The world of Doctor Strange is one that I know and love. Rintrah is by far one of my favorite supporting characters in all of comic books. I have two copies of the Amy Grant issue in my collection, as well as original trading cards of Kylian and Irish Wolfhound. Not to mention my admiration for Steve Englehart’s groundbreaking run. That said, I could rip Scott Derrickson’s film apart from a fanboy perspective in a prolonged diatribe. But I won’t. I will stick to the film itself, dealing exclusively with it on its own terms.
Marvel/Disney has set out to create a universe in film that mirrors that in the comics; and it has. The studio has produced about a dozen films that cross-reference and relate to one another at an alarming rate. And it is into this universe that they have, with this film, introduced Benedict Cumberbatch as Doctor Strange.
Doctor Strange (2016) strives to inject hip and cool into the world of this often overlooked comic book character in the guise of visual effects lifted from Christopher Nolan’s Inception and the casting of Tilda Swinton. Oddly, the film retains some of the jingoism of the comic. The film’s structure itself is typical of the “origin story”. The film is so remarkably mundane and familiar that there isn’t much to say other than that it looked better than Captain America: Civil War.
This review first appeared in 2016.