Monday, November 7, 2016

Doctor Strange Review

Hey America! Want another Marvel origin movie? You got it!

Okay, it's time for another Marvel movie to come out, and while I enjoy watching them (there hasn't been a BAD Marvel movie in my opinion), it's easy to tell which movies are better than the others. Marvel movies that branch out from the standard superhero origin, as well as don't get muddled up in giant superhero, shared universe exploits, are pretty damned good. Guardians of the Galaxy and the Captain America movies are prime examples. So because I've said the same things time and time again about Marvel movies, I'm going to just write a boilerplate template for every Marvel movie from now on and just use for whenever I need it. Hell, for any superhero origin movie (coughWonderWomancough)

Our hero is ______________________, a person that at the start of the movie ranges from being an asshole to being arrogant, and their hubris goes unchallenged until a key event happens to them. This usually relates to the opening of the movie, which is cryptic and features the main villain, or the servants of the main villain, doing some nefarious need until they retreat or they accomplish their goals. Anyway, our hero goes through a crisis and changes them into another person. They meet a unique person that they have never encountered before, and that person starts them on the journey to change into a super hero.

This movie contains very basic character dynamics and features our hero, the love interest, the mentor, the sidekick, the comic relief, and the villain. As is the case with all superhero movies, the villain is completely irrelevant tot he overall plot and just serves to disappoint and set up the heroes and their antics. As for our actual hero, we see them grow throughout the entire movie but still retain that charm and character tic that separates them from every other hero in the _________________ universe.

The action is incredibly good, which justify the second act conclusion in particular has a lot of great fight scenes, either due to the special effect or to the jaw dropping CGI, Say what you will about the lack of action and repeat of the same plotlines again and again, but at least each movie can look visually interesting (Note, please remove this paragraph whenever you're talking about the DCEU. They're not visually interesting and just have people punching each other while grunting and being dour and super serious and everything.)

However, what both makes the movie strong and fail at the same time is the idea of it being in a shared universe. When the movie is just trying to be its own thing, it does a good job at keeping us interested in what's going on. If there is a callback to a larger plotline or an Easter egg, as long as its kept to a minimum, then the movie is fine for it. When chunks of the movie are dedicated to expanding the shared universe, then it takes away from the movie as a singular experience and dampens my enthusiasm for it. When it's in the post credits, it's fine, but during the movie just makes it a slow experience. Thankfully, ___________________ refrains from doing this (make it the polar opposite for any big Avengers movie).

All of this will eventually lead to the conclusion which, yes, is fairly bland and a big let down. All of this original story telling leads to a climax against the main bad guy, who if he wasn't unimpressive before, is defeated without much of a big fight. The movie ends without as uch of a bang, but a subversion of an expected ending with the hero winning by coming up with a clever solution that's tied in with their character. I admit, I'd rather see a big fight where the villain is defeated, but if the villain isn't that compelling, then at least a character triumph is a better alternative than me pretending to care about the "stakes" of the movie.

Overall, ____________________ is a fairly good movie, if an unspectacular one. It's exactly as I imagined it would be and it set up a solid foundation for the future of this character. I expect a promising future for them, even if they won't be getting another individual movie for another three or four years and will instead be relegated to cameo status in the next massive team up in a year or two. It's like eating popcorn. It may or may not be good for you, but you're going to mindlessly consume it, feel good about it, remember that you liked it and pine for it every now and then. It's not our favorite snack, but it gets the job done and satiates our appetite.

So uhh..... Triple Feature this week. Got that to look forward to... and... back to a normal review schedule as well... I just don't care enough to talk about Doctor Strange, alright? Sue me. Every other movie this year is going to be incredibly interesting to me, so let's just get the obligatory Marvel review out of the way so I can get to more interesting things.


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