Thursday, December 22, 2016

3+1 Short Paragraphs: Doctor Strange

2016, Scott Derrickson (Sinister) -- download

OK, Marvel, stop. Just stop now. No more "just OK" movies. No more resting on your laurels. No more accepting "good enough" as good enough. We need more Winter Soldier, we need more Guardians of the Galaxy. In a world where guys my age still remember that genre flicks were few and far between, especially superhero movies, these movies will always make a certain amount of money, enough money to justify the next one. But no, let's stop right now.

This is another origin story. It is another mostly standalone movie, mostly independent of all that came before but has enough threads to connect it to the Marvel Cinematic Universe to have meaning in the overall. Magic gets officially introduced to the MCU, while it has already been hinted at in season 2 of Daredevil and the current season of Agents of SHIELD. We get the threads that will connect the super-science of Thor's homeland with their cosmic science of Guardians. Magic? Super pseudo-science? In a superhero world, it all blends together. And we also get another big bad guy, one that will probably connect to the coming stories.

Dr. Stephen Strange is Tony Stark 2.0, even from visual design. Egotistical, arrogant, incredibly endowed with intelligence and brought down low by an injury of his own making. And he has to dive deep within himself, with the help of an ancient mystical leader (The Ancient One, who I actually loved coming from Tilda Swinton) to not return to his previous state, but find a new much more important one. And he will definitely need the help of others like him if he is to protect the world.

And while he might not be a likeable guy, he sure is in a pretty pretty movie. Set design, colour scheme and settings are just incredible! The translation of the 70s woo-woo mystical arts into the pretty lights and glowy bits is spectacular. While the different realms may lift from previous other worlds we have seen before (I am talking about Inception of course) it is well handled, and fits into this movie's milieux very well. The problem is that all the good bits, the characters and the effects and the cast, just all come together in only an OK movie, a slight bit above "meh".