Monday, 16 May 2022

Comparing The Two Doctor Strange Movies

A week ago I went to see the most recent Doctor Strange movie, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness and I was disappointed. Now I'm a man in my fifties so why did I go and see it in the first place? 

Lets be honest the movie wasn't made for me. I saw it because the original Doctor Strange was brilliant, it was entertaining, thoughtful and insightful. I rewatched it this week and I enjoyed it even more. I was afraid that some of the stink from the more recent movie would rub off on it, glad to say that that did not happen. From now on I will call them Strange I and Strange II to distinguish between the two movies. 

I had been looking forward to Strange II since Strange I told us that Doctor Strange would return. But I had heard some disquieting things and I decided to put those feelings aside and see Strange II anyway. Right from the start things felt different, the original started off more like a drama, Doctor Strange is a surgeon, a real person, in Strange II he attends the interracial marriage of the women he loves and her husband is a 'fan' of Doctor Strange. He leaves the wedding to fight a monster, this could have been in any superhero movie, with any superhero fighting. Right here is the difference between the two movies, Strange I is about a man who feels real, Strange II is about a superhero who doesn't feel real.

Strange I is about a man who becomes a magic user in a world filled with Superheros and it succeeds because at all times it feels real. Like it is something that could actually happen. Which is achieved by making the movie into a drama, which includes mysticism, comedy, action and Superheros. However it never allows those things to take away from the story, instead each of these elements adds to the story. Each part is built upon what has came before it. To be honest I find it difficult to find fault with this movie, my one complaint was that it moves too fast, but with multiple viewings it no longer has that problem. I would not have made the Sorcerer Supreme a White women, I would have kept them as an Asian man, but Tilda Swinton is excellent, bald head and all. In fact I like the entire cast, the villain has a good reason for acting and for believing what he does, the script is very underrated and the special effects are amazing.

I wish I could say these things about Strange II, alright the special effects are still amazing, but thats about it. I didn't even like the actors who reappear from the first movie as much. I didn't hate them, nor did I hate the actors who appeared for the first time here. However the story and script is no where as good as they should be, which means that the actors, old and new don't have the material to work with. In fact the movie exists as if the first movie doesn't exist. At the end of Strange I a new villain reveals himself, with a great backstory and motivation which is all ignored. Instead we get a new villain who wreaks havoc because she wants to be a mother. She is the best character in the movie, but her motivation is demented because her children don't exist in our version of the multiverse, but do in others. I liked how she was defeated as it made sense and it was unexpected. The rest was really a case of 'whatever', it filled in a few hours but I will never watch it again. It was just another generic Superhero movie, something that Strange I was not. 

What makes this even more ridiculous was that Doctor Strange is not even that important in his own movie. Sure you can say his character did this or that, but really he is along for the ride, that is not what I paid my money to see. 

When I checked around the 9th May both movies were rated on IMBD as 7.5 out of 10, which for a new big budget movie is terrible. A week late Strange II has lost.1 and is now at 7.4, below Strange I. My prediction is that Strange II will settle at 6.3

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