“Benedict Cumberbatch and CGI cannot save DOCTOR STRANGE from being disappointing!”

DOCTOR STRANGE (2016) 3.5 Stars (on a 5 Stars scale)

doctor-strange-movie-posterIf you begin to over analyze the “Marvel Cinematic Universe” which I unfortunately have now done, I think you may come to my same conclusions regarding DOCTOR STRANGE. Please read ahead.

Despite mirroring Christopher Nolan’s 2010 groundbreaking film — here we have INCEPTION REDUX on steroids. The CGI special effects of DOCTOR STRANGE are over the top — fabulous, unbelievable and never quit. But folks, something is really missing.

DOCTOR STRANGE has solid acting. Benedict Cumberbatch is really terrific as Dr. Stephen Strange. So is Tilda Swinton, who plays Dr. Strange’s mentor, the Ancient One. Chiwetel Ejiofor, Rachel McAdams, Benedict Wong, Mads Mikkelsen, Michael Stuhlbarg, Benjamin Bratt and Scott Adkins round out the main actors.

Come to think about it, the entire cast and the crew are deserving of a good review. For those of you who have never gone on line to see the “Full Cast and Crew” of any motion picture, consider this: Next week’s reviewed film, ALMOST CHRISTMAS, is 7 pages long single spaced. Next week’s reviewed film, ARRIVAL, is 13 pages. DOCTOR STRANGE is 25 pages in length single spaced! Compliments to everything technical, including Cinematography, Film Editing, Production Design, Art Direction, Set Decoration, Costume Design, Make Up, Sound, Special Effects and Visual Effects. And that does not include the Producers.

(How many pages are the Full Cast and Crew of HACKSAW RIDGE? 10).

But folks, truly something is really missing.

When I walked out of the theater, I stopped to have some dessert. As I picked out a piece of chocolate cake, I could not help but admire the frosting. It looked so good. I couldn’t wait to eat it. But when I took my first bite, it didn’t really taste as good as it looked. And then I realized what was missing from this movie. I hold Director and Co-Writer Scott Derrickson responsible as well as Co-Writers Jon Spaihts and C. Robert Cargill.

The character of Doctor Strange, especially at the beginning of the story, was not as flushed out as it should have been. Didn’t anyone read and remember the comic book by Steve Ditko? Why did Strange insist on always being addressed as “Doctor” Strange? Why did he feel the need to save every life? Why the attitude? Why the arrogance? Some may argue that the quality of the story was weak and muddled, and certainly was overshadowed by the CGI. There was too much emphasis on setting up the next movie. And, this movie felt longer than it was.

The expectation was there, hoping for another CIVIL WAR. However, DOCTOR STRANGE falls short. I suspect that even with mixed reviews, the film will still be this week’s box office champion.


Next week, the Amy Adams alien-visitation drama, ARRIVAL, will compete with the African-American all-star cast comedy, ALMOST CHRISTMAS. Who wins the box office? Full reviews coming next week.


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