(The Disneycember logo is shown, before showing clips from Doctor Strange)
Doug (vo): Well, you guys definitely let me know when I missed this one, Doctor Strange. This technically should have been in last year's Disneycember, but I just didn't really have the time or room to fit it in, and, well, I'm making up for it now, so here we go. Doctor Strange is definitely not a film to be ignored in the MCU, as visually, it's amazing. Its ideas are pretty cool, too, even if the story is your typical Marvel Cinematic Universe story, as a lot of people have pointed out.
Doug (vo): Stephen Strange is one of the world's best neurosurgeons, but he's also cocky as hell. He throws himself more into his work than he does his friends, until one day, he gets in an awful accident. His hands are destroyed and he can never operate again. I also think it did something to his American accent. It's a little wonky. Overtime, though, he discovers a powerful being called the Ancient One, who knows how to alter reality, open parallel dimensions, different timelines, pretty much anything that can blow your mind. He asks to train with her, but she refuses, thinking he's not ready yet. His persistence eventually pays off, though, and he's invited in to be trained. Overtime, he learns not only how to heal himself, but also how to manipulate the world around him, open up different realms and universes, and even be introduced to new devices, including a cape that seems to have a mind of its own. But Forgettable Marvel Villain #Billion comes along and says that he wants the ultimate power for himself. He used to work with the Ancient One, but he stabs her in the back because he wants more of the secrets, more of the power, more of the...usual bad guy stuff you expect from bad guys in the MCU. Can Doctor Strange stop him while also putting reality back to normal? Is there even a normal after everything he's discovered?
Doug (vo): Well, there must be, because this follows very by-the-numbers the Marvel formula. Now, for some, that's gonna be a turnoff, because there's a ton of these Marvel movies and they do follow kind of a formula. But for a lot of people, there's enough creativity and laughs and character and drama, and, yeah, I mostly felt the same way, but the big tipping point for me was the visuals.
(Clips focusing on the film's visual effects are shown)
Doug (vo): I've just never seen a Marvel film that looked this massive. This is like watching Inception just fold in on itself. I mean...okay, Inception already kind of did that...but if that was a fold, this is one of those paper things girls make to find out who has cooties. It's like someone took some mind-altering drugs and then was given a lot of money to bring it to the big screen, but as clear and solid as possible. If Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas is a bad trip, then Doctor Strange is definitely a good trip.
(Clips focusing on the film's characters and the action scenes are shown)
Doug (vo): So much so that, yeah, I do kind of wish these visuals and ideas were kind of put to something with a little more...substance. Not to say there's no substance. I mean, they do have us care for the characters and their dilemmas, and the action is great, and I do like everybody, you know, aside from the stock villain again, but everyone else, I do legit enjoy their connections and the creativity around their different styles. But I do kind of wish this was used for something a little bigger, like a Black Panther story or an Infinity War story, something like that.
Doug (vo): Regardless, as these superhero stories go, it is a fun one. It's action-packed, clever, funny, has its proper dramatic moments. But, yes, it's the visual trip-out scenes that project it into something unique. If you took them away, it'd probably just be your standard Marvel movie, but this really projects it into something different and new. In terms of story and character, Doctor Strange mostly plays it safe, but it plays it creatively safe. I can still watch these action sequences and be blown away every single time I watch them. The amount of time, effort and technology that must have gone into it is just mind-blowing. So, yeah, if you're looking for something that's new and groundbreaking in terms of telling a cinematic story or even a Marvel film, it's not exactly that. It's a basic straightforward superhero flick. But if you're looking for that kind of flick with mind-blowing visuals and unbelievable imagination, then this is the something strange for you.
(A scene showing Doctor Strange flying into the Dark Dimension is shown)