(Guest Written by John Macy)
Directed by Scott Derrickson
Written by Scott Derrickson, Jon Spaihts and C. Robert Cargill
Runtime: 1 hour 55 minutes
Starring: Benedict Cumberbatch, Tilda Swinton, Mads Mikkelsen, Chiwetel Ejiofor,
Rachel McAdfams, Benedict Wong
At this point, watching a Marvel Cinematic Universe movie is like a comfortable pair of
shoes. You know what you’re going to get, and it’s usually going to be an enjoyable
ride. Doctor Strange is the 14th entry into the interconnected saga that Disney and
Marvel are creating. Strange was marketed as a major departure from the “formula”
Marvel uses. It does some impressive things in terms of visual effects. It also shines
some light on a corner of the Marvel Universe that hasn’t been seen on screen yet. But
it’s not the formula breaker they claim it is. But that’s OK. It’s still fun as hell.
Stephen Strange is a dick. A major dick. On the face of it, the must obvious
comparison to Strange in the MCU is Robert Downey Jr.’s Tony Stark. And there are a
fair number of similarities there. But for anyone who believes this film is a beat-for beat
retread of 2008’s Iron Man, there is a key difference in the mindset of the character.
Stark is a man who is insulated from the real world by a bubble of wealth, but he is
inherently a good man, even if he covers it with snark. Strange is a true narcissist, who
sees everything through the lens of his own gain. The film makes it clear immediately
that he believes he is superior to everyone he meets.
Strange’s ego is challenged when his reckless driving leads to a car accident that
causes his hands to be destroyed. Since he can no longer work as a surgeon and he
refuses to consider anything else, he begins a single minded quest to heal his hands.
He identifies himself by his work similar to Tony Stark. But where Stark does what he
does because he in incapable of doing anything else, Strange believes anything else is