(The Picket)- His view Chace:
One of the most visually pleasing Marvel movies to date, Doctor Strange manages to grab audiences’ attention by throwing us into a world where shifting realities and possibilities are persistent. This Marvel movie finally throws in an irrefutable existence to magic, where it has constantly been contested by other characters in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
The first minutes of this film are some of the best, as we are immediately introduced to the villains: Kaecilius and his followers. The film goes straight into the action with the Ancient One showing up and attempting to stop these zealots from getting away with a book. There are plenty of buildings being warped around and other mystical powers shown in this scene, which we don’t get much of until later on in the film.
Benedict Cumberbatch as Doctor Strange alone is a great casting choice. Not only does he look like Strange from the comics, but he’s also an exceptional actor. However, I felt disconnected from Strange early on in this film. He’s extremely egotistical and not in a Tony Stark way. It’s not playful and it made me feel much less sorry for him when he gets into a car accident and loses function in his hands.
This isn’t Cumberbatch’s fault, though. Later on in the film and through some jokes that do work at making us laugh, he becomes more grounded and humble.
Although surrounded by controversy based on white washing, Tilda Swinton as The Ancient One is the star of this movie. Her performance is effortless as she conveys the character that shows little emotions. She can respond with the most minimalistic sentences, but still be expressive and exude a passionate presence.
I found myself much more intrigued in her character than Strange. Her own backstory becomes interesting as a revelation comes up about her mystical powers. This left me wanting to know more about Swinton, but we never do.
The final battle scene with Dormammu wreaking havoc in Hong Kong will give you some major Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer vibes as Galactus attempts to feed on the Earth. Dormammu as a character seems capable of doing so much more than what he does. He’s powerful but contained; he doesn’t ever fully lash out on the world. It’s difficult to think that we won’t be seeing more of him in the future.
Her View Jessica:
This film is a visual effects paradise, so many beautiful magic effects and bending of reality it almost starts to look like an M.C. Esche painting. I sort of wish I had seen it in 3-D, I may go back and do just that.
The opening scene does throw us right into the action, it also gives us a look at our villain taking the dark road, killing his former companions and escaping the ancient one. The action sequence like many others later in the film is fast and beautifully choreographed.
Benedict Cumberbatch was wonderfully cast as Steven Strange, perfect look for the character and ability to put emotion into the character. Strange is far from lovable at the start of the film, there were several spots that I thought his love interest should have slapped him in face. The script really did not give Cumberbatch much to work with here, Strange before his crippling accident, which resembled a don’t-text-and- drive PSA, is egotistical, insensitive, and even a touch misogynistic. Thankfully through his suffering Cumberbatch gives us enough to make us start to feel sorry for him and slowly come to root for his victory later.
Tilda Swinton’s Ancient One is hard to talk about. On one hand the actress delivered a great performance, giving us a fascinating character, a strong lady who can kick magic and physical butt guarding the planet. One the other had she is playing a role that the original comic concept casts as an older Asian man, a fact that was a Hollywood controversy from the beginning. While I would love to have seen a Jet Li or Jackie Chan take this role, Swinton gave it her all fully and I couldn’t help but like her.
The final battle with Dormammu gives more humor than action for me, as Strange employs what should best be described as the ground-hog-day strategy, to save the world. This was not a typical action hero fight-it-out solution, but for this hero it seems most appropriate. Dr. Strange is not the Captain America, Iron Man-fight-a-big-battle-destroy-a-city hero. He’s the save-the-spiritual-world-and-find-the-legendary-thing hero. And out thinking the enemy in a unique way is in character for this.
I thoroughly enjoyed this and think we’ll see more of Strange in the Marvel Universe as a whole.
The final Verdicts:
It’s not the best Marvel film, but it’s still far from the worst. And like most Marvel films, don’t forget to stay after the credits! For this movie, I say Pick-it!
Even if it isn’t the most faithful comic adaptation, this move has some top rate acting and visual effects. Post credit scene with Thor worth it. Totally a Pick-it movie for me as well.
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Chace Jones is a Staff Writer for the Picket. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jessica Sharpless is a reporter for the Picket and can be contacted at email@example.com.