Cue Cumberbatch: A Doctor Strange Review

Day 50. 161 pages, 58,131 words.

Yes, this post title was specifically set up to pick the low-hanging fruit (or in this case vegetable) of Benedict Cumberbatch’s name. But it’s totally also a theatrical reference, so I think I should get a pass.

Anyway, the other night we went out to see Marvel’s latest offering, Doctor Strange.

We already knew, of course, that Marvel had balls of solid vibranium when it came to realising their comic book characters (already pretty envelope-pushing) into movie roles. Rocket and Groot made DC’s hand-wringing over Wonder Woman look famously silly, and the careless addition of Ant-Man, Black Panther, The Collector and any number of others … in fact, ever since Captain America and Thor became movie reality, it’s been pretty obvious that Marvel wasn’t going to shy away from the wackier and more wonderful side of their universe. Although okay, they could have a few more female heroes, because Black Widow, Scarlet Witch and Gamora aren’t much more than a good start.

So, really, Doctor Strange was just reaffirmation of that mission statement, and shouldn’t have come as any great surprise.

Speaking as an essentially null-zero fan of the comic book version – I plead complete ignorance – I really quite liked it.

strange-1

Even though Spidey wasn’t there. Yet.

I think the whole basic foundation was a bit … well, strange, but that absolutely works. I enjoyed the idea that what ordinary people think of as “reality” is really just one tiny layer of a much deeper multiverse. I liked the way the other realms, like Asgard, folded neatly into the premise. And yes, I even liked the (horribly whitewashed made-up character who Stan Lee and Steve Ditko decided would be Asian in 1963) Ancient One.

strange-2a

This was actually filmed without any special effects at all. When Tilda Swinton tells you she’s going to slap your astral form right out of your body, she’s not even slightly exaggerating.

Nobody took my trollbait last time (I’m so proud of you!), so I’ll just say “hmm, yeah, I guess instead of a goofy not-really-Celtic Ancient One we could have gone with the original imagining of the character, that would have been much less offensive” and leave it at that.

strange-ancient-one

Mmmmm. Smells like social justice.

Anyhoo, on with the show.

The curtain goes up on a nicely brief and by-the-numbers origin story that is still quite compelling and occasionally rough to watch. Doctor Stephen Strange is a renowned neurosurgeon and a bit of a superstar in that way doctors actually probably should be in real life, except they never quite are. Very much in the mould of House M.D., in fact, but way more famous and sexy.

strange-3

“It actually was lupus. But it’s okay, I looked deeply and soulfully into its eyes and it promised to straighten up, stop being lupus, and just be a dose of hyper-orgasmic crotchular sensitivity from now on.”

After being a smarmy jerk-arse for about fifteen minutes, Strange (that’s Doctor Strange to you, and indeed to basically everyone, even über-powerful interplanar entities of unspeakable power who think “Mister Doctor” is a thing) has a nasty accident, gets his hands mutilated and becomes self-destructively obsessed with, paradoxically, fixing himself.

After learning of the Ancient One from a dude who had suffered paralysis and gone on to become fully mobile once more (spoiler: turns out he was drawing magic out of the cosmic wossname and/or Dungeon Dimensions[1] to make himself whole on an ongoing basis, but he was basically harmless), Doctor Strange goes to Kamar-Taj where he meets Mordo, also known as the Alliance Operative from Serenity. I’m going to pretend that Chiwetel Ejiofor[2] was playing the same character in both movies, because he fucking rules.

[1] This is what I’m calling them from now on, as a tip of the hat to the late Sir Terry Pratchett.

[2] Did you know Chiwetel Ejiofor is an anagram of footie rich jewel? This may not mean anything right now, but I’m pretty sure it’s a clue about the Infinity Stones and the part Mordo is going to play in bringing them all together. In fact, if you open the name out to Chiwetel Mordo Ejiofor, you end up with chowtime frijole rodeo, which doesn’t make much sense either but when you take into account that frijole is Spanish for beans, and imagine that maybe the Infinity Stones are like beans … okay look, it’s a work in progress.

