Friday, August 8, 2008

WTF? Not My Doctor Strange!

By the power of the Undying Vishanti...

I just want to give my thoughts on the Dr Strange animated movie. I bought the DVD a few months ago and thought of looking up some clips online. Many people found the movie 'awesome' and 'badass' and had some positive comments about the movie.

I, on the other hand, beg to DISAGREE.

Just five minutes into the movie I saw a LOT of things that were way off the comic book. Granted that Marvel wanted to repackage the character for a new audience but in all fairness to those who got to know the Doc a bit earlier on, this movie is ludicrous. I do not lay claim to having read and possessed ALL Doc Strange comics but the Doctor Strange that I knew during the "Midnight Sons" saga and the "Last Rites" series is not the Doctor Strange this movie was presenting.

The movie tried to give the 'origins' of Dr Strange a new twist. Based on the Stan Lee 'Origins' comic series which featured Dr Strange, he was suffering from father-issues and was an alcoholic. The movie sanitized this into a version where Stephen Strange's frustrations at being unable to save his sister from an illness became the motivating factor for him to pursue medicine with disregard to the emotional or nurturing aspect of medicine. In short, naging bato ang kanyang puso because of the tragic death of his sister.

I found the revised version a bit corny. In fact, even if the Stan Lee origins storyline in the comic was a bit expository, it had hints of profundity which the movie lacked. Everything was so in your face - it was almost an insult to the intelligence of the viewer.

Let me get back to the first five minutes. The opening moments hinted at a darker take on the adventures of Doc Strange...then suddenly these "elementals" arrived wielding - Oh my God - swords! I almost burst out laughing. It was as if the writer/s took inspiration from the latest MMORPG and conjured these characters out of thin air. Then Doctor Strange was taken to The Ancient One's abode and became the male version of Cinderella hahahaha

After a lot of exposition wherein the "elementals" got to show their "cool" martial arts and sword-fighting skills - with a few falling prey to shadow monsters, and Baron Mordo was falling into the dark side etc. then Doc Strange finally summoned his latent magick and conjured - surprise, surprise! - a SWORD! OMFG for the life of me, I never imagined Doctor Strange as a sword-swinging superhero. He's much too...powerful?...for that, I think. Anyway, this is an "origin" movie so maybe the writers thought that Doc should start from scratch hehe

Dr Strange has always been a more of a behind-the-scenes mover. If he decides to engage in action, it is often cosmic (and sometimes transdimensional) in scope. The movie, in a way, made me miss the old Doc Strange, clad in blue, with the Cloak of Levitation draped over his shoulders, endlessly chanting of the Undying Vishanti and other difficult-to-pronounce deities...

Hay naku, Dr. Strange...I feel like I don't know you anymore...

This is why I often get confounded when browsing through the new Marvel comics...the characters that I have grown to love have been changed in such profound ways, it seems nostalgia is my only remedy for these iconoclastic reimaginings...

1 comment:

Paul said...

Hi. I came across your blog because I get a weekly google alert whenever someone mentions Dr Strange. I agree with you on alot of your complaints (a sword?), and I'm always sad when "they" decide his costume isn't cool enough. I decided to think of the movie as an alternate reality Strange. This allowed me to focus on the movie on its own. It really was good, just not our doctor.

Also, The Oath, if you haven't read it yet, does a nice spin on the costume without changing the basic elements.