‘Doctor Strange’ manipulates 3-D in a good way
November 8, 2016
Filed under Arts & Entertainment
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Three-Dimensional (3D) movies, especially IMAX 3-D is usually a huge waste of money. While it may look cool, there isn’t anything you gain from paying more money for special glasses that you couldn’t get just watching the movie without them. There are exceptions to this though, and Doctor Strange is one of those exceptions.
Doctor Strange is another Marvel origin story about a pompous surgeon named Steven Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) who loses everything when a car crash leaves his hands mangled. Unable to cope with his disability, he loses everything trying to restore his hands to normal. In a final act of desperation, he buys a ticket to Nepal to seek the help of the ‘Ancient One’ (Tilda Swinton), who has helped cure people through the mystic arts. She agrees to teach him her ways if he’ll become one of her disciples in a war against the supernatural evils.
The movie is your basic origin story, and many people are getting weary of them, but origin stories, when done right, are good for establishing who a character is and their history and prevents future installments from having to spew tons of exposition to help explain things to the audience. This movie even helps set up the backstory and motivations for the villain of the next Doctor Strange movie, which is a nice change of pace from the one-shot villains Marvel has been known for. That being said, a lot of Marvel backstories can feel a bit formulaic after a while. The main character starts off as arrogant only to experience character development when he realizes the world is bigger than himself, he has a final battle against the “big bad” villain where he’s prepared to sacrifice himself for the greater good, then the movie ends with the promise that he’ll return for the next avengers movie. It’s all been done, and it’s a wonder that it hasn’t gotten old yet, but that’s what’s amazing about Marvel. While a lot of it is the same old stuff we’ve seen before, there’s still something new that keeps us interested.
The “new” that keeps Doctor Strange from being just another Marvel movie is the visuals. This movie was visually fantastic, on par with movies such as Avatar visually. The mysticism in this movie comes from there being multiple dimensions, and the movie takes what is already a visually interesting premise and cranks it up to eleven. The characters literally bend time and space to fight, and the effects are phenomenal in the way the scene will bend the dimensions (buildings and cars falling into different positions) while the world around them goes on like nothing’s happening. The way characters move around their environments like it’s really there and not just special effects. How the building and characters seem to jump out of the screen so real you can touch it. It was beautiful, definitely worth the extra money.
While the effects were the best part of the movie, that doesn’t mean the story and characters were subpar. Both were very good, it is a Marvel movie after all, but the most impressive character would be the titular Doctor Strange. Strange is arrogant and snarky with plenty of moments that would make you hate him if he was anyone else, but even at the worse, Cumberbatch’s portrayal of him remains sympathetic and relatable even when he’s acting like a complete jerk, and you never find yourself hating him. The story was standard but the visuals and character development were phenomenal. Not only do we get to see Strange step up and become Earth’s protector against the supernatural forces of the world, but we also get to see Strange’s main villain from the comics (Mordo played by Chiwetel Ejiofor) begin his role as a villain after being given motivations and a backstory which is more than a lot of Marvel villains get.
Overall this movie is everything you’d expect from a Marvel movie with an extra kick from the CGI pushing it to be one of the better ones. The movie isn’t perfect, no movie is, but it’s definitely worth the price of an IMAX ticket.