Sunday, November 06, 2016


Hello, Marvel maniacs! 

Your new hero has finally arrived! Doctor Strange is ready to see you now... ups, quite close, guys. It's pretty close ;)

I am beyond excited to share my thoughts about this movie. I watched it on October, 24 - yes, a week early from US premiere. Again, have to say maybe it is one of those privileges to live in Indonesia. So, I watched it with my sister, who happens to be as freak as I am - we literally crazy about movies and tv series, watch too many. 

Excited because... Stephen Strange is the new guy! We're not gonna talk about Cap, Tony, or Thor. We're going to talk about new superhero, new face, new story and even... new universe in the same universe if it's make any sense. 

Let me tell you guys. I may spill one, two or more spoilers because I want to talk about alternate universe and connection to other movies, to the sequels and stuffs. Don't hate me because I already warned you ;) 

Meet Doctor Strange  

Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) is neurosurgeon based in New York, obviously, who happens to be handsome, charming, smart and rich. Like really rich. Same leaf with the one and only Tony Stark, Stephen is literally an asshole. Strange's personality reminds me a lot about Sherlock, honestly. Not because they portrayed by the same actor, but they're very similar to me. His intelligence and arrogance persona, his thirst of knowledge, his passion, it portrays very well. And also, Ben's American accent is everything. He threw away his British Hamlet accent, we forgot he's the same actor for awhile.

The phrase Marvel never cast the wrong person is right. Ben is a sharp, perfect actor to portray Strange. He's the perfect profile for Strange's personalities. He gives the character a life which is a great thing. So believable. Strange is someone who takes his intellect very seriously and Ben shows us.

The Story 

Starting off with a hotshot charming and arrogant neurosurgeon working at hospital, being smart and also an asshole, Strange gets in a serious car crash which devastatingly making his magical hands useless, wrecked his entire career. He literally tries everything - pursuing any possible way to recovery until he finds one guy who completely recovered from the impossible, Jonathan Pangborn (Benjamin Bratt). With everything left he has, Strange goes to Kathmandu, Nepal to find a place called Kamar Taj where Pangborn healed.

Fast forward, he meets someone called Ancient One (Tilda Swinton) who shows him about something he never believed before like astral dimension and even takes him to the dimension beyond time, which is eerie. He also meets fellow student slash senior, Mordo (Chiwetel Ejiofor) who teaches him martial arts. At Kamar Taj, Strange learns about magic, sorcery and of course many different dimensions he never knew existed. He even has to face mystical war.

For me, as the first installment of the franchise, Doctor Strange's story is written really well. It's great but not perfect. The director, Scott Derrickson brings a strange character with strange story from comic book into MCU and made it work. The concept of this fantasy, magical story about different dimension from Avengers and other MCU is very unique, gives something fresh and different.

The story invites us to see whole new perspective about life - what is it beyond our galaxy, so many things about multidimensional, multi-universe. It makes us to think with our logic and imagination at the same time which leads us to understand life and beyond that.

The Villains 

Our villain is a former Ancient One's student, Kaecilius (Mads Mikkelsen). This is such a great character although I want more about his story. He's such a dark man and I saw it truly on Mads. He really shows everything Kaecilius is: smart, cold hearted guy. He has his own squad, cult Strange called them. I like how this character is such a good one for a villain. His anger and disappointment to his Master, the Ancient One is truly showing. How passionate Kaecilius is about living forever, being crazy and angry, I think Mads portrayed him really well.

There's also Dormammu, the darkness beyond time who promised Kaecilius of immortality. When I see this thing, it reminds me a lot of Thanos' eyes: purple and full of darkness. But Dormammu seems not really dangerous for me. I actually want to see how much threatening this thing from another dimension is. I want to see how the world is in danger and how Strange is a hero.

The Movie 

What I love about this movie is the fact that it serves us the perfect amount visual effect, so many Marvelception - city bending, world moving - effect which is something that I never saw in MCU. The visual effect is heavy like a lot, but nothing that makes me cringe or something like that. That's a remarkable 3D experience, so satisfying! The action is fantastic - martial arts and combat. Just great action sequences!

