I have never read a Doctor Strange comic and I know nothing about the character, so I wasn’t pushed one way or the other about the Benedict Cumberbatch movie (coming this November).
Until I saw the teaser trailer.
“I don’t believe in fairytales about chakras or energy or the power of belief,” grumbles Dr. Stephen Strange (Cumberbatch in a vaguely mid-Atlantic twang) as we see him alternately looking dapper in a dinner jacket, in surgical scrubs, in a hospital bed looking severely injured, and wandering the streets of sporting a Unibomber beard.
Tilda Swinton shows up as a Buddhist monk (at least, that’s what I think she’s supposed to be), and she performs some sort of Matrix-style kung-fu acupressure shit on Strange, and suddenly he has an out of body multi-dimensional experience.
The visuals do look impressive, with imagery reminiscent of parts of Inception (and a music score that’s very Zimmery, to boot). Chiwetel Ejiofor looks imposing with his samurai sword (I have no idea who he is supposed to be). There is no sign of Mads Mikkelsen, who plays the villain. I guess Marvel want to hold back on that reveal for another few weeks.
Comic-book movies generally leave me cold, and the trailers all look the same. As this is an origin story, the trailer follows pretty much the same formula as, say, the one for Captain America: The First Avenger.
But I have to say I am keen to see this, perhaps because the trailer hints at a lot without giving too much away, and probably because with this cast, even if the film is terrible, at least it will be a well-acted terrible film.
A helpful primer on Doctor Strange: