Before getting all giddy about this trailer, I want to talk about Thor for a second. Doctor Strange is being touted as the first real foray into the magic realm of the MCU, and while that is true in a lot of ways, let’s not dismiss that Thor and his world is supposed to be semi-magical. Yeah, yeah, yeah, there’s the whole Arthur C. Clarke “advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic” line that they throw in, but that’s hard to buy when you factor in a hammer that’s usage is determined by worthiness. What, are there worthiness-detecting nanobots inside of Mjolnir or something? That’s magic in my book.
Thor sucks. Granted, Chris Hemsworth’s portrayal is pretty great when he’s bouncing off some other Marvel characters, but Thor as a character is bland and boring. There’s a reason why his villainous brother became the prominent character from those films. If any Avenger is going to get offed in the long run, it makes sense to kill Thor. After his whole Ragnarok deal, where else is there to go with that character? Other than passing off the power to someone else like it works in the comics, I don’t see people going gaga for solo Thor adventures like they do Captain America or Iron Man.
However, if the MCU needs a cape-wearing, super-powered badass, it looks like Doctor Strange is more than ready to take up that mantle. This movie looks like a blast. Inception-y world-shifting meets Matrix-lite mysticism and philosophy with a dash of Batman Begins origin building and ta-da! This is little more than the most introductory of trailers, so there isn’t a whole bunch to go on as far as nitty gritty plot goes, but who cares when you have bald Tilda Swinton soul-punching a dude out of his body? I will say that that scene is equal parts stupid-looking and amazingly comic book-y. I love it.
There’s loads of nerdy stuff to gush over here, but what I’m most intrigued by is Marvel finally beginning to open up the idea of alternate realities. I figured this was where the MCU was building with Thanos and the Infinity Gauntlet, so it’s nice to see the groundwork starting to get laid down. Until they prove me wrong, I’m convinced the game plan is to introduce infinite realities so they can make movies that don’t feel as beholden to the main MCU continuity. It also gives them outs for re-casting or other behind the scenes issues. Plus, alternate realities are just cool! Who wouldn’t love to see multiple Iron Mans (Iron Men?) or thirty Hulks on screen all battling some immense interdimensional entity?
I’m not on the Bento Box Combusken fan train like a lot of people (Star Trek Into Darkness, never forget), but he’s looking pretty good here. As goofy as this looks — and it looks goofy — these Marvel movies work because the actors and characters feel utterly sincere. Budapest Crunchysnatch looks to be treating this appropriately, and I think he’s going to be a fantastic addition to the MCU.
I just wanna know who the hell Mads Mikkelsen is! I desperately want him to be Nightmare, but I’m not getting that vibe from his clockwork hallway sequence (my favorite of this trailer). Can one of you Marvel geniuses clue me in? Does his funky eye makeup give us any strong contenders?
Doctor Strange makes Penn & Teller look like Bert & Ernie on November 4. Defend Thor in the comments.