've always been a fan of Tilda Swinton, or simply, her looks. There's not much need to talk about her acting chops - she won an Oscar after all. But her facial features are just so beautiful! And it's not even in a sexual way, it's beyond that. Her face is just beautiful to look at! Those soul-piercing eyes, sharp nose, and signature cheekbones are further accentuated by the bald look.
The unfortunate part is that the producers did not allow her character's story (and back story), and Mad Mikkelsen's, to go too in-depth. However, that is a sacrifice that was worth taking. Their lack of character development allows the focus to be on Steven Strange himself, and that's the most important part. After all, there's only that much a two-hour movie can fit in. Character development, though always a gripe with critics regarding one or two characters in every movie, should never be spread across too many characters, or it would end up like a mess like a certain and recently-released two-word movie that has the initials SS and is made by a company that starts with a D and ends with a C.
So, with the focus on Steven Strange, the movie was set on the right track. Benedict Cumberbatch played a moving role in the recovery of Strange and his despair during the process. It is (this is becoming a word I'm using too often these days) very refreshing to see REAL acting in an MCU movie, with just a pinch of, not too much of, humour. In fact, unless you're an eagle-eyed MCU fan, and bar the TWO post-credit scenes, you wouldn't even feel like Doctor Strange is an MCU film.
But there are a few plot holes that might be too large to fill in by non-MCU fans among the audience on their own. I myself am one of them. The first two that come to mind are why did the cloak choose him, and why was the Eye so easily accessible?
The only big complaint I have is the unimpressive soundtrack. The music always plays a huuuge part in a film for me. It was a shock to learn that it is by Michael Giacchino, the man behind the music from Lost, Fringe, the rebooted Star Trek films, and Jurassic World. He's in charge of Rogue One too, so let's hope it doesn't turn out too bad, though I doubt it can happen. How bad can you go with themes and motifs that have already been composed by the legendary John Williams?
And for the final of one of the dearest moments in the movie - the mention of Chuck Mangione and Feels So Good. Thanks for the shoutout to King of the Hill fans!!
Once again, remember to check out Marvelous Toys' Doctor Strange items HERE!