Doctor Strange has a rather hackneyed Yoda-and-Luke-esque introduction and nearly-but-not-quite rejection at the beginning of his training that somehow still manages to seem original and compelling, and starts along the road to becoming a better, and then ultimately a transcendently bullplopulent, person.

strange-6

“Can you show us on the doll, Doctor Strange, where the Ancient One touched you inappropriately?”

Doctor Strange and Mordo the Operative have a training montage and become a classic Grizzled Lone Wolf / Rookie Cop / Stickler For The Rules / Loose Cannon combo.

strange-4

“Okay, Chiwetel … for this scene, you need to imagine that the green screen behind you is the Chief’s office, and he’s taking your character off the case even though he gets results. Your motivation is … I’m gonna say … the letter of the law. Benedict, your motivation is that your character can only achieve time travel if he forms a perfect flux capacitor out of the lines of his eyebrows and nose, and if he succeeds he gets to go home wearing that cape tonight.”

Amusing character-growth and skill-development and beautifully vivid and psychedelic reality-bending training, not to mention hilarious scenes with Wong the Librarian[3] ensue, until the almost-but-not-quite-ready Doctor Strange is confronted by the bad guys and his little haven of learny is torn out from under him at the hands of Le Chiffre.

[3] You want to hear something really trippy? The character Wong is played by an actor whose name is Benedict Wong. Benedict. Wong. COINCIDENCE? I THINK NOT!

strange-5

Le Chiffre, no longer content to bleed out of his eye-holes, has gone full X-Men Origins: Wolverine Deadpool on that shit.

From there, the stakes get steadily higher and higher, there’s a wonderful amount of choreographed and upside-down-inside-out-backwards-in-time destruction, and Doctor Strange winds up saving the wibby-wobbly, timey-wimey day against a great big huge scary not-Thanos from the Dungeon Dimensions.

Mordo the Operative then nerve-cluster-punches that paralysed guy I was talking about at the beginning of the review, and instead of making him fall onto a sword, steals his magic and declares that there are too many Sorcerers. Which is baloney because I think there are exactly the right number of Sorcerers.

Yeah, this was a kick-arse movie and heaps of fun. My only complaint, if you can even call it a complaint, is that the credits-teasers should have been the other way around. I already knew Mordo the Operative was going to turn into a bad guy or at least some sort of enemy to Doctor Strange. That wasn’t really worth waiting all the way until the end of the credits for. What was interesting and worth waiting for, was the Thor-Odin-Loki-Strange collision, which promises wonderful things for the next round of movies (not to mention fitting the theme of Marvel movies having an interconnection-teaser at the end).

Maybe they were just mixing things up a bit this time. Either way, this was amazing and I can’t wait to see what happens next.

I also managed to avoid yelling out “MUUUURPH” in the middle of a crowded cinema when Doctor Strange was flailing his way through ur-dimensional space. So I call it a win.

 

 

 

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26 Responses to Cue Cumberbatch: A Doctor Strange Review

  1. dreameling says:

    I really liked this as well. Again, I pretty much agree with your review. I know, agreement is boring.

    How can the Ancient One whitewashing be a thing? I mean, come on. Tilda Swinton was awesome. Who cares about the original character’s race or ethnicity (or, you know, gender)?

    !! SPOILERS !!

    Some additional gripes:

    The Ultimate Big Bad was boring. A giant demonic vaguely humanoid face that thundered in English. Really? That’s your idea of a strange timeless being from an unfathomable parallel reality?

    And was it absolutely necessary to save not only Earth but the entire friggin universe in the first outing? Couldn’t they have settled on something a bit smaller in scope?

    The origin story was too by-the-numbers. It was all a bit too familiar and safe. But, all the same, I liked how Cumberbatch pulled it off.

    Doctor Strange levelled up way too fast. He went from L1 to L20 in like a few weeks or months. That’s not fair! It took my D&D Warrior Mage a year of adventuring to go from L5 to L10.

    • aaronthepatriot says:

      Wow, what a review! All I really needed from you was “The movie is great! Humblepatch is awesome. He didn’t deserve the shabby treatment of my mocking his name as I’ve done ever since the second Star Trek reboot. I will continue to mock because it is funny, but he is awesome.”

