Doctor Strange left me feeling uncanny at the end of the show.
Telling the tale of a successful, arrogant neurosurgeon who lost the use of his hands in a car accident, the movie wasted no time in introducing us to the powers that the sorcerors at Kamar-Taj holds, with a starting action sequence that leaves you at the edge of your seat. The visual effects of the multi-dimensional buildings and conjured weapons were stunning, and will definitely leave you at the edge of your seat wanting more.
I was especially impressed with the psychedelic scenes when Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) was first projected into the colorful dimensions by the Ancient One (Tilda Swinton). These scenes were not shown in the trailers and definitely threw me in for a surprise, and I enjoyed the visual presentation, vivid colors and transitions.
The battle scenes to me were a mixture of ups and downs. While I hold my praise for the stunning CGIs and details in the conjured spells and wormholes, the battle choreography felt a little static, as most scenes relied on fighting each other with the conjured weapons, which I felt could have been explored in a more innovative manner – most of the time, fights were carried out with blades, shields or spear-like weapons. I’m no expert in martial arts, but the idea of being limited only by your own creativity in weapon selection thrills me a lot (think Green Lantern); although Doctor Strange might not want to proceed in the humorous direction, it certain could have done better in this area.
The disheartening thing, however, was the failed attempt by the movie to portray the grey area in the moral compasses of the “good guys”. The questionable decisions made by the Ancient One were revealed in a non-shocking manner due to the excessive amount of foreshadowing going on; this reduced the intended off-balancing impact on the internal moral scales of the audience. Furthermore, Strange’s love interest, Christine Palmer (Rachel McAdams), felt a little forced into the movie’s plot – my best guess is that she was meant to be the person that Doctor Strange turned back to for help and as a means for his repentant and changed nature to surface, and that was not reflected convincingly in the storyline.
Overall, Doctor Strange is an enjoyable piece in the theatres due to its quaintly charming CGI that is a joy to be expertienced on the big screen – but its straightforward and simple origin story may leave the audience desiring for something better.
Featured photo credit: popcorn.sg