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Marvel’s Cinematic Universe Ever Growing

Ben Atwater

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By the date of the publication, the 14th film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Doctor Strange, will be a mere three weeks away. The last installment, Captain America: Civil War, was released last May and instantly has been considered among one of the best superhero films yet. That being said, Doctor Strange must deliver as a quality film after coming off one of the most acclaimed superhero movies of all time.

Starring Benedict Cumberbatch, Doctor Strange is, of course, based off the Marvel comics of the same name. The general story arc of Doctor Strange follows Stephen Strange, a world class surgeon. Strange possesses a selfish and entitled attitude, which leads him to be distant from others. The doctor’s life is changed forever when he is in a car accident, leaving his hands inadequate. This means an end for Strange’s career as a surgeon; with nothing to live for, Strange ventures into the Himalayas to find the Ancient One in hopes of healing his hands. The Ancient One leads a troop of sorcerers, who have learned to transcend the human dimension and are able to manipulate the environment around them. Strange is at first reluctant to learn what he considers magic, yet soon comes around to honing in his skills so that he does not need his hands to move things.

Doctor Strange is considered Marvel’s “magic” character. Accessing higher dimensions is a unique skill set and leads way to very different scenarios than Hulk smashing a city with his strength, or Iron Man using his suit to pull off technological wonders. That is why seeing a live-action adaption of this property is so intriguing. The trailer alone looks amazing, with visuals that are sure to best be seen in IMAX 3D. As Strange and his sorcerer friends bend dimensions, entire cityscapes wrap around each other, which is sure to be a unique and fun battle arena. A qualm with the recent Captain America: Civil War was that while the characters were used greatly, the environments were rather bland. The main battle scene was on a deserted airport, which lowers stakes. In Doctor Strange, it seems as though the main action is within higher and lower dimensions.

The cast is also worth noting. Benedict Cumberbatch has already had great roles where he shines as a powerful actor, whether it be as Sherlock Holmes in Sherlock, his Academy Award nominated portrayal of Alan Turing, or even the excellent voice over and motion capture of Smaug the dragon.  Chiwetel Ejiofor, also Academy Award nominated for 12 Years a Slave, is on board on Karl Mordo, a fellow student of the Ancient One. The Ancient One is portrayed by Academy Award winner Tilda Swinton, who recently costarred with fellow Marvel actor Chris Evans in Snowpiercer.

Marvel has always done a good job at recruiting talent for their films, both in front and behind of the camera. Every single Marvel Cinematic Universe film has been decent at the least. Even if Iron Man 2 and Thor 2 do not measure up to Captain America: The Winter Soldier or The Avengers, the bottom of the Marvel films are still far better than the recent DC films. While 2016 has been disappointing for film so far, the few exceptions include the other Marvel film Captain America: Civil War. With Star Wars and Harry Potter releasing movies to close out 2016, Marvel will also join the ranks in what is hopefully one of the most unique superhero films yet with Doctor Strange.

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Marvel’s Cinematic Universe Ever Growing