Doctor Strange has been out for a couple of weeks and I decided to see it yesterday. I’m going to preface this review with a warning that if you’re susceptible to seizures or motion sickness, you might want to skip watching this in 3D. My attitude about 3D movies has mellowed a bit lately, but during the scene where Strange gets an introduction into what really goes on, my thoughts were that this could be seizure-inducing. There’s a LOT of bright colors that flicker and flash, and the objects he goes by and through change shape and move very quickly. And that was watching it in 2D. I don’t have either of those kinds of health problems, so I don’t know if I’m right or not, however.
On to the movie itself. It opens with a fight sequence that lets you know up front that reality can be warped and makes hand-to-hand combat a lot more challenging. This comes into play again at the end of the movie where another variable is introduced that means you could get sideswiped from anywhere.
From there, we meet Stephen Strange, a neurosurgeon who is talented and arrogant enough that he can pick and choose which cases he takes. But that arrogance leads to his hands being badly damaged, and all attempts to repair them fail, to the point where all he’s got left is the longshot of Eastern mysticism.
Strange’s desperation pays off, he finds the right place to go and he learns he doesn’t really know anything. But the brilliance that helped him get two degrees at the same time means he learns this quick, too, and makes a few leaps that others can’t. A natural talent for the mystic arts helps him with much of the rest when the bad guys come back, and we can see he’s a lot more confident at the end of the movie with a better grasp of what’s important. He projects a kind of “don’t mess with me” air about him.
I hadn’t really read up much about the movie before seeing it, but during the point where Strange is picking out which case to work on, I was thinking, “Wait, is he really doing that there? And how long has he been looking at that? That’s stupid.” And that’s right about that time is when he got a first-hand lesson about why you don’t do that, especially not there. If you watch the credits, there’s a PSA about this right at the end.
There’s a couple other good distinctions in the movies, such as the Avengers handle physical threats and they’ll handle mental/astral threats. Another was if someone can’t handle the concept of spells, maybe they can if it’s more like computer programming. So it makes the movie a bit more approachable.
There’s attempts at humor in the movie, but I haven’t decided if they’re just due to how Strange conducts himself, even when he’s trying for a joke and we get to watch it fall flat, or whether they just weren’t that funny.
Stick around for the credits. The mid-credits scene and post-credits scene set up two more movies.