The Marvel Cinematic Universe dives into yet another relatively dark corner with Doctor Strange. The movie is directed by Scott Derrickson (The Day the Earth Stood Still 2008 remake and several horror movies), Benedict Cumberbatch (most movies that have come out in the last several years), Rachel McAdams (she’s been in at least one movie a year every year for the last fifteen years) and Tilda Swinton (every movie ever), so if the movie doesn’t work, it’s not going to be due to the cast.
I think the real questions are about what the audience is willing to tolerate at this point in the flooded comic book movie experience. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not tired of comic books movies, but I could see how some people might be.
See, not only is this yet another comic book movie origin story, but there is a lot of stuff in this trailer that we’ve seen before:
- a man suffers a tragedy and goes on a quest of self discovery (most superhero movies)
- and grows a scruffy beard (most superhero movies following Batman Begins)
- and gets trained by a wise old mentor… which is something of a standard thing in the hero’s journey, but it really looks like the first Matrix
- that one shot toward the end looks a lot like Inception – you know which one I mean
And another reason to be concerned is that Scott Derrickson’s movies aren’t exactly loved by anyone.
Of course, there are a lot of reasons to be hopeful about Doctor Strange:
- Great cast
- It’ll probably be at least passable because it doesn’t look like they’re trying to reinvent the wheel
- Man, does he look like the comic book! That’s just fun!
Obviously, November is a while away, so we won’t know the true fate of this flick for six months, but for now, I think we can be cautiously optimistic about Doctor Strange until we have a reason not to be – there aren’t any red flags so far, but they’re not exactly waving us in, either.