Sneak Peek: Doctor Strange First Impressions

This evening, fans nationwide (myself included) were treated to a chance to see fifteen minutes of footage from the upcoming and highly anticipated Marvel Studios film, Doctor Strange, in IMAX 3D. Here are my quick spoiler free impressions of what we saw.

The screening began with Doctor Strange himself, Benedict Cumberbatch, who introduced the footage via video message. Cumberbatch mentioned that an hour of the film was specifically designed for IMAX theaters and then proceeded to use his “powers” to alter the size of the screen.  He also encouraged fans to support a charity known as Marvel Hero Acts, which donates 5 dollars for every fan that uploads a photo of them striking their favorite superhero poses. It was a fun little introduction that both set the tone for the proceeding and helped raise awareness in what Marvel was doing charity wise.

The footage began with what was covered by the trailer. A young, arrogant surgeon by the name of Stephen Strange loses his ability to operate after a terrible accident.  Desperate and suicidal, Strange turns to mysticism and learns that his true purpose is to become the Sorcerer Supreme.  The footage served as an introduction to the world of Stephen Strange and allowed Marvel fans to truly understand who he is.  Fans were treated to some great surprises and moments that should not be spoiled.

Visually, this film appears to be the most impressive of the Marvel movies so far which fits with Stephen Strange as a character. Based on the 15 minutes of footage I saw, I would definitely recommend seeing the film in IMAX. It needs to be experienced on the biggest screen possible. The colors of the film were so vibrant and alive that it took my breath away. The light glimpses of battles and chases we saw were different from any other Marvel movie I have seen. Imagine Inception meets David Lynch and that describes the visual tone of what this movie is going for. I could not believe that Marvel managed to capture that atmosphere and look of the Doctor Strange comics so perfectly. 

Tonally, the footage reminded me of the other Marvel films although the jokes we were shown were more restrained. This took itself more seriously and it worked well. Cumberbatch proves one and for all that he was a great choice as the once brilliant doctor, providing the role with a sense of humor and gravitas.  The supporting cast in the clips we saw were fun especially Tilda Swinton and Benedict Wong. The characters played well off of each other and I wanted to see more of them.

As a casual fan of Doctor Strange, seeing this footage has added to my excitement for the film. I wanted to see more of the film and I grew attached to the characters. This movie went from a matinee to an opening night IMAX experience. I encourage everybody to see this film on the biggest screen possible because based on what I saw it was incredible.