“Doctor Strange” feels like it was designed to showcase the problems of sticking to the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s standards. For readers of Marvel Comics, you’ll already know why this is problematic. Hell, it’s kinda why Doctor Strange never found a solid audience since the 1970s. The material delves deep into psychedelics and philosophy in a way that The Avengers or Captain America never touched. The idea of super heroics is considered to be a mortal conceit that doesn’t matter to The Ancient One and its ilk.

Playing with astral projection and the abilities of magic in the Marvel Universe doesn’t fit to the origin tale formula. Hell, so much of this movie felt like a video game rather than a film. Doctor Strange levels up and has to work with Palmer in a seemingly QTE situation to save his life. While that scene is cleverly adapted from “Doctor Strange: The Path”, the end result doesn’t quite click enough on film. By the time that anything comes together, the film ends.

While the film works and made the Cloak of Levitation into a prominent guest star, I can’t call it a personal favorite. That being said, this is the first Marvel film since Captain America where the room for growth is gigantic. So many ideas are thrown onscreen, but this feature works as an entry point to the world building efforts. In regards to other critical complaints of the film, it doesn’t matter. Fix the slight narrative issues and streamline magic a bit more and you’ve got a rather perfect film. As it stands, it’s a pretty solid opening effort.


  • 1 hr and 55 mins
  • PG-13
  • Marvel/Disney


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