Movie Review: The effects in Doctor Strange will blow your mind, even if the story doesn’t

There’s never been anything particularly special about the special effects in the Marvel movies. For all the money and resources the studio dumps into its whiz-bang showdowns, these are still superhero extravaganzas that put more stock in quips than spectacle; “cool enough” is about the highest praise one can usually lavish upon their elaborate climaxes, even when they feature a rampaging rage-monster, dueling deities, or a fleet of flying battle drones. But Doctor Strange is different. The 14th installment in the ever-expanding MCU is the first to really exploit the possibilities of CGI—to use state-of-the-art technology to its full, jaw-dropping advantage. “Cool enough” doesn’t do justice to this blockbuster’s city- and reality-bending set pieces. “Awe-inspiring” is closer.

The wow factor arrives early, with a bait-and-switch prologue: Dark wizards flee what looks like an ancient Shaolin temple, only to emerge into the blinding daylight of contemporary Manhattan …

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