      But I’ll take this, for sure! A few things:

      1. How the fuck did you guys get to see it and I have to wait 3 more days, minimum? I got my ticket for 5:35 Friday…release in US Thursday. WTF!

      2. The Ancient one, in that picture at least, is so white-washed himself I think it’s a fair call to just use a white person. And hey, it’s a woman at least! So the crime of changing the ethnicity is cancelled by changing the gender too, maybe?

      3. Wow, you were busy with the anagrams. Nice! Love it.

      4. Great caption about their facial expressions! One of your best captions, I say. And that IS a high bar.

      5. I think they had to introduce Doctor Strange to help the Avengers deal with Thanos. No way could even ALL of them and the Guardians of the Galaxy do that, without Strange. Or at least, so I hear.[1]

      [1] Maybe Deadpool could with all his gadgets. But Thanos might just space him, which, like Crom, would settle that one.

      6. I was thinking more about “pengwings”[2] and wondering if his previous mispronunciation problems were a clue to his origins? Speaking of origins, LOL. It sounded a bit like an English rube (country) accent to me, maybe. What do you think? Hmm, IMDB says London so…. Anyway, maybe he really was just drunk!

      [2] dreameling there was a time when Cumberbatch narrated a documentary about penguins without being able to say “penguins”, look it up on youtube, hilarious comedy show segment on it. He sounded drunk. Or…accent, as I ask Hatboy.

      • stchucky says:

        Wow, what a review! All I really needed from you was “The movie is great! Humblepatch is awesome. He didn’t deserve the shabby treatment of my mocking his name as I’ve done ever since the second Star Trek reboot. I will continue to mock because it is funny, but he is awesome.”

        As I was agreeing with Mrs. Hatboy after the movie, I think he was a pretty terrible choice for Khan. He could have been great as any number of Star Trek villains, but not Khan. That started us off on the wrong foot with him. He’s a decent Holmes, but strictly in the new generation along with Downey Jr.

        In this movie, though, he killed it.

        But I think you’re still okay to mock him a bit for the whole Trek thing. He’ll cry himself to sleep on his huge pile of cash, occasionally wiping his nose on a pengwing.

        1. How the fuck did you guys get to see it and I have to wait 3 more days, minimum? I got my ticket for 5:35 Friday…release in US Thursday. WTF!

        Finland / Europe seems to do that sometimes. Don’t know why, don’t care.

        Sorry about the spoilers though.

        2. The Ancient one, in that picture at least, is so white-washed himself I think it’s a fair call to just use a white person. And hey, it’s a woman at least! So the crime of changing the ethnicity is cancelled by changing the gender too, maybe?

        Right. As I commented just now, and as I trolled the other day.

        3. Wow, you were busy with the anagrams. Nice! Love it.

        *inclines head politely* Too kind, sir.

        4. Great caption about their facial expressions! One of your best captions, I say. And that IS a high bar.

        Hee, I enjoyed that one myself.

        5. I think they had to introduce Doctor Strange to help the Avengers deal with Thanos. No way could even ALL of them and the Guardians of the Galaxy do that, without Strange. Or at least, so I hear.[1]

        You’re quite right. Especially once Thanos gets the Infinity Gauntlet going.

        For context, we see a new Infinity Stone in this movie (the green one), and it is basically what allows Doctor Strange to defeat Dormammu at all in this movie. So, presumably at some point Thanos will get hold of it, which will mean Strange won’t have it.

        [1] Maybe Deadpool could with all his gadgets. But Thanos might just space him, which, like Crom, would settle that one.

        Hey, I appreciate the pre-emptive support of my fanboy love, but I don’t think Deadpool could take Thanos. They have a rivalry, sure, over Death … and Thanos might as a result be unable to destroy Deadpool[1] … but most of Deadpool’s weapons are purely physical and Earthly. He wouldn’t make a dent in ol’ Cheap 3D Printhead.

        [1] And yes, as you say, this would still leave Thanos able to throw Deadpool to the edge of the observable universe or into the Dungeon Dimensions or under ten miles of solid ice or whatevs.

