When people talk about a “popcorn” film, Doctor Strange is the kind of thing they have in mind. It’s a really delicious surface confection with basically no substance and lots and lots of unintended problematic aspects. In my mind, the biggest in is that in effect, it’s a re-skinning of the basic heroic origin story you’ve seen a million times, and for all that the fractal effects are beautiful, they don’t really offer a view of reality deeper than your classic Marvel world. This is the ultimate end result of the Marvel Machine, and the most tragic thing about it is that lots of other genre operators can’t even manage something this well put together. This feels like a giant wasted opportunity to me.
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