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REVIEW: Doctor Strange IMAX 3D Preview

Written by Kevin Harkins

I recently attended the sneak peek of Doctor Strange in IMAX. Similar to the sneak peek they did for Guardians of the Galaxy this was a 15 minute sneak peek of the movie and posters were given away to the attendees. I have been anticipating this movie since Kevin Feige mentioned it as a possibility of a movie and my interest in the film only increased with the perfect casting of Benedict Cumberbatch as the Sorcerer Supreme. So did the footage wow me or did it leave me feeling disappointed.  Read on for my take but be warned of spoilers if you do not want to know anything about the movie going into it.

The footage started with a video intro from the Doctor himself, Benedict Cumberbatch, welcoming us to the event and revealing that for the IMAX version of the movie over an hour of the film will be screened in a wider ratio creating a bigger picture, which he revealed by moving his hands and the picture of him grew wider. Not knowing this about the film ahead of the time I was pleasantly surprised by this and it made me instantly think about buying tickets to see the movie in IMAX since I only go to see films in that format when they do something like this for the film. After the intro it was on to the preview.

The footage they showed looked amazing. This is unlike any film that Marvel Studios has ever done and you can see why Feige has talked about Strange bringing something entirely new to the table for the MCU. This is the full-blown Steve Ditko psychedelic art of the 60s and 70s on display and it demands to be seen in IMAX. We see Strange’s first trip to other dimensions that the Ancient One sends him on to show him what she can do and it includes visuals such as hands growing out his fingers, which then grow more hands, and on and on until he’s entangled in him and a scene where he flies into his own eyeball but grabs on to the iris before he is dragged in.  It is some of the most-mind bending images I have ever seen in a movie and shows that Marvel is not interested in just repeating themselves. It is also important to note during this sequence the Ancient One Mentions that there are multiple universes so the multiverse is now officially part of the MCU.

The rest of the footage was just as great. We see some of Strange’s life as a surgeon before his accident and he is a self-absorbed vain man as he should be. Everything is about him and we witness him turning down patients given to him by an assistant because they could ruin his perfect record or not challenging enough for his skills. He then gets in his accident which is brutal and includes a close up shot of his hands being injured that made me wince. It was a great sequence in the movie and in the scenes before the crash Cumberbatch is great at being likeable despite how selfish he is and you still feel for him once he is in his crash.

We were also shown more of his training and the introduction of Wong. It is a wonderful and fun intro as Wong calls out Strange for being a sarcastic jerk and also shows how formidable he is. The chemistry between the two actors is fun and I can’t wait to see how their relationship grows in this film and in future ones. We also some more of the scene with the city folding that many have compared to Inception. Turns out this is actually a chase scene where Kaecilius is chasing Strange and Mordo. As they try to getaway they open portals to try to escape to but Kaecilius keeps altering the world around them and keeping them from entering the portals. It is a visually interesting scene that also included Stan Lee’s cameo as a man on a bus that Strange and Mordo crash into because of the gravity changing. It looks like a great action beat and will be a highlight of the film itself. I should also say we got to see Strange use his Cloak of Levitation to save himself after Kaecilius pushes him down a stair way in a moment that led to applause from my crowd.

To say the footage has only wet my appetite even more would be an understatement. My excitement for the film has only grown even more and it is my second most anticipated movie for the end of the year (Rogue One is my number one, I love Marvel but even it can not hold a candle to Star Wars for me). In fact after the preview I went online and bought tickets to the opening night show in IMAX and if that is not a letter of recommendation I don’t know what is.

So what do you think? If you were lucky enough to go to the sneak peek did the footage wow you or disappoint? Based on the reaction to the footage are you more or less likely to go see the film?  Let us know in the comments below and on Twitter!

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Kevin Harkins

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