        6. I was thinking more about “pengwings”[2] and wondering if his previous mispronunciation problems were a clue to his origins? Speaking of origins, LOL. It sounded a bit like an English rube (country) accent to me, maybe. What do you think? Hmm, IMDB says London so…. Anyway, maybe he really was just drunk!

        Haaa! I couldn’t possibly say. I mean, I only have his on-screen accent to go on and for a Londoner it sounds on the posh-and-educated side to me. That may, of course, be entirely put-on.

        It’s either a) drunkenness, b) long-standing aphasia for that specific word, c) he got it wrong once and then his mouth just went “yup, it’s pengwings forever”.

        Whatever it was, it was hilarious.

    • stchucky says:

      How can the Ancient One whitewashing be a thing? I mean, come on. Tilda Swinton was awesome. Who cares about the original character’s race or ethnicity (or, you know, gender)?

      I’m pretty dubious about it too, but I suppose you can look at it this way: If the Ancient One’s made-up Asianness is as important to socio-cultural issues of the day as Black Panther’s or Luke Cage’s made-up blackness, then it’s a thing. That argument can certainly be made. Could they have cast James Hong as the Ancient One and taken the rest of the day off? Sure.

      On the other hand, would another gong-and-cherry-blossoms-in-background wise old Asian man stereotype have helped empower and promote Asian representation in cinema as much as Tilda Swinton’s inclusion as a fuck-off amazing female character helped empower and promote female representation in cinema? I don’t know, but if it wasn’t for Swinton there only would have been one female character in this movie and she didn’t do a whole heck of a lot (although she was by no means useless).

      Incidentally, props to Doctor Strange for having Sherlock Holmes and Irene Adler play off against each other – from different Holmes franchises.

      My main objection to Swinton as the Ancient One was – come on, Celtic? That’s so lame. She should have been Atlantean.

      The Ultimate Big Bad was boring. A giant demonic vaguely humanoid face that thundered in English. Really? That’s your idea of a strange timeless being from an unfathomable parallel reality?

      Objection, that was clearly the only way any sort of interaction could occur between Dormammu and humanity, as much as I would have loved to see some sort of warped non-thing on the screen. He was anthropomorphising himself so he could talk to Strange, as he had talked to Kaecilius previously. How else is he going to express his desires? That those desires even apply or are understandable to humans … well, that’s a bit of a stretch and arguably they don’t apply, ultimately. Completely incompatible.

      Besides, Dormammu in the comics is kinda depicted as humanoid.

      And was it absolutely necessary to save not only Earth but the entire friggin universe in the first outing? Couldn’t they have settled on something a bit smaller in scope?

      Well, true … but at least it wasn’t the multiverse.

      And he did sort of win by luck / trickery. Probably won’t work again, and we’re assuming Dormammu would keep his word.

      It’ll be interesting to see how this comes together with the Thanos threat.

      Agreed on your other objections, but I guess they had to get the story going in some sort of efficient way.

      • stchucky says:

        If the Ancient One’s made-up Asianness is as important to socio-cultural issues of the day as Black Panther’s or Luke Cage’s made-up blackness, then it’s a thing.

        What I mean here is, I can definitely see how it would be a kind of shitty thing to do to cast Black Panther or Luke Cage as a white person – even a white woman. So is it the same when it’s done to the Ancient One? And does that mean the colour of Black Panther’s and Luke Cage’s skin is their defining characteristic? Does that make it worse?

      • aaronthepatriot says:

        Exactly. And great reference from Captain Deadpool.

      • stchucky says:

        “Nah, just ‘Deadpool’…”

      • dreameling says:

        I’m pretty dubious about it too, but I suppose you can look at it this way: If the Ancient One’s made-up Asianness is as important to socio-cultural issues of the day as Black Panther’s or Luke Cage’s made-up blackness, then it’s a thing. That argument can certainly be made.

        Sure. But I think there’s also a difference between whitewashing a main character as opposed to a supporting character. I’d give the latter more leeway.

        On the other hand, would another gong-and-cherry-blossoms-in-background wise old Asian man stereotype have helped empower and promote Asian representation in cinema as much as Tilda Swinton’s inclusion as a fuck-off amazing female character helped empower and promote female representation in cinema? I don’t know, but if it wasn’t for Swinton there only would have been one female character in this movie and she didn’t do a whole heck of a lot (although she was by no means useless).

