Spoiler Nation podcast: Visual flares reinvigorate usual Marvel fanfare in "Doctor Strange"
Welcome the launch of Spoiler Nation, a podcast where yours truly, your intrepid Senior Editor and avid consumer of all-things screen, have spoiler-filled discussions about your favourite (or least favourite) movies and tv shows with the Isolated Nation team, or fellow pop culture enthusiasts of Perth like yourselves.
We were lucky enough to be invited to a media screening of Marvel's latest cinematic adventure, the Benedict Cumberbatch-starring Doctor Strange (or: How I Learned to Discern this Title from the Stanley Kubrick Classic). We were greeted by lovely ushers in scrub costumes, were given a free copy of a current Marvel comic title, and walked into the Hoyts Carousel VMAX theatre with giddy anticipation. After the screening, we got in the car and immediately recorded our first reactions to the movie:
In the first episode of Spoiler Nation, we talk about our initial reactions to the Doctor Strange, and give a brief, spoiler-free review in the beginning, before diving deep into spoiler territory from minute 11:24 onwards. We pick apart plot holes, character motivations, what the events in the movie mean for the MCU, as well as the two end-credit sequences.
But just in case you forgot your headphones, and are unwilling to share the wonderful insights of this podcast with everyone else in the library, here is the TLDL version of our Doctor Strange review:
At its core, Doctor Strange is your usual Marvel outing: A dependably enjoyable action adventure peppered with witty one-liners and obligatory world-building. To no one's surprise, Benedict Cumberbatch proves to be perfectly capable as the titular hero, a wise-cracking, arrogant, Tony Stark-esque neurosurgeon-turned-sorcerer. Whitewashing aside, Tilda Swinton is enigmatic (if not a little subdued) as The Ancient One, the Mr. Miyagi to Dr. Strange's Daniel Larusso. Rachel Mcadams and Madds Mikkelsen are criminally underused as Love Interest, and Designated Bad Guy respectively.
Despite the Marvel-sameness, Doctor Strange somehow feels like a breath of fresh air from the tonally-consistent Avengers-related films, mostly a credit to its stunning visual effects. Director Scott Derrickson mentioned in an interview with /Filmcast that his ambition for the film was to use "cutting-edge visual effects to do things that are fresh and new—to not just blow things up". Derrickson achieves this successfully, with breathtakingly hypnotic actions sequences that feel exciting and tense at the same time.
For more detailed and spoilery thoughts on Doctor Strange, feel free to chuck our podcast a listen/follow, and let us know if you agree or disagree with us in the comments section below!