Monday, November 7, 2016

299. Doctor Strange

The Marvel movies I have the most trouble following are the ones that are just slightly off the normal superhero storyline. They’re ones set in alternate dimensions, ones that have characters with names that I have a hard time remembering, and ones that involve different worlds. That’s ok though, I still enjoy most of the films. I saw Doctor Strange tonight. I wanted to go see it, but it was either tonight, or wait till the weekend. I toyed with the idea of seeing it tomorrow night while election returns rolled in, but I decided against that line of thinking.

I had medium expectations for the film. Probably my favorite Marvel movie, Captain America: Civil War, came out earlier this year. I didn’t expect it to be at that level, but I had read that it had cool visuals, and of course, Benedict Cumberbatch. The story involved the egotistical, yet brilliant neurosurgeon Doctor Strange who loses control of his hands in an auto accident. He goes searching for miracle cures, which leads him to the far east. He finds what you could call a monastery and learns how to control magical powers, travel in alternate dimensions, etc., etc. The two movies it reminded me a lot of were Batman Begins and Inception.

Much like Christian Bale’s Bruce Wayne, Strange is in need of an escape. Although Stange’s training involves a slightly more mystical level. There were ancient texts, weapons, and lots of other stuff in that area. Enjoyable, it’s slightly less fun than the play between Captain America and Iron Man, but Cumberbatch keeps it enjoyable. I’ll be interested to see how his schtick plays among the greater Marvel Cinematic Universe Crowd. You can only have so many guys play the smarmy, but lovable a**hole route. Iron Man is definitely the alpha male in that department, but you’ll have Strange, Ant Man, Peter Quill. It’ll be interesting to see how that all plays out.

In the end, I’d say this was in the top half of my favorite Marvel movies. That’s mainly do to Benedict Cumberbatch and the awesome cinemetography. There’s a danger in superhero movies, in the words of the podcast Pop Culture Happy Hour, to go all “smashy, smashy.”  This definitely had those aspects, but I actually enjoyed watching all of the effects. They were pretty trippy. Though the final battle isn’t quite what you expect.

I like when superhero movies wrestle with some real world issues. I enjoyed the register or not storyline in the Captain America. It gives the whole story a little bit more weight. Doctor Strange was a little bit light in that aspect. The story was fine, but I don’t think I would watch the movie again. This was kind of like the Thor movies. Those have always been my least favorite of the Marvel flicks.

It looks like we’ll have three Marvel movies coming out next year: Guardians of the Galaxy 2, Spiderman: Homecoming, and Thor: Ragnorock. I think I’m most excited about Spiderman. He’s always a fun character.

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