SFX OUTSHINE CUMBERBATCH
Film Review by Fiore
I’m fine with superhero movies. Unlike my colleague and friend Ed Blank, I don’t mind knowing the superhero will always win and never really face a disastrous death. That said, the current cinema craze for superheroes is bringing many to the big screen who should truly stay on the inked page. This is the situation with DOCTOR STRANGE. It is a film totally dependent on its own special effects, wasting the talents of top cast and crew members. Director Scott Derrickson pilots a venture into mysticism and magic with convoluted visual effects and a mere mundane plot. With a budget of over $165 million, this film is nothing more than a group orgy by computer geeks.
Dr. Stephen Strange is a brilliant surgeon. Like most brilliant surgeons, he is arrogant, egotistical and self-centered. A car accident deprives him of the use of his hands. Numerous operations fail and in an act of total desperation, he seeks to return to his previous glory through magic and mysticism. His quest brings him into a totally new world. Like MEN IN BLACK, he is made aware of alternate universes and the malevolent creatures who abide there, intent on destroying worlds, all occurring under the unwitting eyes of the public. DOCTOR STRANGE goes from surgeon to a Guardian of Galaxies in the span of a montage.
This template is standard fare in the world of superheroes. Yet, while watching DOCTOR STRANGE, I had a strange (pardon the word usage) deja-vu experience. Then it occurred to me this script, penned by Jon Spaihts, Scott Derrickson and C. Robert Cargill is basically the same story in Ryan Reynold’s GREEN LANTERN; a film many comic fanboys despised, but I enjoyed. I immediately thought of Mr. Big’s son coughing: “Rip-off, rip-off”. Even the evil presence from the Dark World (no relation to the one Thor visited) bears a striking resemblance to Parallax.