Just to be up front, I really hate magical, mystical movies where the world bends and twists and all that mind-numbing trickery! I tend to stay away from that content, and I never picked up a single Doctor Strange comic ever in my life.
Directed by Scott Derrickson (Sinister, Deliver Us From Evil), Marvel's fourteenth film, Doctor Strange, is as one would expect, an origins film. And after my lead in paragraph, well, believe it or not, it's a decent movie that entertained and I don't feel like I wasted my bucks.
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I went and saw Doctor Strange in a 2D XD screening, but only because that was the only option I had at the time that I was able to go see it. I tend to avoid 3D offerings if I can, but the way distributors schedule their screenings, it's hard to catch a 2D film these days at a decent time that works for me.
The film starts out introducing us to Dr Strange, played by Benedict Cumberbatch. We watch the accident that destroys his hands, and thus his brilliant medical career. Then we watch him pursue any chance and hope of fixing his hands.
But one thing leads to another, and as he applies his incredibly keen mind to studying the mystic arts, he grows in skill and talent, until suddenly he realizes this entire experience is "not about him."
Other cast includes Tilda Swinton as the "Ancient One," Chiwetel Ejiofor plays Mordo. I normally absolutely love Ejiofor's roles. I love what he brings to the film. But I didn't feel it this time around. But maybe as we follow Mordo through future films, he'll come to bear his on-screen magic more completely. (Oops, teaser!?)
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Hearing Cumberbatch effecting an American accent is weird and changed the dynamic of the deep voice we always expect from the man, but every now and then you think you hear his normal voice come through. Regardless of that, he plays the arrogant, self-absorbed surgeon rather well, until he starts to realize that magic phrase, that it's not all about him.
At times the magic aspect was easy to digest when they conjured up near invisible sword and magic shields while at other times it was just a bit confounding as the entire world turne into a massive, swirling, moving M.C. Escher painting.
The story was pretty solid as we fund ourselves learning about this new Marvel character and what makes him tick. Now that we have an idea of what he's about, it will be interesting to see how he fits into the overall scheme of what Marvel has in store for us in their upcoming scheme of a story line under the Avengers story arc.
I didn't think i wasted my money seeing the film, and had I not found the time to see it, I also would have been fine waiting to see it when it comes to the home entertainment realm of rentals or pay channels. But as you can see from the IMDb (8/10) and Rotten Tomatoes scores (90%), I think you won't be disappointed if you go see it.
With that said, below are a few of what folks are calling Easter eggs in the Doctor Strange movie. Some sites are listing off a bunch of things, but there were only a few that really caught my eye.
Mild spoilers follow
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If you saw the film, did you catch Avengers Tower in any of the scenes?
On that phone call before the accident, there was a potential patient that Dr. Strange's assistant was suggesting he work on: "...a 35 year-old Air Force colonel who crushed his spine” in a suit of experimental armor." Don't get in too much of a tizzy about that. I pondered the idea that this was a reference to War Machine in Civil War. Or was it that Justin Hammer experiment we saw in Iron Man 2?
Per interviews with the director, events in Doctor Strange took place some time ago, as this was an origins film or prequel of a sorts. So if this event was not in present-day, in relation to Civil War, then I would like to think that this could be Hammer's mobile armor experiment. But no one associated with this film fessed up as to who this phone call really inferred to.
In that same phone call about the colonel, it's possible that the other accident victim that was presented to him, in the form of a woman with a brain implant, being struck by lightning, could very well be Carol Danvers, AKA, Captain Marvel, whose solo film is coming out in a few years.
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