It’s been TIME immemorial since I’ve made a movie review. But now, I think it’s high TIME I start reviving this blog.
Okay, enough with the time references.
I’ll try my best to hold back on the spoilers and just give out just enough detail so as to get a picture of the film.
Well, Marvel has done it time and time again (and again with the time references. Haha.) But this time (okay, stop.) I don’t think they hit the jackpot. Doctor Strange is mystifying, good in every way, but that’s just it — good.
I’ve watched the Marvel films countless times now and even though they don’t remain fully faithful to the comic book lore, they made them interesting enough to consider it on its own merit. However, Doctor Strange tried to break out too much that for me, it didn’t seem to give the Comic Books enough credit.
Firstly, for a film that should’ve been filled to the brim with magic, magical stuff, incantations, as it was in the Comic Books, didn’t have much.
Strange-ly enough, they struggled to use the characters for what they are — MAGICAL. Characters like The Ancient One, Mordo and Wong continually goes on and on about the Space-time continuum, Multiverses, Alternate Universes, etc. For me, it takes the mystery vibe out from these beloved characters. I mean, I could imagine Stark, Thor or Banner to speak these words in their language but it just weirds me out that these “Mystical People” sound like your regular run-of-the-mill Science Geek.
Another one, for a movie based on a Comic Book so mystical, full of incantations, spells and just downright crazy, it’s actually pretty normal. True, there were scenes that are just your typical acid ride (not that I have taken any acid before… or maybe.. I don’t know.. just, let’s move on) But that was it. Acid — trippy acid. I was looking for more “magical” or “mystical” words in their vocabulary.
What I actually loved about the Comic Books is how they portray these characters when casting off spells. You hear them shout out loud like the crazy men they are supposed to be: “By the Hoary Hosts of Hoggoth!!”, “I command the Vapors of Valtorr!!”, “From the Crimson Bands of Cytorrak!!” and so on, and so forth. That was actually the time when you know deep in yourself: “Something’s about to go down.” I honestly was a bit disappointed that I didn’t hear any of those in the film.
If you’re an avid Marvel Easter Egg Hunter though, you will have so much fun because, in actuality, name drops aren’t that subtle in this film. We meet Daniel Drumm, albeit shortly. There was a mention of the Wand of Watoomb, and the Staff of the Living Tribunal — which if you are a hardcore Marvel fan, you would definitely know the possible repercussions this simple name drop would have in the Marvel Universe — correction, Multiverse.
For those that are eagle-eyed, you will get to see what is most likely The Staff of One which in the comics is owned by Nico Minoru of The Runaways. However, this one is most likely possessed by Tina Minoru which in the tie-in comics is likely the mother of Nico.
Also, for those reading the most recent Doctor Strange arc named: “The Last Days of Magic” there are a lot of allegorization towards it like Mordo’s not-so-subtle-way of saying, “Magic always has a price” or “The bill will eventually catch up to you.”
You might also want to keep an eye out for the possible Axe of Angaruumus which has been a very useful magical artifact in Strange’s arsenal.
Rachel McAdams’ portrayal of what is supposed to be the MCU’s second (one is Netflix’s) version of the Night Nurse for me is quite on point. In fact, if you’ve read the old Doctor Strange comic books, you’d see this nostalgic scene come to life.
There was also a particular reference to the Hippocratic Oath in the film reminiscence of this particular scene as well to the story above, “The Oath”
Perhaps to wrap things up, let me just add Mads Mikkelsen was an awesome actor in the film. Again, however, Marvel is back to their old game of giving us disposable villains. He could’ve been great as another villain instead of just Kaecillius. Cumberbatch was awesome as Strange. He definitely put that arrogant doctor vibe just perfectly. It was like Stark all over again.
If you’ve been following the teasers and trailers, as Marvel has repeatedly confirmed, The Eye of Agamotto is indeed the Time Stone of the Infinity Stones which finally makes it officially the fifth stone revealed in the series. Here’s hoping that the Soul Stone isn’t really Heimdall — but that’s for another discussion.
Finally, the Mid-credits scene and the End-credits scene should definitely have been interchanged. It made the ending more anti-climactic instead of going off on a high note. Though it almost definitely assures us a Doctor Strange 2, whenever that may be.
Overall, the movie was good but I’ll give it a 7/10 instead. Definitely could’ve had lots of room for improvement.