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*Thanks to vibhorpanda29 for allowing me to play in his world
Doctor Strange (2016)
Slow start, overly long dialogue sequences and CG overkill
To date, I will say this is the first real miss in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. I rate the movie a 6.5. Some movies will get rounded down from 6.5 to a 6 when I have to rate it on IMDb, other's get rounded up. Doctor Strange get's the benefit of the round up. It wasn't bad, but it does have some substantial flaws. Some of the flaws are in the story, but this review won't go over those.
Initially I was put off a bit by Benedict Cumberbatch's generic American accent. He did a fine job, it was just a bit distracting. I don't know if comic book fans would have cared about a transplanted Englishman in America being Doctor Strange or not, but having the quintessential English actor work his mouth around Americanized English kept pulling me out of the story. It was as if this thought kept occurring: "He sounds really American right now. But he isn't."
The good doctor's background is slow to develop. We spend a bit too long finding out how great a neurosurgeon he is and how awesome his own intellect is and how shallow he is and how obsessed he is with his own health. Iron Man did it better and kept the story moving at a good pace.
There were also long sections of expositional dialogue that could have been shortened. During these long sequences in the theater I would find myself no longer engaged and wishing for the FFWD button on the remote.
The CG effects were a 3D animator's dream and a movie watcher's nightmare. Realizing the comic was based on the interest in mysticism and drug use one has to expect some *interesting* sequences.
This movie put too much emphasis on the psychedelic "kaleidoscope" effect, especially considering the movie only mentions drugs in passing. As seen in movie previews we get hand-to-hand combat in the middle of the kaleidoscoping city, hand-to-hand again in a kaleidoscoping "arena", kaleidoscoping again when Kaecilius learns his new power and so on.
It was almost dizzying at first, in an awesome, visually arresting way. The viewer feels pulled into this tunnel of never ending movement and we search for some sense of "correctness". The characters both struggle and triumph in the ever changing landscape.
Other "trippy" sequences are also injected where they weren't needed with Doctor Strange falling through a dreamlike series of CG animated colors and kaleidoscoping shapes.
As the movie progresses and these effects are constantly being used, and used to excessive length, it becomes visual overkill. It is another distraction that keeps the viewer from being fully engaged.
I left the theater thinking the movie was just "ok". It did not live up to my hopes and Marvel expectations.