Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Doctor Strange (12A)

I'll be honest, I wasn't that bothered about going to see Doctor Strange. I should have been, being a Marvel fan n all, but...


For a start, the character has never struck me as one of the most interesting. Then he was being played by Benedict Cumberbunny, who while ace as both Sherlock and Alan Turing...


Then significant others said they wanted to see it, so I figured what the hell - it was probably going to be fun at the very least.

And then, life happened yet again. Shops are being opened around here, clothing ranges are being launched. These take far more time than you'd think.

So finally, after scratching around for a spare evening and running the Nandos gauntlet (turns out, the berk deleted the order and hoped no one would notice), we make it to the cinema.

And our arrival almost doubles the numbers in the screening. Things are looking up.

Then we get the first shock.

They've changed the bloody opening Marvel title.

This is an even bigger shock than you'd expect, because the Logan trailer is still using the old one.

I'm not good with change at the best of times...

Still, no matter. we're here now. No point getting upset about the opening credits.

And so the fun begins...

And, well, er - it's actually fun.

Within minutes you actually forget you're watching Bernie Crimblepanks and instead you're watching Dr Stephen Strange, an arrogant but brilliant doctor who people like and loathe in unequal measure.

And Bimble Cummerbund is fantastic. There's no denying it - he's nailed this perfectly.

And as things unfold, as the story wends it's way, Bennybob owns the screen in a delightfully understated way.

No grand gestures, no massive over-acting, just quietly claims every scene - making himself the centre of the action.

It's possibly one of his finest performances.

And the rest of the cast are no slouches either - Tilda Swinton, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Benedict Wong, Rachel 'Benedict' McAdams, Benedict 'Mads' Mikkelsen, they all put in strong performances, making for a brilliantly balanced ensemble cast.

And the story is balanced too.

From the darker beginnings, which have more in keeping with the first Iron Man and Batman Begins, to the full-on action of the latter stages, you get the sense that director Scott Derrickson and his co-writers Jon Spaihts and C. Robert Cargill knew what they were doing from the off.

Which is nice.

The colouring is also nicely muted, which is not something you notice until you get the full impact of the more magical, outer-realms bits - these really smack you around the eyes like a rich, delicious cake.

And even though this has clearly been designed with the 3D crowd in mind, none of that interferes with the action in the way it did in the most recent Spiderman effort.

If all this wasn't reason enough to really love this film, we have the humourous touches as the fine garnish on an already superb meal.

Reminds me, I think it's lunchtime.

Where was I? Oh yes...

The jokes are subtle, some physical, some wordy, and all delivered 'just so' as to round everything off to a tee.

Or tea. I'm never sure which.

I may also be in need of a cuppa.

Anyhoo, I digress once more.

If there is one complain about this film, it's the special effects. The phrase 'just because you can doesn't mean that you should' has never felt more apt.

It's like someone in a meeting looked at the original ideas and wanted it more Inceptionie.

That's not necessarily a bad thing, but when people are running the wrong way along a downside-up ceiling/floor/wall for the 74th time it starts to get both tiresome and a little visually confusing.

Less would have been more. That's all I'm suggesting.

But that really is the only quibble.

A serious message is there if you want it, special effects are there if you don't - and it'll make you laugh and gasp in all the right places.

Mr Doctor's new little trick might be a Marvel universe gamechanger, though, which could make things interesting...

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