Tonight, I was lucky enough to be invited to the press screening of the new Marvel Studios film Doctor Strange. I have enjoyed the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) films, and the television tie ins, since their acquisition by Disney, but I was somewhat sceptical about Doctor Strange. I wasn’t sure where this film fitted and how it would play out. I hadn’t read the comics, and apart from the trailers I had very little to go on.
The casting impressed me, and like Lupita Nyong’o, it seems that Mads Mikkelsen has signed up for several Disney films – his next film being Rogue One – A Star Wars Story. This is a no-spoiler review, so don’t worry about reading ahead as I don’t give anything away.
The film starts with a new Marvel Studios opening which features characters from the MCU films rather than the comics that have been used previously.
Benedict Cumberbatch’s portrayal of Doctor Strange was brilliant, and he fitted the stature of the character perfectly. Like other MCU films there’s a good amount of humour, as well as some lighthearted moments. I liked how the story didn’t dwell for too long on Strange’s life as a medical doctor, but gave you enough insight into the character to understand his motivation as the film played out. Mikkelsen makes a great bad guy, although I do feel he is starting to feel a little type-cast in this type of role. Regardless, he plays the character of Kaecilius well, and all the cast gel well with one another – I especially like the character of Wong played by Benedict Wong.
The film takes Strange’s character on a journey to find himself, and he learns much along the way. The visuals are stunning and remind me of films such as Inception and the Matrix, only better. I saw the film in 3D on the Cineworld Imax screen in Leicester Square, and it was a true marvel (excuse the pun) both visually and aurally. The music plays a central role in the film, and the score by Michael Giacchino is fantastic, and stands out.
Two plus hours pass by quickly and before you know it the film is done and the credits roll, but not before two end credit sequences (don’t go anywhere) – one mid credits, and another at the end. We also learn, no real shock or spoiler, that Doctor Strange will return.
I really enjoyed the film – as I said above I didn’t know what to expect but I was pleasantly surprised and left the cinema wanting to see and know more. It was a cleverly crafted and well delivered film that hit all the right cues. It will be interesting to see how this instalment of the MCU does at the box office – like Guardians of the Galaxy before it, it takes the MCU in a different direction.
As the credits rolled it was good to see Industrial Light and Magic and Skywalker Sound being used, and listed as Lucasfilm companies – even though they’re now wholly owned subsidiaries of Disney.
I should also mention that before the film started we were treated to two trailers, both in 3D Imax. The first was the new Rogue One trailer which looked amazing in this format, and seeing Vader on the big screen, albeit briefly, sent chills down my spine. This was followed by Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2, with the return of Groot at the end of the trailer getting a cheer from the audience.
Doctor Strange is out on Tuesday 25th October in the UK, and Friday 4th November in the US. Big thanks to Disney UK for inviting us, and accommodating me and my two sons, both huge Marvel fans, who also thoroughly enjoyed the film.