KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia – This movie is functionally BBC’s Sherlock Holmes vs NBC’s Hannibal Lecter in the Marvel Universe. Oh wait… you wanted an actual review? Very well then.
His nemesis, played by Mads ‘Hannibal Lecter’ Mikkelsen, seems like an afterthought since the bulk of the movie deals with Cumberbatch coming to grips with his newfound responsibilities to the universe, and awesome magic powers that he abuses for his own amusement at almost every turn.
However, if you are watching this for deep and meaningful characters that, through their struggles, teach you about the meaning of life and the human condition, you are probably going to be VERY disappointed. You are also an idiot for expecting that from a Marvel Studios movie, as Holmes would say
The real stars of the show, however, are the stunning visual effects and the fact that the plot moves at a pace that is brisk, but at the same time does not feel rushed. Much like Cumberbatch’s character(s), it feels as if the plot itself has no tolerance for dawdling or gawking and is very aware of just how much suspension of disbelief it will be accorded by the audience at any point. It does not waste any time trying to explain how magic works in this world beyond the handwaving “wizards did it” explanation, and the obligatory awkward romance subplot comes and goes without being overly obnoxious.
To be honest, I have mixed feelings about recommending this movie. The comic book geek in me wants to say it is a bad movie because it frivolously messes with the continuity of an established character that needed very little in the way of modernisation. On the other hand, it is far less egregious than Marvel Studios’ other translations to the silver screen. There are some awkward attempts at making this a ‘funny’ movie, but nothing that will make you cringe.
In fact, the funniest thing about this movie is the casting of Mordo – but that is an inside joke that only people familiar with the comic book iteration of the character will get.
In the end, you should watch this movie. It is a shameless marketing exercise, its sole purpose is to build up for the next big Marvel mash-up movie. It is, however, competently done and will keep you and the missus entertained.
It is not a ‘drop everything, run to the cinema and beat an old lady to death for the last two tickets’ kind of movie, but if you have time on a lazy Sunday afternoon and do not need your movies to have deep and meaningful messages,then you should be watching this – And in IMAX to get the most out of the trippy visuals. Also, you should stay until the very end of the credits because there are two end-credit scenes.
You should also not use your phone while you drive.