I had a hard time imagining Benedict Cumberbatch as a superhero, but he tries here. He still doesn’t look comfortable around the idea yet, but as his role isn’t as physical as the other superheroes. I’m excited to see what the writers have in store for his character in the future. The same goes for Chiwetel Ejiofor, hopefully they both get good character development. This movie also has a strong cast, from Rachel McAdams down to Mads Mikkelsen. The description of Swinton’s character is straight forward, Mikkelsen is simply modeled as the opposite of her. There’s not much of the mystical realm that was revealed, so it’s to be expected that the evil side of things don’t have much context either.
Out of the Marvel leading ladies (read: love interest), I think Rachel McAdams (or her role, at least) is the only one brought in a non damsel-in-distress light. They are equals; she isn’t used as a pawn in some violent face-off, nor does the supernatural happenings fazes her. Beyond the initial scene of hers in the operating room, she seemed nonchalant the next time she encountered Doctor Strange. While she symbolizes the other life Strange longs to get back to, I don’t think her character can be viewed in a displeasing light.
The movie is a bit slow-paced. Despite the already short running time, it still felt longer than it’s supposed to. It’s a quiet kind of movie, unlike the action-packed movies already part of the Marvel trademark. It’s simply an origin story, although I expected more from it. The movie kept on mentioning that Strange was egotistic and selfish, and he displays similar characteristics with Kaecilius, so why didn’t they attack that during what could have been a pivotal scene between two characters. Even after that scene, they still pressed him on about being selfish, but with him not siding with Kaecilius already prove something, even if their personalities are similar to each other?
This was a solid effort for Marvel, another good movie in their books. The post-credit scenes definitely piqued interest in the Thor movie and the sequel, which couldn’t get here fast enough.
Cast: Benedict Cumberbatch, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Rachel McAdams
Director: Scott Derrickson