Early media screenings for Doctor Strange have been taking place in the US, and an early critical consensus is starting to be formed.
The MCU’s 14th film is just around the corner, with fans waiting with bated breath and many others understandably curious. This is, after all, a different-looking film from Marvel. The psychedelic visuals, a brand new hero, Benedict Cumberbatch, the introduction of the MCU’s mystical side.
So, what do the critics think?
We’ve combed through some of the early reviews to hit the net, and one thing’s almost certain: Marvel has yet another overall solid film in their hands here. No, it’s not sounding like as the most gob-smacking, pitch-perfect chapter in the MCU thus far, but it’s certainly ticking off the right boxes to give the studios another successful crowd-pleaser. If there’s a similar consensus to be found, it’s that Doctor Strange sits perhaps a little too comfortably within what one expects from Marvel, including the qualms, and yet offers up an exciting new visual angle when it comes to the action.
That spectacle comes at a cost. As with all of the best installments of the MCU, the film’s unique strengths have a perverse way of highlighting the franchise’s shared weaknesses. But “Doctor Strange” deserves credit for treating several of the ailments that have been infecting the series, and for diagnosing several more.
…Doctor Strange’s basic origin story structure is a bit overly familiar, including a lot of the strengths (the charismatic lead; the exciting and fun moments where he discovers new abilities) and weaknesses (a villain that feels underwritten) we’ve come to expect.
Yes, this new project shares the same look, feel, and fancy corporate sheen as the rest of Marvel’s rapidly expanding Avengers portfolio, but it also boasts an underlying originality and freshness missing from the increasingly cookie-cutter comic-book realm of late.
A kaleidoscope of weirdness and innovative visual effects successfully introduce the newest Marvel superhero in director/co-writer Scott Derrickson’s brilliantly bizarre Doctor Strange
On one hand, Doctor Strange is a bit too clockwork as a story to make it into the top tier of Marvel movies, but on the other hand, its fearless approach to bringing the many weird dimensions that Strange traverses into the MCU emphasizes the studio’s complete confidence in both its material and its ability to sell these heady concepts to a mainstream audience.
Determined, among other things, to top Christopher Nolan at his own game when it comes to folding, bending and upending famous cityscapes to eye-popping effect, this action movie ostensibly rooted in the mind-expanding tenets of Eastern mysticism is different enough to establish a solid niche alongside the blockbuster combine’s established money machines.
Strange is, well, a strange beast. It is absolutely a standalone film that can be viewed without Avengers knowledge. As a whole it’s a late entry to a race half-run that can’t help but be negatively compared to its established stablemates. Which is not to say it isn’t good.
The rest of us can decide for ourselves where Doctor Strange lies on the Marvel quality scale when the film hits Aussie cinemas on October 27 and hits the US on November 4.