4. Doctor Strange
It’s no secret all superhero-origin movies or series follow pretty much the same narrative. Don’t believe me? Well, just tell me if you’ve ever seen this before: A reluctant hero is given a second chance at life after an accident or tragedy. The solution to their problem puts them on the path to becoming a superhero, but mastering their powers require a lot of training. However, by the end of the day, they save the world by defeating an enemy against all odds and finally manage to return home safely. Feels familiar, right? That’s because this narrative is present in many superhero projects, including Iron Man, Daredevil, Ant-Man, and, well, Doctor Strange.
So let’s start by accepting that Doctor Strange didn’t reinvent the wheel. It contains the same problems the MCU is known to repeat over and over again. There’s a one-dimensional villain that has the same powers as the hero but uses them for evil. There are a lot of quips that sometimes feel out of place to make the movie fun and family-friendly. And, finally, its narrative is very similar to that of other superhero movies. However, while Doctor Strange didn’t shine thanks to its plot, it was incredibly unique in other aspects.
Scott Derickson didn’t hold back with the use of magic in the film. The scene where the Ancient One makes Doctor Strange travel through the multiverse is stunning and way different from anything audiences have ever seen in the MCU. The fight between Doctor Strange and Mordo against Kaecilius in the mirror dimension is truly mind-bending thanks to an amazing use of CGI. Finally, while the third act of every superhero movie sees its protagonist defeat the main villain in combat, Doctor Strange did something completely new. He used a time loop to tire Dormammu and force him to give up, even if it meant dying multiple times in many bizarre ways.
Doctor Strange was a different kind of superhero movie. Not in its narrative, but in its execution. Additionally, the movie had an amazing protagonist and incredible acting by Benedict Cumberbatch. So even with all its problems, you couldn’t have asked for a better big-screen adaptation of the Sorcerer Supreme. It was fun, action-packed, and unique. Better yet, it still has a lot of rewatch value thanks to amazing CGI and its iconic set pieces. Now let’s hope the third movie in Doctor Strange’s saga manages to beat it.