I've put off writing this post. I put it off because I needed to see the movie again. This movie gave me plenty to think about. So much so, I had to see it a second time. As a fan of the super hero movie genre in general, Marvel Studios more specifically, this was a good movie ... not great, but good. This film doesn't even make my top 3 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Here's what I liked and didn't like about it.
What I liked
The best part of this movie for me was the fact that it continued this phase of Marvel's movie plan. This plan has been building since the first Avengers movie. The threat of Thanos and the Infinity Stones will culminate in Infinity War. This movie introduced not only a needed character, but also another Infinity Stone.
The other part of this movie I liked, the reason I had to see it again, was the worldview it portrayed. That worldview was where we all start out, what we all can relate to on some level. Dr. Strange started out at the beginning of the movie proud and extremely arrogant. His pride was in his ability, which he loses. He arrogantly assumes his understanding of the physical universe is all there is until he's introduced to the spiritual. As he explores that side of reality, he has to deal with concepts of eternal life and the fear of death. By the end, Strange learns one of life's most important lessons, it's not all about him. He also learns what sacrifice looks like.
What I didn't like
I struggle with the fact that this is another origin story. More than that, it's basically the same origin story as Tony Stark/Iron Man. Arrogant, rich guy gets in over his head and learns to use his brains and talents to help instead of horde. In the process his pride is replaced with humility, and he learns that sacrifice is the path to true heroism. All good things ... that we've seen before. The particular details are different, but the overall story is the same.
Like I said, this is a good movie. It continues the overall story by introducing the necessary part of that story; the concept of magic. My hope for future movies is that they explore the realm of magic more. The way it's used here was specific, both for this story as well as the overall story, but more can and should be done with it.
I'm not attached to this character, so I didn't have any preconceptions going in. I did have fears walking in though. I was concerned that if they made magic look cheesy it would hurt, not help, the overall story. Luckily my fears were for nothing. What I saw was visually stunning and that helped a good story along.
Any comic book movie fan, especially a fan of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, will enjoy this film.