I saw this movie on FandagoNow using the T-Mobile Tuesday giveaway. I'm not sponsored by either, although I wouldn't mind being so even though it wouldn't get them anything. I am mentioning where I watched it as the same movie can sometimes be edited differently for different media. It's possible that a differently edited version of this film would have left me with a different impression.
This pretty much sums up my impression of this movie.
It's like a
FunKo Pop figure. For a second, you're like "Oh, this is interesting." But about 15 seconds later, you're like "This really isn't useful for anything, is it?"
It's kind of static and formulaic. Also, possibly a lump of rubbery plastic?
You will read that term again and again in this review. "Formulaic" I mean. Maybe "lump of rubbery plastic" too, who knows.
Benedict Cucumberas Doctor Steven Strange
- That woman who was that dick of an angel in Constantine as
The Ancient One.
- That bad guy in Casino Royale is also the bad guy in this one and this time has both eyes messed up and leaking crap all the time.
I don't really feel like looking up the rest and yes, I did call that guy Cucumber because see beginning of sentence.
Your run of the mill origin story. Also a bit formulaic, unless you put in context that most of the current Marvel universe characters were thought of several decades ago and at the time, perhaps the tale of a rich playboy doctor who gets his comeuppance for being somewhat dickish then finds redemption as a do-gooder of sorts was more of a novel concept.
The comic book back story for people who don't know about Marvel's Dr Strange;
Dr Steven Strange, is a world class doctor who only cares about fame and money but his hands are damaged in a car accident, rendering him incapable of operating and therefore losing all his fame and money (they didn't have retirement plans in those days). Searching for a way to heal himself he ends in Nepal (or whereabouts) and meets the so-called
The Ancient One and he becomes a sorcerer. Just like that. Suck it, Harry Potter.
The movie follows a similar plot, set in more modern times. A bunch of gothy sorcerers steal a page of forbidden knowledge that could destroy the universe, dark dimensions, blah blah blah, etc. Obviously, they'll be thwarted by
Cucumber's gang of meddling sorcerers before the extra teaser after the important people end credits without affecting the extra extra teaser at the very end after the unimportant people end credits.
The Ancient One is now a skinny white woman for some reason. I guess an old Asian man playing a wise teacher would have been too campy. There is also another female character in the movie who is, one supposes, the love interest/girlfriend of the Doctor. However, she is not at all memorable. For that reason I call her
Female Character B, because I can't remember her name or face and neither can you.
There are a few holes, mostly to do with his accident, which by the way is him speeding in his sports car past what really looked like cop car on a narrow winding road next to a cliff, while reading a text message. Yes, that happened.
His face gets pretty banged up in the crash but somehow heals without leaving a scar for the rest of the movie (that I could discern). Only his hands seems to be messed up, nothing else. No limp, nothing.
On the subject of his hands, given all the fuss that is being made on how important they are to him, you can't prevent noticing how inconsistent his handicap is. It seems like at times he can barely hold things and at others he is seen grabbing onto a ledge with one hand.
The pacing is also a bit off. You don't really get a sense of how the good Doctor progresses. Seems like the first half of the movie is about him bitching and moaning at how his life sucks now that he can't be a surgeon but in the rest of the movie he very very quickly seems to become proficient at magic and is able to stop an incredibly powerful and ancient evil in a blatantly simple way that nobody had apparently thought of in all of those thousands of years. Oh well.
Not dissimilar to Harry Potter, where the dangerous stuff is in the "Restricted Section" but you apparently just need a note from a teacher to get in or if you just feel like taking a stroll at night, books of dark arcane knowledge that could destroy the universe and should be under lock and key are not under lock and key at all. They are in fact held up on utterly inefficient book shelves by flimsy looking chains.
Although, if you really insist on thinking about it,
Wong the Librarian suggested that no knowledge is forbidden, some is just dangerous. It kind of fits with some Zen/Taoist philosophy of some sort.
Smells like a Time Lord
He's obsessed with watches (Time Lords aren't necessarily but whatever), although I suppose the theme of the movie was "turning back time" to before his accident.
Clever and somewhat arrogant. There is even a play on his name/title on several occasions, and he's always insisting to be called Doctor. Even the way he defeats the baddie is EXTREMELY typical of what one would expect of the Time Lord known as the Doctor. As a matter of fact, No 12 ended up trapped in something similar at the end of series 9.
There's plenty of that. Ever since the Avenger's movie directed by
Joss Whedon, it seems like most Marvel superhero flicks have to be crammed with comedic moments and witty retorts. If comedy was the icing on the cake of plot, a little icing makes a cake taste better. But that doesn't mean people are responding only to the icing. Too much icing and no cake makes most people puke.
The effects are okay. On par with all of the big productions these days. Although it seems that they recycled quite a few things from Inception with all of the bits where buildings, roads, etc. were all warped and rolling.
Some funny bits were somewhat funny
Re: The "Mister Doctor" incident.
The "Other Stuff":
Yur'aint frum deeze parts, ar ya?
Cucumber's accent is a bit wobbly. Always seems on the edge of Sherlock.
No hanky panky
That's not really a bad thing, per se, but it did make for a mildly awkward moment. At one point, it seems like
Female Character B was about in for a kiss, it turned out to be a tame peck on the cheek and a hug. I don't know if it's because Disney has its fat fingers all up in Marvel these days or something.
Female Character B, nothing really happens with her in the beginning of the movie, not much in the middle, nothing at all towards the end.
It has some up and downs but mostly, m'kays. Some entertainment to be had if you like riffing on lumps of rubbery plastic. However, if you think of it as the story of a magical levitating cape that after centuries stuck in a glass case finally finds the goatee it can complement, it's actually quite good.