Doctor Strange is a great solo hero film that makes a solid Marvel movie while at the same time showing something very different for the franchise. I’d rank it in the middle of the Marvel pack, but even that is still high praise. It does suffer from being an origin movie; I’m not thrilled at the thought of sitting through that first hour on repeat viewings. But the magical combat is visually arresting and very different from the traditional schtick of people throwing balls of light at each other.
I absolutely love Benedict Cumberbatch, but I do feel he’s at about 50% effectiveness here with an American accent. It just seems to rob him of his gravitas. I really wish they’d just let him keep him native accent; who’s to say he didn’t grow up in England and move to NYC to become a famous neurosurgeon there? The rest of the characters are solid and interesting, except for the villain of course, who like most Marvel villains just isn’t interesting at all.
The movie does a great job of introducing magic to the MCU, though I do have to wonder where these protectors were when extra-dimensional aliens invaded NYC in the Avengers, given that they already had a Sanctum in the city. My particular favorite bit was the sentient Cloak who fights and primps all on its own. There’s some great and unexpected MCU tie-ins along the way, proving Dr. Strange will not be an outlier but a central part of the forthcoming Infinity War. I can’t wait!