Periodically I dip into Marvel to remind myself what they always do well and what their limitations are: i.e., no more or less than fast, fun pixel-camp that papers over its cracks by winking at the audience to not take it all so seriously. Each is a tonic in a vacuum, but on the whole you can feel the mechanization. The best we can hope for are quirks—which, here, is a mingling of action with wild psychedelia.
There's certainly more jokes than the average Marvel film. Wait, let me clarify - there are actually funny jokes in this Marvel film. Even some deadpan comments that made me smirk. Behind all the spiralling sparkles and expositional dialogue there's definitely some heart, and everybody is committed. But it can't escape my "franchise fatigue". How about trying something original with this much money and talent?
Marvel Studios is a bit like RyanAir: every time you use them, you swear yourself it's the last time. Everything they do is a waste of time and emotions. I am seriously boycotting their films from now on because they are mediocre, emotionless, horribly written, and, essentially, always the same fucking thing.
Other than the impressive special effects and the Matrix-inspired action scenes, the story and the characters weren't really engaging to me. The dialogues were also pretty bad, especially the weird stupid jokes of Strange.
Marvel have now reached a point - aided by the lacklustre attempts of rivals - where they can comfortably dig out tertiary characters and use them to print money, so long as the framework doesn't stray too far from the origin/villain/twist formula. Remarkably, even 14 films in, watching 6 great actors - Swinton, Wong, Ejiofor, Cumberbatch, McAdams and Mikkelsen - having fun still feels like a breath of fresh air.
Where’s the line between 'effortless' and 'not really trying'? Marvel’s latest sticks to their tried and true playbook, with a script that coasts from plot to plot point with a bit too much ease. When “Strange” succeeds, it does so due to what's always been Marvel's secret weapon - superb casting - and the few welcome bits of almost "Hellraiser"-esque atmosphere that director Scott Derrickson is allowed to inject.
This is a fun refreshing film from Marvel Studios. We still get the basic origin story but this one has a lot more depth and conflict and also is another conveniently placed stepping stone for Marvel's big send up. I also enjoyed Cumberbatch's performance.
For a film that deals with the enormity of multiverse, time and (but of course) the fate of humanity, DOCTOR STRANGE is surprisingly economical. With only a handful of characters, dialog drives the narrative engine. The visual effects—not groundbreaking and heavily influenced by 2001, THE MATRIX and INCEPTION—are staged around fights that remind you of the wit and charm of Lester's SUPERMAN II. Disposable, fun.