“Doctor Strange” spells success


Graphic Illustration/ Fabrizio Orsi de Paula

Fabrizio Orsi de Paula, Business Manager

Note: possible spoilers ahead.

A familiar scene ensued at cinemas all across the country on Nov. 4, as movie fanatics leave their auditoriums, buzzing with excitement after the newest installment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU): “Doctor Strange.”

The movie, which is the second in phase three and fourteenth overall in the franchise, features Benedict Cumberbatch as Doctor Strange, Tilda Swinton as the Ancient One, Chiwetel Ejiofor as Mordo and Mads Mikkelsen as Kaecilius.

The most notable difference from this movie to other MCU works is the introduction of magic and the concept of the Multiverse. This gives the Marvel movies a different dynamic and greatly expands the possibilities in the universe. It works well in the film and it makes for stunning visuals throughout the story. In fact, the visuals are probably the best part of it, referencing back to Steve Ditko’s original “Doctor Strange” stories from the 1960s. Anyone who read those stories or at least saw pictures of his work will be amazed at how truthful the film is and just how much modern technology can do as far as special effects are concerned.

Cumberbatch is amazing in his portrayal of Stephen Strange as well, showing his arrogance and genius in similar fashion of his portrayal of Sherlock Holmes and Alan Turing. He does seem to enjoy playing that type of character and the fact he’s consistently brilliant in his performances speaks volumes about him as an actor. Strange’s character arc is also interesting, as he doesn’t change his character completely, retaining his arrogance. His hands still shake at the end of the movie, which is good because it is easier for audiences to sympathize with a character who isn’t perfect— like them.

Swinton really kills it as the Ancient One, too, and it’s hard to imagine another actor portraying the character. And Benedict Wong, who plays Wong (no, really) also does a wonderful job and is able to build a character who can be really funny without ever telling a joke up to the very end.

However, the characters of Mordo and Kaecilius are the downside of this movie. The former was a fairly likeable character up to the end of the movie, when his sudden change of personality felt forced. One can see his reasons, but at the same time, they’re not the strongest. The latter is just another dull MCU one-shot villain, as he and his allies are conveniently taken to the Dark Dimension at the end, presumably never to be seen again. This has been a problem throughout the franchise, with Loki being the only interesting villain to be seen on the big screen. But because Marvel movies are so good and, in this particular movie, the visuals so stunning, those flaws seem minor.

“Doctor Strange,” like most Marvel movies, could do with a better villain. Overall, it is a genuinely interesting story aided by amazing special effects and set to entertain any viewer. Just remember to stay after the credits, like past MCU installments, for the scene from “Thor: Ragnarok” and a set-up for the sequel.