William Li’s review published on Letterboxd:
Doctor Strange, directed by Scott Derrickson is the 14th film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and stars Benedict Cumberbatch, Rachel McAdams, Tilda Swinton, and Mads Mikkelsen. Benedict plays Dr. Stephen Strange, a surgeon whose hands are tragically destroyed in a horrific car crash. Taking whatever it takes to find a cure, he travels to Nepal and in turns gets himself whisked into a world of magic and cosmic horror, and now must become the one and only Sorcerer Supreme.
We've all seen the trailers and looked at how the visual effects made the world of Doctor Strange look fascinating and somewhat tense, so let me just get to it.
While the really visual, CGI heavy scenes do not encompass to the whole movie, when it comes, it is *trippy as balls.* I mean, holy shit, not since Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas have I felt like I was doing some hardcore LSD when I was watching. And I'm as clean as a whistle! To tell you the truth I kinda got a bit scared.
But besides that, though, how does the 14th Marvel movie fare?
Very well! Marvel has not lost any traction at all, and I do not see them losing it anytime in the future if their products continue to shine like this.
The cast is great, but it's a Marvel movie, so you know they're bringing in the best, and so we have a new pivotal character in the MCU, Dr. Strange, played by good ol' Sherlock himself. I'm surprised Marvel was able to get a deal from him, considering how long this universe can last and how high-profile Benedict is now. Remember, Robert Downey Jr. was not as well known back in 2008 as he is now.
So, Benedict plays Doctor Strange, and of course he does a great job as he always do. Hints of Tony Stark can be seen in him, but they make enough of a difference to not just be an Iron Man re-skin. It's kinda weird to hear him do an American accent, though. Kinda puts you off a bit.
Everyone else does great as well. Rachel McAdams could've had more screentime, but her character was never meant for anything huge, so it's fine to me. We've heard the convtroversy about Tilda Swinton being Strange's mentor while in the comics her character's a Tibetian man, and while I'll admit I'm kinda miffed about that, her performance is just fine, and in the end actually kinda powerful.
Mads Mikkelsen is the villain, but I'll get to him later.
Another thing, last time in my review of Civil War I complained that the movie was shot like a TV production. There was no real sense of grand scale with the directing and such. I loved the movie, but sometimes it felt like it was done on the quick.
No issue here. You get to see the magic mind-fuckery in all its strangely beautiful glory. In the end, the credits lists like 6 or 7 different effects companies, including the famous Industrial, Light and Magic. Once you've watched the movie, you'll definitely believe it.
Okay, but while this movie solves a few problems I've had with the MCU, others remain. Like the villain, for example. The MCU doesn't have the best track record with its villains, and here the problem...isn't as bad as say, Yellowjacket from Antman, it's not completely gone.
Mads Mikkelsen is Kaecilius, a former student of the Ancient One gone evil. But not really. The movie gives him an actual relatable backstory and motive, which automatically puts him above some of the other villains, but I feel like it could've been explored much more instead of just one scene.
Besides that, though, the movie's fine.
In conclusion, *Doctor Strange* proves that Marvel still has the magic touch, and I give it a definite recommendation.