I’m going to be honest from the start of this, Doctor Strange changed the MCU. Not only did it introduce a brand new concept in the form of magic, but it opened more possibilities. Within in the space of a single movie we were introduced to time travel and sorcerers on Earth. Anyone who knows me, knows that I’m a sucker for time manipulation. One of my favourite movies is Back to the Future for that reason. I’m also a huge fan of anything mystical, especially in an every day setting. Seeing a movie about Benedict Cumberbatch becoming a wizard is one of the most enjoyable things I could have.
I think that’s where we’ll start in terms of positives. Doctor Strange is a huge character from the comics. Which meant that casting and putting him in the MCU would have to be perfect. Benedict Cumberbatch captures that appearance and character and portrays him exactly as I imagined. I can’t look at the comic character without seeing Cumberbatch or hearing that lustful voice. This has easily become one of my favourite casting choices of the entire MCU. His American accent isn’t half bad even if it is a bit wacky to hear sometimes. That’s mainly because Benedict is the physical form of the United Kingdom though.
Doctor Strange in the beginning of this movie is very similar to Tony Stark. They are both incredibly rich and arrogant. Then they have a life changing experience that hinders their body and to a level their job. Tony then moves on, using the experience as a lesson for him to go and correct those mistakes. Strange however is obsessed with fixing his hands, almost to an obsessive lesson. It is this obsession and desperation that brings him to the Ancient One. He is someone who will use every scientific possibility to fix and outcome. However the biggest thing in his life has always been his Ego.
While Tony has a huge ego of his own, there’s something kind about it. Once he has that experience he immediately becomes a man who wants to save the world. Strange however still can’t push past that, focusing on himself, wanting this power for his own means. His obsession isn’t to fix his hands so people can be safe, it’s to fix his reputation and get more money. Even towards the end of the movie he is still more concerned with his hands rather than the outcome of the sanctum. Eventually he does come to learn the ways of being a kind man and begins to serve humanity.
However putting all that story stuff to the side for now, this movie is so pretty. There’s a scene at the start where The Ancient One essentially opens his mind up to the possibilities of the universe. We then go on the biggest LSD trip I’ve ever seen on screen. There’s so much going on visually through colours and effects. The first Guardians would be the only movie up to this point to bring across so many colours to the MCU. Even if you don’t enjoy the narrative content of Doctor Strange, you will fall in love with the visuals. Even the Time Stone makes itself so distinct to the rest of the movie. It is held in the sanctum which is a dark location, but once those green space lights come up it illuminates with mystery.
I wasn’t sure what to expect with this film when it released. I ended up missing out on the cinema window as I wasn’t sure how interested I would be. However as soon as it was made available I was fascinated with this new corner of the universe. For me that was enough to elevate my experience with the movie. I could see a lot of people feeling very meh about this, as it’s not entirely something new beyond the concept. Almost fitting in the category of Ant-Man where the film is great but when you compare it to the rest of the MCU it’s hard to place. I just know that I love this film and everything it has introduced.
I feel like there’s not too much to be said about this one at the end of the day. For an origin movie in the third phase I was at first unsure about it fitting in. However the fact it has in a sense advertised the expected power of the Time Stone and the sorcerers out there it helps to build excitement towards Infinity war. Oh I suppose I should also mention how in love I am with the ending of this movie. Doctor Strange defeats the great Dormammu using a time loop. He spends what is expected to be so many years in a loop dying over and over. It’s not an over the top action fight, it is simply a man boring his opponent to death.
I like this ending because it’s actually pretty smart and again just shows us how bad-ass this guy and the Time Stone really are. I’m really glad he exists in the MCU and to this scale. Apparently during the time he was in the loop he was able to learn and master some of his spells. This means the man at the very end of the film is a much wiser one to the guy we saw only a few hours earlier. I really hope we do get to see him unleash his potential with Infinity War. Until then though we now move onto my favourite MCU movie of all time (so far). Let’s see what goes down in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2!