‘DOC­TOR STRANGE’ vis­ually in­ter­est­ing

Jamaica Gleaner - - ENTERTAINMENT - Damian Levy Gleaner Writer

DE­SPITE SUCH a di­verse ar­ray of gen­res, per­haps the big­gest crit­i­cism of Marvel films is that they feel quite sim­i­lar. Seen one, seen them all, with the origin story for­mula dis­played in Iron Man, ap­plied ad nau­seam to films like Ant-Man and Cap­tain Amer­ica: The First Avenger. I’m of a mind that says if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Plus, sim­i­lar­i­ties among the films could be seen as shame­less copy­ing, or thought­ful par­al­lel.

For all that Doc­tor Strange has in com­mon with the films that pre­ceded it, I found some as­pects of it to be re­fresh­ing. The story fol­lows Doc­tor Stephen Strange, a ge­nius sur­geon dis­play­ing a fa­mil­iar brand of ar­ro­gance. Af­ter a car ac­ci­dent leaves his hands un­able to be reme­died by the medicine he so cov­ets, he trav­els east to seek the wis­dom of The An­cient One. How­ever, in­stead of a sim­ple patch job, ‘Strange’ is brought the se­crets of the mul­ti­verse, pro­vided he can see past his own ego.

ZANY ONE-LIN­ERS

That idea of sub­mit­ting one­self to a greater pur­pose is at the core of many su­per­hero films. I find that it isn’t al­ways done par­tic­u­larly well. Film­mak­ers tend to take for granted the fact that you prob­a­bly know how the story will end, and don’t bother to flesh it out. Opt­ing in­stead for zany one­lin­ers, these are ul­ti­mately for­get­table. This film, how­ever, feels au­then­tic be­cause of the rev­er­ence it shows the story. The pac­ing is solid. You fol­low Strange in his strug­gles to look be­yond him­self, and you feel his arc de­velop.

Many times the film will take you on a jour­ney, show­ing things that defy our con­cept of re­al­ity. It’s by far one of the most vis­ually in­ter­est­ing films out this year, with a world filled with new con­cepts that I left the film con­vinced of, thanks to the com­pelling vi­su­als. Vi­su­als that help give ac­tion-ori­ented magic, dif­fer­ent from what’s been seen in films like Harry Pot­ter.

Bene­dict Cum­ber­batch plays Stephen Strange, with pathos for the somber mo­ments and pro­vides a wide range of dy­namic emo­tions. Ac­tors like Chi­we­tel Ejio­for and Tilda Swin­ton el­e­vate the film, with their par­tic­u­lar brand of re­fined ex­trav­a­gance, even if the lat­ter’s eth­nic­ity feels out of place, to say the least. I’d highly rec­om­mend Doc­tor Strange, as a movie that de­cided to care about what it was try­ing to be, when so many movies don’t.

Rat­ing: Big-screen watch

AP PHO­TOS

This im­age re­leased by Dis­ney shows Tilda Swin­ton (left) and Chi­we­tel Ejio­for in a scene from Marvel’s ‘Doc­tor Strange’. TOP LEFT: Bene­dict Cum­ber­batch in a scene from Marvel’s ‘Doc­tor Strange.’

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