This is the 14th instalment of the, now, gigantic Cinematic Universe known as the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). Doctor Strange being the title and title character’s name, played by Benedict Cumberbatch, is certainly the wackiest and far-fetched character within the diverse Marvel Comics pool of characters, Doctor Strange was first seen in Strange Tales #110 in 1963 and is known for outlandish comic book spreads (a single panel spread across two pages) containing violently vibrant colours and characters from literally out of this world.
Nowadays Computer Generated Images (CGI) has become so advanced that they can now bring absolutely anything and everything to life, the only limitation is your imagination cannot be any more truthful. Doctor Strange is a fantastic exhibition in the technology used in films today simply because the Director Scott Derrickson was able to use everything he could to make this film an experience for your visual senses. Scott Derrickson and the producers could create these mind-bending visuals of worlds turning inside of themselves and doubling in numbers and creating very vibrant scenes where the main character, Doctor Strange, drifted through different dimensions full of weird shapes and funky colours.
The target audience for this film is generally aimed at comic book readers past and present as the character of Doctor Strange is completely engulfed in comic book law and complexities only the hardened comic book readers will fully grasp and understand. However, the writers were able to create a story which enabled just the lightest comic book fans and general moviegoers to understand and cling to the story arc the whole way through the movie. This is massive feat as there was a lot of exposition to get through to explain certain story points and the weight of what was going on throughout the movie, and usually this can get quiet taxing on audiences as this is where you can lose them and never get them back into a full cohesive story, but the writers succeeded in keeping the movie flowing from point to point never losing you.
Being the 14th instalment of the MCU does not bring any downside. Doctor Strange is based within the MCU but is still a completely separate story to the entire cinematic universe that is happening just outside the movie. It contains characters full of heart and meaning to the viewer and the characters are vastly different to each other, each one has their own individual personality and story arc within the overarching story of the movie. You want to see how each individual character ends their story and how they relate to the main story arc and the main character himself, Doctor Strange.
One issue I do have with Doctor Strange and Marvel movies, in general, is the fight scenes in some of their movies like to add a flair of comedy and in some movies, it works and in others, it doesn’t. In Doctor Strange sadly it doesn’t work for me, during a first fight scene between Doctor Strange and the big bad baddie Kaecilius, played by Mads Mikkelsen, there is comedy intertwined within the scene and when you show something comical in a supposedly serious fight scene between two big name characters, it takes out the stakes and meaning of what’s happening. You believe that; this isn’t going to affect either character and won’t really change anything within the story, therefore, is irrelevant. This is why I think some of the comedy in this movie is misplaced and unwanted, taking away the seriousness of the characters and scenes.
The second issue I have with some of the MCU movies and this issue is mainly to do with the MCU as a whole, not this movie specifically. The issue is of announcing characters and movies before a movie is even out and has yet to be seen by the viewing public. Instead of going into a movie not knowing what’s going to happen, you go into a movie with predetermined knowledge of what is going to happen because you already know what other movie this character is going to be in. Which is slowly taking possible story beats and stakes out of each movie making it less and less of an experience. Each time the MCU continues to do this, it could turn into a movie that advertises the next with no real meaning in the original movie itself, which is not what movies are for! Movies are for telling a whole encompassing story with rich characters not as a feature-length advertisement for the next instalment, the original movie should tell a story that was fantastically diverse and exciting, and because you enjoyed that movie, you would want to go and see the sequel.
Overall the movie is most certainly a must-watch as the visuals are a cinematic experience you wouldn’t want to miss, simply stunning. The story is another solid enjoyable experience which leaves you full of satisfaction and joy with its story beats and diverse theme of characters.