SPOILER REVIEW: The Doctor is In

After the success that Captain America: Civil War was, the Marvel Cinematic Universe introduced Doctor Strange to the big screen, as part of its phase three.

Doctor Strange was directed by Scott Dickensen, and stars Benedict Cumberbatch (Doctor Stephen Strange), Rachel McAdams (Chritine Palmer), Chiwetel Ejiofor (Karl Mordo), Benedict Wong (Wong), Mads Mikkelsen (Kaecillius), and Tilda Swinton (Ancient One).

The movie focuses on Doctor Stephen Strange, a brilliant but arrogant neurosurgeon, who experienced a fatal car accident that left him with injured hands that affected his work and life. With his dire need to get fixed, he ventured his way to Nepal to try the Eastern Medical Arts. Here, he met The Ancient One and Baron Mordo of Kamar-Taj who eventually teach him the ways of being a sorcerer.

Doctor Strange was released in the Philippines on October 26, 2016, and The Geekery is very keen in sharing their thoughts about the movie.

Josh Paraiso writes,

Doctor Strange could be Marvel’s biggest confirmation of the “Marvel magic” — a superhero origin formula that is tried and tested for years even if it does not present as the “usual” Marvel movie. From its stunning visuals, a kaleidoscopic origami, to superb acting from the most demanded actors to date, it is definitely making waves across the multiverse.

Benedict Cumberbatch’s portrayal with such fondness is a crossover of both Dr. Gregory House and Tony Stark which really delivered and well-accepted.

His encounter with The Ancient One and Baron Mordo shows the trademark of the comic book series as Strange dived to a lot of dimensions presented in the most visual feast and euphoric ways possible that deserves an IMAX viewing that you’ll never regret.

He quickly learns the fine points of magic through Kamar-Taj’s vast library of arcana, guarded by the enduring Wong. Both Wong and Strange have a vibrant history in the comics and their banter is something to look forward to. The movie’s humor carries much of the usual Marvel style but Strange’s modest delivery makes for laughs that it stands on their own, away from the wittiness of Tony Stark’s.

Channeling the powers of the Eye of Agamotto, he learned Kaecilius’s plans through a series of endless action sequences. From astral projection duels and dimension-breaking combats to the reality-bending chase, it is undoubtedly the height of the CGI prowess of the movie. It’s like watching Inception but magical.

If you’re going to be keen the whole time, the movie focuses on two things: hands and time.

Most of the time, during Strange’s first appearance on screen, it shows a lot of close-ups on his hands. Probably emphasizing the use of it in his profession and how relevant it is to the whole story. Secondly is the time element which mainly focuses on the wristwatch Christine has given him. And also giving a hint of a big event to follow. At the end of the movie, both Strange’s hand and the wristwatch were the main focus merely summarizing the whole movie as well as it zooms away from the New York Sanctum Sanctorum.

As a villain, Kaecilius is above Yellowjacket and Ronan the Accuser. In terms of backstory, he never quite reaches the levels of Loki but he’s at par with Ultron in both origin and motivation. Kaecilius’s troop is made up of just generic henchmen, good in creating chaos but not conversationalists.

Now, why did I consider this as a not-so-Marvel movie? Dynamic romantic interest. Christine Palmer, spends most of her time as a background character while Strange steals the show elsewhere. Strange’s approach to Palmer is a mature one, but the film could have done more with the character.

Swinton’s casting, for me is a good choice to play the character. It is an upgrade more than an update of the Ancient One. More than anything, the issue is diversity and racial sensitivity. Diversity in casting is the responsibility of directors and producers and Derrickson take it very seriously as seen to his cast as incredibly diverse in gender and race.

The familiar question will be answered. Yes, the Eye of Agamotto holds the Time Gem. And with Wong’s inclusion to Avengers: Infinity War, he may be the sole authority to discuss the use of the stones as they were slowly uncovered. Doctor Strange will likely have his own share of heroic experiences, and his knowledge of the vastness of the multiverse places him in a unique position to put things in perspective for the rest of the Avengers.

Watch out for the mid-credits and end-credits scenes. You may be delighted to see a familiar face in time for next year’s showing of his movie. And oh, Strange will be wearing his gloves on the mid-credits.

Doctor Strange follows the usual Marvel blueprint that we enjoyed for years. Gratefully, Derrickson changes quite enough to bring it to a league of its own, an impending Marvel classic in the future.

My rate: 4.5 out of 5 winks from the Eye of Agamotto

Renz Medallo says,

Doctor Strange served as a door that will eventually lead to another possibilities to explore within the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The movie’s best asset are the visual effects and casting especially Tilda Swinton. Non Marvel MCU fan can watch this without watching the previous movies since it’s an origin story. There are plot holes but you can still enjoy the movie. I still recommend people to watch this especially if you’re fond of stunning visuals.

