The last time I watched a Benedict Cumberbatch movie was when I saw Sherlock Holmes: The Abominable Bride in a theater in China. Even though I watched the Sherlock series before, the movie was so boring and confusing that I actually fell asleep in the cinema. That experience compromised Cumberbatch’s image as an actor in my mind. I did not get my hopes up when I stepped into Doctor Strange, but as a huge Marvel fan, I still bought tickets for the first showing and was once again blown away by how amazing Marvel did at 10:30 p.m. on a Thursday.
Let’s start with the cast. Cumberbatch proved me wrong with his acting in this movie. He acted like an
arrogant, knowledgeable, and sarcastic genius. Sounds familiar, right? Because that sounds exactly like Sherlock Holmes. Maybe he is just good at acting like a smart jerk.
Rachel McAdams is not a mean plastic anymore, but a caring surgeon who was coldly friend-zoned by Cumberbatch’s character for years. It must be a common theme for Marvel superheroes to kiss a girl, make her wait, and then never commit to her, like with Thor, Captain America, and Tony Stark.
However, Cumberbatch and McAdams are not the only hot-shots cast in this movie. Oscar winner Tilda Swinton was cast as the Ancient One and Oscar nominee Chiwetel Ejiofor was cast as Mordo, one of her students. Also, Mads Mikkelsen was cast as the villain. The scene of him chopping a person into pieces into a pot just makes you want to yell, “Dr. Hannibal, wrong place, man!” Of course, Stan Lee made an appearance in the movie as well.
Unlike Captain America 3, which is just a shorter version of The Avengers, Doctor Strange brings us into the next stage of the Marvel universe with the introduction of new characters and more of an explanation of how different dimensions work. I always get excited when I get that “Oh my God, everything is connected” feeling. So when Doctor Strange used one of the infinity gems, the time gem, that hyped me up so much that I can’t wait for the next Marvel movie.
Unlike other superhero movies, Doctor Strange is about fighting in the non-physical realm, meaning that they are fighting with magic. With that being said, it might be upsetting for people who are expecting an intense action, fist-on-fist type of movie. Yet, Marvel outdid itself with the special effects. The Ancient One turned London upside down, and the way the buildings moved was just too real. I was ready for Leonardo DiCaprio to jump out and tell us “It’s only a dream” while spinning a gyroscope or something. The whole idea of changing places and time simultaneously is too surreal for me.
Inception is not the only movie Doctor Strange reminded me of. Remember when Hermione had a time turner so she could take more classes (literally why)? There is a theory that Hermione actually messed up time, so from that moment on, the whole dimension is changed and she is stuck with duplications of Ron and Harry for eternity and can never go back to the original time point. Could this be what happened to Stephen Strange as well? Because of how he broke the natural law, is he in a parallel dimension, saving people who are not actually related to him? If so, the whole movie becomes a completely different story.
The majority of the cast had some sort of an accent, but Cumberbatch had an American one. For a non-English speaker like myself, it did not help me to understand the plot at all. There were a lot of made up words, and every single person pronounced them differently. I still don’t know how to pronounce the ugly monster’s name, which is supposed to be the biggest antagonist.
The movie did teach me one important thing, which is that even the good can have a dark side, it just depends on how you use it. Traditional superhero movies like to portray the protagonist as a perfect being that reeks of justice and positivity. In Doctor Strange, we know that Stephen is a jerk and makes horrible decisions. We also saw the Ancient One use her dark power to maintain peace on the bright side. Forget everything you know, because you don’t know anything. It actually made me think a lot, and I hated Perspectives freshman year.
Are you still wondering if it’s going to be good, even if you don’t know the whole background of the story? The answer is yes. It’s a funny movie. There are jokes that made me laugh out loud throughout the entire thing. The WiFi part, the cape, Wong… you will get it if you see the movie. It is not Deadpool funny, but it is funny. I would not recommend it to you as your first Marvel movie, but you should definitely go watch it. Sit back, enjoy your popcorn, and watch the title get changed around twenty-three times.
Overall, I would rate Doctor Strange 8 out of 10. It is a segue for Marvel Studios since they are moving from stage 2 to stage 3. The use of a new logo in the beginning shows Marvel’s willingness to change and keep improving. Also, you should stay for the whole movie, even after the credits. It is always good to see Chris Hemsworth’s face somewhere. As a transitional movie, I think Doctor Strange served its purpose and I will make sure to pay more money at the box office in the future.