The amount of humors in this movie is amazing. As a typical Marvel movies, it always light weight but smart humor. I love how this movie is serious but still has Marvel humor. I laugh so much but also, think so much.

I also love that fact that Doctor strange is in its world. It's in New York, London and Hong Kong, but it still in its dimension. It is nice to see an MCU movie has its own space. The movie shows how close Strange's apartment and Avengers towers but they wouldn't know because Doctor Strange is taking place in different dimension than they are. I'm not sure either this story happens before or after Captain America: Civil War, but it seems like happening during Civil War because at the beginning, when Strange is on his way to the dinner, Billy (Strange's colleague/nurse) calls him, he says: "a 35 year old Air-Force colonel who crushed his spine" and we did know Rhodey is a colonel and crushed his spine when he fell from the sky because Vision's mistaken shoot.

The flaws of this movie are first, during the Strange's training, it feels so quick. Like he arrives, he studies and he practices then boom! He's the sorcerer and even the legendary Cloak of Levitation chooses him. What I want is the point where Strange learns all night, practices harder and harder but it's so hard to make his own magic because his arrogance. I want more of his training with Ancient One and Mordo. I want their connections are bigger.

Second, I'm a little bit disappointed with the ending. They say how dangerous Dormammu is but I don't see any of them. How Strange makes a bargain with it, it feels so easy for such a strange, dangerous creature from different dimension. I was like, "Just like that?" I mean, from the beginning, every character development is so good, the action package is great, but when it comes to the king of darkness, just like that? hm.

Hint to Thor: Ragnarok 

There's a clip after credit (of course) which Strange and Thor (Chris Hemsworth) are talking at some kind of office slash living room. I assume this is Strange's apartment. Strange asks about Loki (Tom Hiddleston) and Odin (Anthony Hopkins) and even asks "So you're going back to Asgard?" and later he says, "I'll help you!" with a playful smile. My theory is Doctor Strange will makes appearance on Thor: Ragnarok. There's a theory behind Ragnarok, that every one is gonna die. I think, it could be true because now that he and Thor know each other, it is possible to think Strange will help and gives Thor second chance with The Eye of Agamoto like he does in Hong Kong.

Guyssss... we're so close to Tom Hiddleston and Benedict Cumberbatch in the same screen because holy moly, British and cheekbones invasion is undeniable sexy! 

Hint to Avengers: Infinity War 

After Hong Kong, Strange comes back to New York temple with Wong. He places the Eye of Agamoto back to its place, Wong says "Wise choice to not playing around with Infinity Stone". Strange's power is such a rare thing in MCU because usually it is physical power, which Strange has but he also owns mystical powers: astral dimension, time travel, energy projection, mind control, illusion and more. It is possible for Strange has a big part on Avengers: Infinity War (both parts) because when Thanos comes to take the Infinity Gauntlet, the Avengers need someone who is Sorcerer Supreme. And because Strange somehow knows where and how to use the Eye of Agamoto, which we believe it is one of the Infinity Stones.

We already knew where the five stones are: Space Stone (Tesseract appeared on The Avengers), Reality Stone (Aether appeared on Thor: The Dark World), The Power Stone (The Orb appeared on Guardians of the Galaxy), Mind Stone (Loki's Scepter from The Avengers but it made important appearance on Avengers: Age of Ultron which brought Vision to life), Time Stone (The Eye of Agamoto appeared on Doctor Strange as a necklace).

But where the last one, Soul Stone? My theory, it is most likely will be reveal dramatically in Thor: Ragnarok but where? Heimdall. Remember that Thanos is actually the initial for each stone? T.H.A.N.O.S Tesseract. H. Aether. Necklace. Orb. Scepter. The H is most likely Heimdall because until now, with his power to know everything in the universe, he never had a big part. I assume he has bigger and more important in the last installment of Thor, Ragnarok.

Back to Infinity War, Thanos always want the gauntlet. He obsessed with it. After each stone reveal, he will come and try to take it. In Doctor Strange, the Eye of Agamoto is not so big, we only see relatively small part (thou it has huge power), so I assume in Thor: Ragnarok and in Avengers: Infinity War, it will become big so does Doctor Strange.

So, what do you think about Doctor Strange? Do you have other theories about the relation between Strange and other MCU? Let me know! Xx

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