In preparation for Avengers: Infinity War, I’m watching all the Marvel Studios movies leading up to it.
Doctor Strange (2016)
I feel like Doctor Strange isn’t the most beloved of the MCU movies. What I mean by that, is I don’t think it’s on anyone’s “best of” list. I guess, with the number of quality movies that Marvel Studios has put out, I understand it. But, for my money, it’s pretty far up there on the list.
I suppose it’s fair to say that Strange’s character arc is similar to Tony Stark’s. That’s true of the comics, as well. But only in a fairly generic way where a smug guy on top of the world gets laid low. Opening up the MCU to magic is one of the more exciting thing about Strange, which has so far tried to write off everything in fairly “scientific” terms, such as talking about Asgardians as aliens with tech beyond our understanding. The Ancient One even says that magic could be explained in such terms, but within the context of the MCU it’s still magic.
I saw this in 3D the first time I saw it, and it was worth it. The visuals here (and featured heavily in the trailers) are reminiscent of of Inception in some ways to start out with. They’re fun and appropriately mind-bending, but I’m thankful that for the final battle the film really lets loose with a wild color palette and the trippier visuals that Dr. Strange is known for as a comic book. The visualization of Dormammu and the Dark Dimension are great. The battle in Hong Kong, as a visual set piece with time running backwards is something special, and I like that Strange won the day through his intelligence.