        Indeed. And let’s be fair, Rachel McAdams’s character was pretty useless in this one. Let’s hope she gets more to do in the sequel. (Same with Benedict Wong’s character.)

        Incidentally, props to Doctor Strange for having Sherlock Holmes and Irene Adler play off against each other – from different Holmes franchises.

        And we’ll eventually see two Sherlocks share the same screen — Doctor Strange and Tony Stark!

        Objection, that was clearly the only way any sort of interaction could occur between Dormammu and humanity, as much as I would have loved to see some sort of warped non-thing on the screen. He was anthropomorphising himself so he could talk to Strange, as he had talked to Kaecilius previously. How else is he going to express his desires?

        Overruled. Why would Dormammu, effectively a conqueror god with an ego to match, stoop to playing by a lowly mortal’s rules? He could’ve just used telepathy or something for communication. The anthropomorphising was so clearly just for us the audience.

        Well, true … but at least it wasn’t the multiverse.

        Here’s a question: Earth is protected by wards that prevent extradimensional outsiders from teleporting in… So why not just gate to the Moon and float to Earth from there? Also, why Earth? I mean, there’s a fucking universe filled with billions and billions of galaxies and stars and planets to eat out there.

        And he did sort of win by luck / trickery.

        I definitely liked that aspect. Intelligence over brute force.

      • stchucky says:

        Incidentally, props to Doctor Strange for having Sherlock Holmes and Irene Adler play off against each other – from different Holmes franchises.

        And we’ll eventually see two Sherlocks share the same screen — Doctor Strange and Tony Stark!

        Holy crap, and we’ve already seen Downey Jr.’s Holmes face off against Freeman’s Watson over at S.H.I.E.L.D., during Civil War, so soon we will have the British Holmes and Watson together. Now we just need Jude Law to make an appearance in the next Doctor Strange outing and we’ll be all set. In this sad, weird, geeky meaning of the phrase.

        Incidentally, Mrs. Hatboy is watching the USian Lucy-Liu-as-Watson Elementary, and Natalie “Margaery Tyrell” Dormer played Irene Adler and Moriarty in the one character. Maybe she should join in too.

        Objection, that was clearly the only way any sort of interaction could occur between Dormammu and humanity, as much as I would have loved to see some sort of warped non-thing on the screen. He was anthropomorphising himself so he could talk to Strange, as he had talked to Kaecilius previously. How else is he going to express his desires?

        Overruled. Why would Dormammu, effectively a conqueror god with an ego to match, stoop to playing by a lowly mortal’s rules? He could’ve just used telepathy or something for communication. The anthropomorphising was so clearly just for us the audience.

        Okay, I’ll allow it. But this, as with your additional objection below, has a rather dull and prosaic explanation. Obviously.

        Here’s a question: Earth is protected by wards that prevent extradimensional outsiders from teleporting in… So why not just gate to the Moon and float to Earth from there? Also, why Earth? I mean, there’s a fucking universe filled with billions and billions of galaxies and stars and planets to eat out there.

        Because it’s a movie and the audience is no longer composed dominantly of comic book geeks. I know, dull explanation, but it’s true. There has to be a certain amount of catering to the fact that there are viewers. That’s why the movie has subtitles. Would you prefer all the USian characters speak English, the guys in Hong Kong speak Chinese, and Dormammu goes QQQGGGWWWWWAAAAAAAAAAAARRRR like God in a Kevin Smith movie, and none of it is subtitled? Because that’s what you’re pushing for.

        Hey, don’t hate me because I’m right.

        The fact is, the Marvel movies have broader appeal and that means they have to be expressed in some way that the jocks can relate to as well.

