Didn’t expect to see ME again, did ya?
Well, I told you I’d be back.
And now I am….
ANYHOW, how’ve you been? I’ve been good. Did a few plays. Went to America. Things seem pretty chill over there right now.
But apart from the impending nuclear winter, and losing my beret in Las Vegas, what FILMS have I seen lately?
Well, a whole bunch. To make up for lost time I will be reviewing one main film but will also give you all a series of mini-reviews of the films I watched on my 13 hour long flight into the abyss of Trump’s America.
“But what’s that main review about?” , I hear you bellow.
Didn’t you read the title, friends?
Jesus, that’s a big poster.
Anyhow, Doctor Strange is the five-millionth entry in the ever-expanding Marvel Cinematic Universe, of which we are all aware thanks to the additives in our cereal.
Honestly, you can probably go and see Strange standalone, as it has very little crossovery nonsense mentioned in full or in passing, mainly because it has a bigger fish to fry.
It has to bring “Magic” to the MCU.
Yes, the MCU’s only real deficit in the past few years was either “Well it’s no Star Wars”.
Or “It’s not Harry Potter”
And now it is.
Now the MCU has every genre you want. Bank Heist? Done. Space Opera? Done. Political Thriller? Yarp. Magic Monks? Too late, it’s in your eyeholes.
But is it any GOOD?
It’s grand, like.
Doctor Strange stars Benedict Cumberbatch (No I don’t do the “haha I misspelt his name” joke that isn’t a joke anymore let’s just let that one die huh?) as Stephen Strange, who has a stupid name, a stupid goatee and the worst accent you’ve ever heard.
Seriously. He’s like Constantine in Muppets Most Wanted tried to learn an accent from Hugh Laurie in House.
Benedict Cumberbatch (Yes Auto-correct, that is actually his name stop asking) is something of a sex symbol these days, which is strange as he looks like a lizard got some kind of chemical peel done to his face.
Anyhow, it’s a bit depressing that he is the gaping charisma hole at the centre of what is otherwise a fairly inventive chapter in this cookie-cutter universe.
It does him no favours that the script is intent on following Iron Man’s “Dickish Man learns Humility” lesson beat for beat, but with none of the charisma inherent in being Robert Downey Jr. But at least Downey Jr. could sell that in his sleep. Cumberbatch is just an asshole who gets powers and continues to be an asshole. He beats the big bad by being an asshole. It’s actually quite funny. But in a really dickish way. We’ll get to that, anyway…
Surrounding Stephen Strange are an incredible array of talented actors. Tilda Swinton, Rachel McAdams, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Benedict Wong, and the guy from A Serious Man wearing a terrible wig all do very good work with the pure nonsense dialogue/disposable friend (or lover)/eventual big bad but not just yet… (delete as applicable) that they are handed.
Speaking of hands, that’s what the crux of the plot is. Stephen Strange is a … hotshot… doctor?
Yeah… he’s a really good surgeon…. who has, like, a penthouse and a fast car and thinks he’s deadly and competes with other surgeons at… surgery… I guess.
Honestly, I don’t know a lot of doctors, so I don’t know how accurate this is but this whole section was pretty weird for me, tonally. This guy is like the Donald Trump of Doctors – he’s trashing his co-workers and underlings despite his job being LITERALLY TO SAVE PEOPLE’S LIVES? I mean, I know it’s a comic book movie, but I expect the billionaire tech genius to do some peacocking but…. a surgeon?
He literally struts around the hospital. It’s bizarre.
Just a note from this – if you meet a doctor who acts like Stephen Strange, seek a second opinion.
Anyway, while going to a black-tie Doctor Gala , he crashes his car and ruins his hands… that do the surgery. He’s very upset about this and spends ten minutes yelling at Rachel McAdams and she ditches his ass completely justifiably. He ends up turning to the mystic arts in an attempt to heal himself, after much scoffing and scolding that is only reversed when Tilda Swinton KNOCKS HIM INTO THE 3-D ACID JAZZ NONSENSE HOLE.
There is one major major reason to go see Doctor Strange in cinemas – the visuals.
The special effects in this film are some of the best that I have ever seen, and that is no joke. It looks great, and the series of setpieces that open, punctuate, and close the film are the best that Marvel have mounted. From Magic hand-shields, to city-warping, to time-looping, the film is endlessly inventive and fun to look at.
It even has a magic carpe…. cape. It has a magic cape.
It even does the bit from Aladdin where the carpet grabs the bad guy by the face and… wait no I’m thinking of the mop in Beauty and the Beast, amn’t I?
Anyway, it gets terribly old, really fast.
With his magical cape, Strange must fight MR. ANGRY EYES.
Mads Mikkelson plays I LITERALLY DON’T REMEMBER HIS NAME.
Jesus, that’s…. I mean… that’s how disposable these Marvel villains have got.
Anyhow, Mr. Angry Eyes is played by the endlessly charismatic Mikkelson, who has to deliver truly turgid MCU “jokes” like confusing the words “Mister” with “Doctor” and all the various hilarious permutations that combination of words suggests.
Spoiler : there aren’t any.
In the end he must be defeated, as must the GIANT CGI THREAT, a Marvel mainstay – here it is some kind of interdimensional being that is NOT Galactus, and is played by…
BENEDICT FUCKING CUMBERBATCH?
Ah sure, why not? Saves time and money.
The defeat of the villain in this film is pretty funny, time-twisty death loop. It’s a real “What is this, Rick and Morty” moment? Hell, Did Dan Harmon get hired to do re-writes on this thing or –
He actually did ! That makes a lot of sense.
Anyway, Doctor Strange is good craic if you can stomach No-Nose McMeltyFace for 2 hours. The rest of it is a grand aul time. See it in 3-D.
Frog Verdict : Sure, what else would you be doing?
By way of ap-ologee.
What did I watch on my plane journey?
Here, in mega-short review format, I give verdicts on whatever cinema and TV treats British Airways tossed my way.
FROG OUT, SEE YA NEXT WEEK.