The Marvel Cinematic Universe Continues to Improve Their Film Techniques
By Rami Tabari
Marvel’s cinematic universe continues the tradition of surpassing its predecessor, this time with astounding visual effects and a fantastic script.
“Doctor Strange” is a welcomed inclusion to Marvel’s already overwhelming stream of iconic characters.
Stephen Strange, a former neurosurgeon who lost the use of his hands, travels to Kamar-Taj in the hopes of finding treatment where modern medicine has failed him.
Rather than being greeted with a revolutionary form of science, the impossibilities of magic and sorcery
are revealed to him.
“Doctor Strange” went far and beyond to show what the MCU is capable of in terms of originality and visual effects.
A cliche superhero film would normally include a shotgun romance and an over hyped villain.
The writers stray away from the sins of film by focusing the story on Strange’s character.
Benedict Cumberbatch delivers a superb performance portraying the egomaniacal and selfish Stephen Strange: turning into one of the most powerful and selfless heroes in the Marvel universe.
Additionally, there was an unexpected layer of comedy which bolstered the film’s
charm and made Strange all the more likeable.
The film was originally supposed to feature a more fleshed out love story, but in fear of overwhelming the audience, it was written a way where the two characters are ex-lovers.
Strange and Christine Palmer (Rachel McAdams) share a bond that’s presented naturally instead of feeling forced and artificial.
The chemistry between the two actors was also notable, not to mention the irony of having Sherlock Holmes and Irene Adler in the same room
Kaecilius (Mads Mikkelsen) wasn’t a very compelling villain but the film didn’t try to sell him as one, which is admirable considering every Marvel film has done so thus far.
While the character himself wasn’t impactful, the chemistry between Mikkelsen and Cumberbatch incorporated casual comedy that strengthened the film’s charm.
In conjunction with that charm, the Cloak of Levitation was probably the most brilliant thing in the entirety of the film.
It’s a sentient cloak that beats up bad guys in a comedic fashion that is just too ridiculous to pass up.
It was by far the best super suit that the MCU has to offer.
One of the most innovative aspects of the film was the way the enemy, Dormammu, was handled.
This character is one of Strange’s iconic enemies and he only appeared for about five to ten minutes.
It’s important to note that Dormammu was also voiced by Benedict Cumberbatch.
He was supposed to be an evil reflection of Stephen Strange, which was difficult to catch the first time watching the film.
“Doctor Strange” was written in a way that didn’t lead to an over dramatic battle, but rather a battle of wits that allowed Strange to employ his intelligence and create a more satisfying conclusion.
This also gave Dormammu’s character the potential it deserves to grow throughout the MCU as opposed to killing such an iconic character off so quickly.
Not to mention, it would have been infuriating to see a new hero take on such an overpowered villain so easily.
“Doctor Strange” pushes every imaginative visual of bending New York to the point where you begin to lose track of what’s more interesting to pay attention to on screen.
Its mystical depiction of reality also took us through a beautiful rendition of London, Hong Kong, Nepal and even Mt. Everest.
It already won a Hollywood Film Award for its visual effects and grossed over $325 million worldwide, practically doubling its budget of $165 million just over opening weekend.
While it did make a ton of money, it is actually one of the lowest grossing opening weekends for a Marvel film to date.
With the pairing of magic and sorcery, the cinematography and atmosphere is unlike any Marvel film thus far.
The diversity of the film may lead to some fans turning it away, while for others it may be their first MCU experience.
A huge aspect of a comic book film is accuracy and Scott Derrickson, the director, played with the casting to the point of controversy.
The Ancient One (Tilda Swinton) is originally a Tibetan man but was replaced by a white woman of Celtic origin.
The internet ran to the comments and proclaimed “Whitewashing.”
That set people off. Meanwhile, no one seemed to notice that Karl Mordo (Chiwetel Ejiofor) was originally a white character.
Derrickson was trying employ diversity across the entire film and he himself admitted to failing at some points, but at the very least, his casting choices delivered heartfelt performances that made the film whole.
With the inclusion of its appealing soundtrack and breathtaking atmosphere, “Doctor Strange” had timely pacing and with that, the film didn’t seem to have a beginning, middle, or end.
It was simply one singular movie and that was its greatest strength, its unity.