Movie Review – Doctor Strange

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.

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The Ancient One modifies the dimensional forms in a city. Photo credit: YouTube

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.

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Something along this line. Photo credit: vice.com

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.

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The climax action scene was done beautifully, sans the final confrontation. Photo credit: YouTube

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.

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Misplaced chemistry? Photo credit: savoringthegood.com

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

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Suicide Squad

So.. did Suicide Squad save the DC film universe?

Warning: Mild spoilers ahead!
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A bunch of weirdos doing their thang, because the Dark Knight and the Scarlet Speedster couldn’t be bothered to help. But, logic. Photo credit: Youtube

Let’s first talk about the good stuff –

Harley Quinn

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Spectacular acting from Margot Robbie. Photo credit: collider.com

The character Harley Quinn singlehandedly brought that light-hearted and silly humour that the show very much needed, much thanks to Margot Robbie’s goofy portrayal of the Queen of Gotham. She cracks the silliest jokes like a baby girl at the most inappropriate situations (for a good laugh) to slacken the atmosphere. Definitely one of the most enjoyable aspects of the movie, but she could be less sexualized, I guess.

El Diablo

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Because fire is cool. Photo credit: superherohype.com

The only supporting cast to get his own character development, Jay Hernandez’s El Diablo transforms from being afraid of his own identity to setting foot on his path to redemption through the show. I appreciated the subplot intertwining within the main storyline, and El Diablo really felt like the X-Factor that made or broke the team. And of course, the best part is when he went full bankai – sooooo exciting!

Then for the mehhhh things –

Joker

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Jared Leto tried out a few laughs for his character, and not all of them were appropriate 😂 Photo credit: ew.com

Despite having a really large shoe to fill from the late Heath Ledger’s incarnation of the character, Jared Leto exhibited his own personality in his own rendition of the deranged clown, and I enjoyed his acting on screen. Regrettably, the Joker felt more like a convenient plot tool in this show to drive certain developments forward, and in my opinion his behaviour in the show was logically inconsistent, particularly at the points where he chose not to save Harley Quinn. It might just be me though.

And the areas for improvement,

The Objective (Enchantress)

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Cara Delevingne goes crazy in the show. Photo credit: inverse.com

If the Enchantress is really that powerful, I’m pretty sure that she could’ve found ways to gain her freedom through other means, instead of how it was portrayed in the movie. Also, the whole world domination thing is really becoming too cliche at this moment.. and how she got taken down was another disappointment, at least for me.

Script and Filming Decisions

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Killer Croc gets left out of the limelight. Credits: zap2it.com

Although the movie is said to feature an “ensemble cast”, it is obvious that Will Smith and Margot Robbie gets the most on-screen time. I felt that this was a waste as the characters of Killer Croc and Captain Boomerang deserves their own development as well, and this is definitely possible as seen in Marvel’s Avengers movie (at least the first) and the more recent Civil War. Something DC can learn from Marvel perhaps.

Furthermore, the whole film felt rather disjointed transitioning from scene to scene – seems like the reshoots and last-minute edits disrupted the film’s overall cohesiveness.


All in all, Suicide Squad was generally an enjoyable film, but definitely not of blockbuster quality. But if you’ve seen reviews (and/or read up to this point), your expectations should be lowered to a point where the movie can be fun to watch. 😂