Film Review: ‘Doctor Strange’

Commentary by
Yun-Chen Chang

Feature films produced by Marvel Studios and distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures are usually released before or during the “summer war,” but their 14th film of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, “Doctor Strange” is going to be released on Nov. 4 which is strange indeed.

As the second flick of the franchise’s Phase Three, this adventurous, sci-fi, fantasy, action movie tells the story of a former neurosurgeon, Dr. Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch), who embarks on a journey of healing in Nepal and is drawn into the world of the mystic arts.

Doctor Strange is one of those Marvel characters who does not go through any high tech process to gain special power, so he is acknowledged as one of the most bizarre superheroes of all.

He is as egotistic as Tony Stark, the Iron Man, but after his lethal car accident, Strange seeks a fix for his life through supernatural methods.

Since a big percentage of the motion picture is set in Nepal, “Doctor Strange” aroused controversy when Marvel Studios announced that the significant Asian master, The Ancient One, will be played by Oscar winning actress Tilda Swinton. Aficionados consider the casting as racial discrimination, especially when there was a “White Oscar” protest in February.

However, Director Scott Derrickson explained that the decision was actually made to prevent racial stereotype, and he even strengthened another Asian character who is merely a tea-making manservant without performing any martial arts in the comics.

From the audience’s feedback, the casting produces a good effect, not to mention the other two leading actors Cumberbatch and Chiwetel Ejiofor are both Oscar-nominated.

Just as Doctor Stephen Strange is very careful, it is interesting to focus on details in the movie. Even the punchline included in the credits is related to Dr. Strange’s story, and even though “Doctor Strange” is not as humorous as Marvel’s previous franchises as a result of the protagonist’s personality, the Easter Egg in the end doesn’t let moviegoers down.
It not only concludes some of the funny points in the feature film, but also connects Strange to other Marvel superheroes as always.

Besides having a conscientious crew, “Doctor Strange” is appealing because of its amazing shots. Bird’s eye view and first-person shots are used due to psychedelic scenes and spacious changing plots.

Also, the 3D effect in the film helps you to take on a journey with Dr. Stephen Strange, hence watching the 3-D version is very pleasant.

Although “Doctor Strange” is an eccentric figure even to Marvel fans, this odd flick will impress you with his mystic power in a brilliant way.

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