Movies · On Netflix

Marvel’s Doctor Strange is a Little Too Strange

It’s been a while since I’ve seen a movie that I disliked enough to write a fun rip-apart review on. Enter Marvel’s Doctor Strange.

It just came to Netflix, and I seemed to remember hearing lots of good things about it when it came to theaters. So we watched it. And as we watched it, I wondered, had I completely mis-remembered hearing those good things?

The High Points

Let’s talk about those first, as it will be a shorter list.

The movie begins with Benedict Cumberbatch as a pompous neurosurgeon who is too full of himself to even sustain a relationship with his interested coworker (Rachel McAdams). Good performances by both of them. High point number one.

Benedict Cumberbacth’s character, Dr. Strange, gets in a car accident, ruining his precious operating hands with nerve damage. This sets him on a desperate path to find healing, which leads him to some super weird monastery-ish place in Nepal. There, he learns some ancient magic-y secrets and becomes a kind of sorcerer, eventually fighting some super-confusing magic-y war against magic-y bad guys. That war and all the fights are visually stunning with great special effects. High point number two.

That’s about it.

The Low Points

What is going on here? Oh how many times did my husband and I ask each other this while we watched it? So many magic, supposed ancient, just-plain-confusing terms thrown around almost constantly. I was quite lost after a while. This was my biggest complaint about the movie, and it led right into:

What am I rooting for? I guess the answer is that we are supposed to root for him to defeat the bad guys, but really his goal at the start was to get his hands fixed, which kind of just gets forgotten about once he realizes he can do these kick-butt magic things with the nerve damage tremors still present (incidentally, said kick-butt magic things are done through a very silly-looking hand-circle motion that reminds me of some kind of game my toddler might make up…).

I do think I could have forgiven the confusion of the magic bad-guy-war plot and its lack of clear goal, if only there had been some kind of real relationship goal present. Instead, though, Dr. Strange leaves behind his love interest, does sort of inadvertently go back to visit her… and it kind of goes nowhere else.

The Lame Triumph: Without spoiling it, let me try to sum up how Dr. Strange ends up triumphing over the villain near the end: By annoying him into submission. I’m not kidding. I guess that… hasn’t really been done in a movie before? Probably for good reason.

Forgettable… I legitimately just had to look up plot information on Wikipedia because I couldn’t remember it, even though I watched the movie a matter of days ago. Now I do admit that my brain isn’t necessarily hard-wired to dive into and fully appreciate action-plots in general. But my husband’s definitely is, and he felt the same way.

Moral Issues

The good news is, there are very few.

Basically just some PG-13 violence. Well, and the whole spell/magic component feels a little closer to actual witchcraft-type things (in the terms they use) than a typical superhero movie usually does; but they weren’t like devil-worshiping by any means.


Why do so many people love this movie? It even has a 90% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes. I’m so confused.

It’s not terrible, and at least doesn’t really have much to complain about morally. But I for one would certainly not feel the need to watch it again.