Blankments’s review published on Letterboxd:
Doctor Strange is the first time in the Marvel Cinematic Universe where Marvel may have gone too far into pulpy, bizarre, comic lore for the general audience. Yes, going further than a talking raccoon or a man who speaks to ants, Doctor Strange triumphs because not only does it adapt some really crazy stuff, it never loses your attention.
Cumberbatch is surprisingly an inspired choice as the Sorcerer Supreme. Yes, Cumberbatch seemed like an obvious choice when he was announced, but he plays the role way differently then his other blockbuster efforts, being both restrained and having shockingly good comic timing. Swinton, Ejiofor, and Wong are all great as well, although Mikkelsen and McAdams are both wasted in their underdeveloped roles. This is Strange's film in a very good way, giving us a developed, if somewhat familiar archetype.
The script covers all the basic grounds of origin movies. This would be a problem if the cast wasn't so entertaining, or, more importantly, if the visuals were just average. This is a true visual feast, the first innovative blockbuster in visual effects since Gravity. There are shots in it that look like a modern art painting brought to life, and the Cloak is a character in its own right. The action has a lot of variety to it; more than the typical Marvel movie, and it allows each individual sequence to be memorable without thinking of comparing them.
Derrickson ended up being an inspired pick for Doctor Strange. With a surprising amount of actually disgusting shots for a PG-13 tentpole, Doctor Strange definitely wears his signature, although toned down quite a bit. Giacchino's score is disappointing, giving a great main theme, but blending into the background otherwise like in a typical Marvel fashion. Doctor Strange is a marked improvement from Marvel's last origin effort, and introduces a character and his universes for audiences to actually be excited for in upcoming films. The rare Marvel film that actually is a marvel, a flawed one, but a marvel nonetheless.
Film #2 of Alex's Scavenger Hunt mini
Task 10/16: A film about Magic.