4-Color to 35-Millimeter: Doctor Strange (2016)

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The master of the mystic arts comes to the MCU, and while it’s enjoyable, it’s also disappointing in so many ways. The acting is mostly good, and the overall story is fine, but there are some serious problems in the details. The great superhero movie rewatch both enjoys and is let down by 2016’s Doctor Strange.

An excerpt:

[T]he climax is brilliant. Obviously inspired in part by Dormammu’s first confrontation with Strange in the classic Strange Tales #126-127 back in 1964—where Dormammu winds up in debt to Strange for helping him—Strange using the Eye to trap the bad guy in a time loop is just fantastic.

And it points up to an important part of Strange’s character, which is one of the things I like best about the movie: Strange doesn’t wish to kill. He’s forced into it once, and he hates it and doesn’t want it to happen again. He wants to save lives. One of the tensions between Hollywood action movies’ proclivity for death and destruction and adapting superhero comic books is that most superheroes don’t kill—it’s part of what makes them actual heroes as opposed to vigilante shitheads. Far too many movies in this rewatch have ignored or lost sight of that particular truism (the 1989 BatmanIron Man 3, Man of Steel, the 2003 Daredevil), but not Doctor Strange, thank goodness. He sends the second battle with Kaecilius in New York to the mirror dimension, and he puts himself in Dormammu’s fatal line of fire indefinitely, in both cases to safeguard the lives of the people of Earth.

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