The following is a spoiler free review of the latest Marvel Studios release, Dr. Strange. However, first let me fill in some background. Over the summer, the entire family rewatched each of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) films in order leading up to the home release of Civil War. Except for Guardians of the Galaxy, Emily and Isabelle had not watched any of the films. Crazy, right? Needless to say, my better 2/3s became hooked on the MCU and could not wait for the next installment… I on the other hand was not so eager to see Dr Strange. Based on the previews I was seeing I thought it was going to be some strange, Dark World sort of snooze fest with a bunch of over the top visual effects.
Seriously, this was the first film MCU film I was not counting down the days for the Thursday night release. I tried to get into the film by listening to Michael Giacchino’s score which was released ahead of the film’s US debut, but it still wasn’t pulling me in. Normally for Marvel releases, I’d go to a Thursday night screening by myself, but since the rest of the family joined me on the MCU hype train we were planning to go to a Sunday morning matinee. By the way, Sunday morning shows at the Disney Springs AMC are major bargain. For the first time, I was OK with waiting to see the movie… Then, the Disney Parks Blog’s offered a screening of Dr. Strange last Sunday. Sure, twist my arm to see it a week early.
A strange and unexpected feeling started to come over me just minutes into the film… It was that feeling of elation for the story that is unfolding on the screen was much more than meets the eye. Once again I let early trailers forge an opinion on a film well before the release. I very much enjoyed the marvelous visual effects shown heavily in the trailers when presented through a very good, Dr. Strange, origin story. The film had a good amount of humorous moments to lighten the mood.
For a film that was close to 2 hours I did not once look at my watch, I was entranced for all 115 minutes. In that time, I went from not caring about this strange character, to eagerly looking forward to his next foray in the MCU and hopefully a sequel considering it has been reported there is language in Cumberbatch’s Marvel contract. However, I hope this does not impact the reported Black Widow standalone film.
Sorry, got a bit sidetracked on future movie talk. Back to the film. If you are a MCU fan you are well aware that you need to stay in your seat for the full 115 minutes to see the 2 extra scenes that hint that what is to come in the MCU future following the introduction of Dr. Strange. There is a part to one of the a end credit scenes with a character that will make an amazing GIF. I will leave it at that.
A big question that gets asked when these Marvel films come out. Do you need to see the previous MCU films to follow along with Dr. Stange. In this case, I say Dr. Strange is a solid stand alone film that can be enjoyed without seeing previous films. There were mentions and connections to previous MCU events, but none that are integral to the story being told. For those on the MCU hype train, listen close for a Civil War during an early phone call in the film while Dr. Stephen Strange is driving.
Overall, the family enjoyed the film are eager to see it again. We did see it in 3D and with the visual effects in Dr. Strange it is a solid ticket upgrade. I agree with the following promo, it is indeed worth seeing in 3D.
As for the score, it is growing on me. Although the album does not include any Beyonce, only time will tell if sticks in my regular rotation. Finally, I would not hesitate to spend 2 hours of a cruise re-watching this film or seeing it for the first time.
What did you think of Dr. Strange? Do you like where things seem to be going with the MCU?