        I agree with both you and Linza, in that yes, Marvel could have unobtanium-coated their vibranium balls and gone all-out with full psychedelia and true superhumanity and weirdness as an enemy entity in this movie, but they have to remain a little bit cautious of losing a big mess of their hard-earned plebian seat-warmers. Bringing Strange to the big screen to such enormous success was a huge win, we should be happy with that and not complain about meta-failings (which sound like a new incarnation of the age-old “waah, this wasn’t like the books” complaint anyway, to me – and as Linza said already, only real comic book purists would really worry about it … and in my opinion they probably shouldn’t, because a movie is not a comic book and never can be, no matter how beautiful it is … and the reverse is also the case, a comic book can never be a movie).

        Plus, in-movie, I think it was pretty clear that Dormammu was set to devour Earth / Earth’s layer of reality right there on-site because that was where the open door was (the collapsed Sanctum). He was roughly anthroform and spoke English because he’d made the deal with Kaecilius previously. This was how he had learned humans communicated. And sure, he could have decided he wasn’t going to demean himself by appearing in any sort of understandable way to them, and the resulting movie would have been Lynchian as fuck, and 5% of us would have loved it.

        Or he is just so vast and powerful that such imposition on the senses of lesser beings, translating himself into something approximating them, is automatic and not even something he does intentionally. And there was still a ton of blobby tentacles and floating macrobes and stuff. Let’s not be ungracious.

        So yeah, when the Sanctums collapsed, the protection vanished and presumably at that point Dormammu could have entered our reality anywhere in the observable or unobservable universe. In a meta-sense, doing so a trillion light-years away would have made shit pretty unrelatable, so they probably would have had to make the confrontation all metaphorical and stuff, with Strange still facing off against Dormammu somewhere and the Earth still sort of looking like it was under immediate threat.

        In a not-meta-sense, maybe it was the collapse of the Sanctums that not only removed the protection, but also made a weak spot, so it was right there that the gateway opened. Made it easier for Strange to get to the confrontation-point, didn’t it? He could have wacky space-folded his way to wherever Dormammu was, but it would have been a needness additional $100,000 special effect if you ask me.

        Could Dormammu have used the hole to turn away from Earth and go basically anywhere? Sure.

        Shit, maybe that’s exactly what he did. The Sanctums are still destroyed, and Dormammu only “promised” to leave Earth alone. Maybe he is on the moon right now. Or maybe he’s a bit further out. Cue Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.

        Another thing to think about regarding Dormammu and his alienness:

        We already have Thanos set to be the real Big Bad of the greater Marvel story arc, and he’s got a pretty solid physical body even if it probably also has ethereal and/or invincible properties. Make Dormammu too other, and you risk overshadowing that. In fact, I think they overshadowed it a little bit already, but it’s okay. There can be two or even more Big Bads. What we really want to avoid is the old trope of “wow, this bad guy in the first movie is really tough … heh, it’s the fifth movie and we wade through fifteen bad guys from the first movie before breakfast just to work up an appetite”.

        Again, I think Thanos getting hold of the Infinity Stone that essentially enabled Strange to beat / trick Dormammu in this movie will deal with that imbalance.

      • dreameling says:

        Because it’s a movie and the audience is no longer composed dominantly of comic book geeks. I know, dull explanation, but it’s true. There has to be a certain amount of catering to the fact that there are viewers. That’s why the movie has subtitles. Would you prefer all the USian characters speak English, the guys in Hong Kong speak Chinese, and Dormammu goes QQQGGGWWWWWAAAAAAAAAAAARRRR like God in a Kevin Smith movie, and none of it is subtitled?

        Hey, don’t hate me because I’m right.

        I think you’re jumping the reductio ad absurdum gun here. And underestimating audiences in the process (like Marvel). I so hate you.

        Putting a little extra effort in your plotting and world-building to ground stuff or make stuff make a bit more sense within the story world is hardly the same thing as making a movie inaccessible to audiences by introducing language barriers. There are different levels of meta, after all, and there are sensible lines to be drawn before we slip into the absurd. (Just because an argument can extend to the ridiculous doesn’t mean we can’t argue about it to some reasonable extent.)

        They could’ve simply established that Earth was somehow special, a point in space and time where it’s easier to pass between dimensions or some such, or that there was something on Earth that Dormammu specifically wanted, or that Dormammu had history with Earth. Or they could’ve just made Dormammu less powerful (or build him up as less powerful, because he frankly didn’t seem all that powerful to me). It’s not too hard to come up with some extra fantasy stuffing to make everything a bit more logical and consistent in-story. And this doesn’t even have to register with the non-geek plebs.