3.5 out of 5

Seb Calaguas comments,

A fine way to let us explore the mystical side of the Marvel Universe. MCU keeps on succeeding in giving us an amazing piece of cinematic art. The movie itself is so magical with its stunning special effects, from the simple hand magic to the mind-blowing astral projections and other dimensions. But as amazing as the special effects were, it can still cause tons of dizziness, though they were understandable and a necessity for us to really feel the movie.

The movie doesn’t throw much punch line, unlike most of its predecessors such as “Captain America: Civil War” and “Ant-Man”, but the jokes are still funny and are just in the right amount and timing, and they weren’t trying to force them on the viewers. Its humor is just enough.

Taking a break from guns, rockets, blasters, and the usual brawl. The fight scenes were the perfect way to stray away from what they previously offered. This shows that Marvel can really give us a diversity of superheroes, not just muscles, technologies, brains, and other cosmic powers. The fights were neatly choreograph and were not just simple hand gestures or wand waving. They were action-packed and exciting.

Good acting. Benedict Cumberbatch really took the Doctor Strange character and owned it. Tilda Swinton, despite the racial issues regarding her role, was astounding as The Ancient One and was really the right choice for it. Chiwetel Ejiofor and Benedict Wong, as what their roles are, supported in giving us an amazing movie with their performance. Mads Mikkelsen, despite his fine performance, his role doesn’t reach the level of the top Marvel villains. I would say that he is in the level of Malekith or Killian, and wouldn’t come to your mind that easily when talking about the nemesis of their hero counterparts. Rachel McAdams, who played the role of Christine Palmer, was sort of just there. Her role was only essential in one part, when she operated on Strange, but even that can be easily altered if she wasn’t there. She was supposed to be the love interest in the movie, but compared to the previous ones, the movie failed to show us enough romance in their relationship.

Another factor that I think it lacks is the reference to the other MCU movies. This isn’t phase one anymore, and viewers tend to get excited when they see cameos and hear obvious connections to the previous movies. Except for the Time Gem and the mid-credit scene of course, they should have added just a bit more.

They did still keep putting location titles similar to what they did in “Civil War” but the upside was that the font wasn’t as enormous as that.

Overall, it is a great movie. From the perspective of someone who wasn’t very familiar with Doctor Strange, this movie is a sure way to get you hooked into the character. I recommend watching it.

4 out of 5

Mark Evander Marzan writes,

MCU’s latest outing introduced to us a character, beloved by fans for many years, that is now debuting in the silver screen. Though the film’s genre is relatively new to MCU, Doctor Strange surely injected a refreshing (and not to mention mind-bending) take on how Marvel films are going to be in the next years to come.

This origin story is not your usual origin story on how a person becomes a superhero. This story stayed away from the likes of getting bitten by a radioactive insect, being a test subject by the military and injected by a super soldier serum, or building a super suit that can either make you strong by shrinking or something that can make you blast lasers and missiles. Dr. Stephen Strange becoming Doctor Strange had to actually work his ass off in gaining his newfound powers and becoming the Sorcerer Supreme himself.

I can say that Marvel has once again proved that their casting choice is one of the best. The casts’ performances were very much aligned to the nature of the movie and also as catalysts as we dive into the world of mind-bending scenes, trippy but colorful visuals, and the introduction of the multiverse. Though Mads Mikkelsen’s Kaecilius is the main antagonist, one thing I was very surprised about the movie is that Dormmamu of the dark dimension himself, was introduced. Also, one of the strongest charatcers in the movie was the Cloak of Levitation. Yes, it is an item of clothing, but who am I to judge? The iconic cloak gave the audiences comic relief in-between battles of Doctor Strange and Kaecilius with his magical goons. Speaking of battles, the fight scenes for the movie were superb. Fighting magic with magic and a little bit of martial arts, expect to see glorious moments of action. The scene when The Ancient One coming to Strange and Mordo’s aid and fighting the bad guys alone for a moment was super awesome and badass. And oh boy, the death of The Ancient One was gruesome and emotional.

Lastly, the movie was generous enough to give a mid-credits scene and a post-credits scene. I really do hope that this is a regular now for Marvel. The luxury of having to see 2 extra scenes that depicts the future of the franchise and also a future MCU film is somehow exciting and gives you the reason why an MCU film is different from any other films.

Doctor Strange was a great movie. I think they have introduced us Doctor Strange properly and also the world that the movie brings. The casting was perfect, and acting was hands down superb, funny scenes are inserted here and there but they are not forced. Special effects are the bomb, and they are what differentiates the experience when it comes to watching in 3D and in watching in 2D. When people say that the movie was a little bit fast or rushed, I can only say that: “Time flies so fast when you’re having fun.

4 out of 5

Overall Metacritic rating (1-100): 72

Rotten Tomatoes: 91%

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