Doctor Strange (2016) – movie review


Doctor Strange is Marvel’s latest foray into single protagonist films and it seems to be a critic’s Saturday breakfast (they think it’s good). But should it?

Doctor Strange follows Stephen Strange, a surgeon who is arrogant, talented and incredibly rich. After surviving a fatal car crash which takes his ability to operate, Stephen travels to find Kamar-Taj, an apparent healing society which will heal him through ancient techniques.

Whilst at Kamar-Taj, Strange learns of the different layers of time and space, that he can control them and then… he does.

Then training, ancient prophecy, “he was quite gifted until he turned to the dark side of the force”, etc.

This film seems to be a critic’s darling and I can understand why. If you compare this to a lot of what’s come out in the past for Marvel, this may seem very unique and original. However I don’t see it that way because I compare it to films outside of the studio and this one still seems pretty close to the bunker (Marvel).

There is a very basic three-act structure being employed and almost nothing in this script strays from that path. Even though the characters and the world may be different to what Marvel has offered in the past, the environment for the audience feels the same.


Nevertheless, there isn’t anything bad to say about Doctor Strange, only some disappointments. Like how the ending, as entertaining as it may be, comes very quickly and the villains don’t present that much of a threat.

I did enjoy Doctor Strange. There is a lot of humour in it and Cumberbatch brings a lot of that himself even though I don’t see him as that much of a comedian.

I would comment on the action and even though I caught the better half of it, I was sat up so close to the screen I could probably notice a Cumberbatch nose-hair but other than that, it was good. There were a couple moments when it felt like Christopher Nolan directed an M. C. Escher painting which was cool.

Doctor Strange isn’t a masterpiece and it didn’t feel incredibly different to other Marvel offerings (that can be good or bad depending on your taste) but I still enjoyed it enough to recommend it. The action felt refreshing, I laughed quite a bit, the story was well paced, there were some good performances and overall I feel I got my money’s worth.

What did you think of Doctor Strange? Were you in the front row? How much does your neck hurt?

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