OKLAHOMA CITY – If thou art searching for an highly acclaimed motion picture, thou wilt do well in seeking out Dr. Strange. The latest Marvel movie has received high marks indeed, scoring an 8/10 on Imdb.com and a mighty 90% on Rotten Tomatoes. Less scintillating but still strong, the film is standing at 72/100 on Metacritic.
In the opinion of this reviewer, such scores are a bit too high. While Dr. Strange is easy on the eyes and largely unobjectionable, in the end it simply is neither great nor highly memorable.
In case thou art unfamiliar with the premise, this film features the origin story of Dr. Stephen Strange. A skilled surgeon, Dr. Strange is arrogance personified. He brags about his achievements, belittles those who can’t keep up, and is terribly insensitive in romance. However, after a considerable misfortune, he finds his life turned upside down and must travel to the far East in search of answers. There, he transitions from regular Dr. Strange, Medical Doctor to Dr. Strange, Marvel Dude and ends up keeping all the bad things from happening.
The pace is quick. Forsooth, the pace is a bit too quick. The fewest possible scenes are devoted to establishing the necessary character elements before the advent of the second act, and it ends up leaving one with a feeling of disappointment because, frankly, the snobby/arrogant/non-super Dr. Strange is really fun. Alas.
Moving on to the music, I had a glimmer of a thought while watching that it might be a Michael Giacchino score (I think I heard some chordal elements that reminded me of him). But then I thought, ‘Naw, this isn’t Giacchino – there are no strong themes, and that’s his MO.’ Then, the credits rolled, and, behold, it was Giacchino. Needless to say, this is not one of his better efforts; the lack of memorable themes relegates this to the same league as his MI:3 soundtrack.
Regarding the acting, everyone does a great job with what he or she was given. Sadly, there just weren’t enough character-building moments that let the players flex their muscles. IMPORTANT NOTE: this film is chock-full of good actors, so it is even more disappointing that they weren’t given more time to develop their roles.
Of course, the main attraction is Benedict Cumberbatch. He does fine as Dr. Strange, but his accent does not match the acting. I initially thought, due to his voice, that he was playing a Britisher in America. Then I realized he is supposed to be an American. Apparently he hasn’t mastered the sound of someone from this union of sovereign states . Despite his less than stellar American, methinks the accent ultimately plays not the cumbrance.
So the big question is, shalt thou view this moving picture? If thou likest unoffensive superhero flicks, and if thou be not wearied by the onslaught of Marvel movies such that thou flee at the very notion thereof, then by my troth iwis – thou shalt set thine eyes upon this motion picture.
But, if you only want to spend “theater” money on the best movies, then I’d say this can be relegated to rental status. I give it a 6.8.
Grant Stevens is trying to bring back the 2nd-person informal English pronouns “thou” and “thee.” He finds it tiring, though, to not know how to write in his own language. While not resurrecting elements of language, he sells homes and plays music. He is also the President of the Use Ironic Correctly Society as well as the Emperor in Perpetuity of the Keep English Alive Coalition. He also likes apologetics, especially from William Lane Craig.