        Dormammu’s use of English would’ve actually been way less silly if he’d used telepathy because you can sort of hand-wave that as being somehow (magically/mystically) above or beyond regular language. And then you wouldn’t have needed a mouth, and you could’ve gone with something more alien than a giant humanoid face. For a movie that went to some pretty weird and imaginative visual places, a giant humanoid face is just so utterly unimaginative.

    • aaronthepatriot says:

      So, coming back to this late to the game, I just wanted to add that I nearly fainted during the first 60 seconds. That first action scene nearly unmanned me. Wow, what a fantastic ride!

  2. thelinza says:

    No one but faithful readers of the comic books can really complain about the origin story, because where the crap are the eyeballs and entrails and tentacles? Worried about how fast he levels up? There was a book-stealing montage, time passed. But reading a Doctor Strange comic, you basically have to roll higher than 30 on 2d10 every page in order to determine if there will be vicera and crazy demons and other-dimensional baddies and shit on the next page. What am I even saying, there just will be.

    Anyway, my only complaint is that Marvel didn’t go vibranium-balls-out weird enough. These comics are ash-flavored, hookah-smoking-caterpillar, is-he-seriously-going-to-make-out-with-that-brain-parasite weird.

    • thelinza says:

      As for facing off against the big bad at the end and winning through trickery, the trickery was secondary to the self-sacrifice theme that dominates the more modern (post-stoner-caterpillar) runs of Dr Strange standalone storylines. The point wasn’t that a L20 wizard defeated space-Cthulu with his Groundhog Day necklace (tho that was kinda giggleworthy) the point was that the character went from a selfcentered douchenozzle to voluntarily dying dozens of times in new and horrible ways for the chance at ransoming reality– as was mentioned, Dormammu would have to keep his word, and what does a promise mean to something that Big and Bad?

      and I don’t think Cucumberbatch made the self centered douchenozzle phase bad enough that the above-described character arc was as parabolous as it could have been. I think he did a good job with the role, but casting the guy who played Monumental Asshole Smart Guy in a TV series to play Monumental Asshole Smart Guy in a movie… didn’t leave a lot of options to distinguish New Asshole from Old Asshole, I guess.

      kay, done. maybe. No I’m not. I want a spinoff where Rocket, Groot, DumE, and the Cloak of Levitation have whacky adventures. Now I’m done.

      • aaronthepatriot says:

        Damn, these two comments were as fun and informative as Hatboy’s entire review! XD no offense, Hatboy!

        Now I really, REALLY want to see the movie. And I will, on Friday. Great comments, linza! And just for the record, I will watch the Monumental Asshole Smart Guy any time.

      • stchucky says:

        It’s true though, his “redemption arc” was a bit bland because they couldn’t turn the “obnoxious genius” up high enough. But being the Cumbo, he managed well.

      • stchucky says:

        Who is DumE? I feel like I’m missing something really basic.

        I also feel, now, like I need to start reading these comics. I guess it’s a fair bet that they’ll be sold out at Fantasiapelit now the movie’s out. I’m still a half-dozen anthologies of Deadpool behind anyway.

        Oh well. It goes on the pile.

    • dreameling says:

      Worried about how fast he levels up? There was a book-stealing montage, time passed.

      Yeah, like a few months. He didn’t even go out adventuring for XP!

  3. thelinza says:

    DumE is the robot in Stark’s workshop that is always bringing the wrong tool or extinguishing things that aren’t on fire.

    If you type Read Comic Online Free into google, you probably can save a lot of money.

    • stchucky says:

      Ah! That one! Yes, I could quite happily watch a three-hour movie of DumE trundling along with perfect three-minutes-twelve-seconds-later comic timing and putting things onto things that aren’t there, so the things break. While the Cloak of Levitation plays Stop Hitting Yourself with everything.

      But I can’t bring myself to read comics online. Webcomics, yes. But comics? There’s a distinction I really have no idea how to explain there.

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