Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Doctor Strange – full of chuckles but comic book tale fails to re-orientate to the big screen

“People used to think I was funny.”

“Did they work for you?”

Once Doctor Stephen Strange’s over-confident and over-accessorised ego has been massaged by a near-fatal car accident, he runs out of medical options and heads to the mystical east and Kathmandu to prove his once girlfriend (Rachel McAdams) wrong when she said “Some things just can’t be fixed”.

And so Benedict Cumberbatch encounters the winking ‘Ancient One’ (a rather attractive, bald Tilda Swinton” who introduces him to the precarious path of re-orientating his spirit to better heal his body. He goes from cockiness through training to discovery, revelation, doubt and adaptation, all the while retaining his existing ability to bend the rules to suit his purpose as the infant warrior finds himself rapidly over-promoted in a war-torn world.

Falling into infinite Mandlebrot fractal multiverses, some CGI sequences in Doctor Strange worked better (the mini-hands) than others (the neon ones). Michael Giacchino’s music score – like his ‘chosen’ relic – wouldn’t be out of place in a Superman movie, though the pitchbend when the surgeon begins to doubt is beautiful, if short.
“It’s too late, nothing can stop them”

“We have to run”

Sadly, this gravity defying, perspective bending, mystical tale is never graduates beyond its comic heritage. The light-hearted tone throughout renders the dialogue flippant and it jars on screen in a way it wouldn’t on the page of a Marvel magazine.

The time bending ending is Doctor Who-esque with the Little Prince acting out 50 Shades of Death on his very own Asteroid 325 and could have come straight from the pen of Russell T Davies. Director Scott Derrickson has created a new franchise that is sure to be popular at the box office and full of chuckles but only offers a mostly harmless form of meaningless entertainment.

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