Stephen Strange, a successful neurosurgeon ends up losing control of his hands in the aftermath of a car accident. He feels that without his capabilities he has nothing. He then learns of a sorcerer whom he hopes can heal him. In the process, Doctor Strange beings to develop his own capabilities of sorcery, and able to manipulate objects, time, and space; leaving his old profession behind to become a guardian of Earth and worldly dimensions.
It’s very rare when I see a Marvel film I don’t care for, I’m usually entertained enough in the long run. However, Doctor Strange didn’t do much for me. Sure it has all of the elements you can expect from a Marvel film, and while some may disagree, this one didn’t catch my interest at all. The story itself as well as the characters really didn’t engage me at all. There just wasn’t anything special about it or them. Granted I loved the concept of the sorcery involved and all of the manipulation of matter, time, and space, but that’s about it. I didn’t care about the journey the character was on, and this is probably because I found Strange to be very unlikable and self-absorbed. There just didn’t seem any real purpose to the story. But like all superhero films, the action scenes grabbed my attention, and the visual effects combined with these were pretty mind blowing and dazzling. As mentioned, there wasn’t anything special about the characters, there were some likable ones, but there wasn’t anything special or unique about them or their personalities. The forced humor was another aspect that didn’t sit well with me. It was very dumb humor that only caters to the simple minded or child viewers. I chuckled at maybe a couple of parts, but so much of the humor felt forced. I admit I’m not a fan of Benedict Cumberbatch really, I liked him in The Imitation Game, and honestly, I feel like he is better off in the dramatic roles we’ve grown used to seeing him in, even in Sherlock. Not that he was bad here, but big blockbuster films just don’t seem to suit him in my opinion. Tilda Swinton (another person I’m not particularly fond of), does a fine job here as Strange’s “mentor” and provides a lot of the wisdom Chiwetel Ejiofor is fine as well and is probably the more established character in the film besides Strange and it’ll be interesting to see where they take his character. It’s Rachel McAdams though who is essentially the heart of the film, and it’s unfortunate that she maybe gets a whole 20 minutes of screen time and doesn’t get to do a whole lot. Early on in the film we get a glimpse of her care for Strange and that she is a caring person in general, but that is forgotten with the rest of screen time as she merely plays doctor in her remaining scenes and coming to grip with Stephen’s changes, and of course being the love interest. The scenes in which McAdams shows the heartfelt scene she nails, so it is a shame that the script didn’t allow her to stick with this.
It’s not that Doctor Strange is a bad movie, it’s just one that didn’t resonate well with me as far as the story and most of the characters go, and it definitely could have either matured the humor a little bit (obviously not Deadpool status), but not the sad and cringeworthy humor we got. In the long run it was just a visual treat and in that respect it did its job. With stronger written characters I more than likely would have liked it more. But with all of the Marvel films in the world, some (if not all) will sit better with others, and some won’t.
I did however love the mid-credits scene as a preview for what’s to come in the upcoming film for a Marvel character we already know and love. And the post-credit scene at least shows promise for the next Doctor Strange film.