After being out for a week, I finally got around to seeing Marvel's Doctor Strange with Droo, who was nice enough to see it with me even though he had already done so.
There were a handful of things that felt like they really worked well and only a couple of things that I felt didn't.
Let's start on a positive note, because that's exactly how this movie will fit into the Marvel Cinematic Universe in my mind.
First, Benedict Cumberbatch as Stephen Strange is as close to as perfect as possible. Whether as the cocky, selfish neurosurgeon or as the ... cocky, less selfish, world-bending Doctor Strange, everything in the Cumberbatch department works. It almost feels refreshing to see the main character of a Marvel not jacked out of his mind looking more like John Cena than a normal human.
Cumberbatch does enough in the martial arts scenes to carry his strong brand of asshole sarcastic language. He makes his disbelief in the Ancient One add to the story and the quick-shift into desperation for her admiration that much more special.
Rachel McAdams doesn't get enough action to mean anything more than the male main character lead's emotional peg. Her mystical surgery scenes give hope for optimism, not specifically for Christine Palmer, but for the future of Doctor Strange movies. Blending tense scenes with background humor fits perfectly into making comic book fans feel at home.
I really enjoyed how this movie didn't feel like the classic Marvel origin story just to set up future movies. Yeah, we get multiple looks into the future but that never steals from what's happening in this movie. That, also feels refreshing from Marvel.
Doctor Strange is goddamn insane. I saw this in standard format, which sounds like a regretful decision but I'm a journalist and also wanted popcorn. Gotta make sacrifices, I guess. Everything about the IMAX 3D sounds like watching Inception while tripping on Mushrooms.
Not a ton of negatives to talk about. There was something missing in the terms of the soul of the movie. I loved the fact that the damn world wasn't hanging in the balance of the payoff scene, but there was no true emotional attachment to Mads Mikkelsen's Kaecilius.
That's nothing on Mads, as we truly never got to know him that's more on the decisions to focus on other aspects. Could this have gone an extra 10-15 minutes to make us know more about his character? Actually, for the first time I'm asking for more minutes from Marvel, yes.
I get why they did it, I'm just saying that if I'm nitpicking over anything it's the absence of Mads and McAdams. It works out in the end, as we get our true villain but have to wait a couple of years to watch it come to fruition.
FINAL THOUGHT AND OTHER RAMBLINGS:
There is a mid- and post-credit scene. Both are worth the wait. One is funny and hints at the future, while the other lays out a definite roadplan for the future.
This flick is trippy as all hell, even in standard edition. Take that with a grain of salt, as I have heard the IMAX version is flippin' fantastic.
I would give this a really solid B grade. Not enough to make me want to see it again in theaters, but not enough to make me not watch it when it inevitably ends up on TV, Redbox, etc.