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saw: doctor strange

Doctor Strange has been billed as an endeavor to broaden the Marvel Cinematic Universe in the same manner that Guardians of the Galaxy did. But whereas Guardians was an unexpectedly felicitous alignment of unlikely talents, scattering the MCU DNA across a glittering cosmos, Strange is mostly great on paper: great cast, great promise, great ideas. The movie itself is never less than entertaining, but it's also, ahem, strangely paced, with algorithmically distributed jokes that feel like the combined effort of about thirty different writers. To me, this is the first Marvel Studios vehicle that really feels like it was driven by a bunch of execs, visual effects coordinators and a competent second unit, with the billed director air-lifted to Nepal or downtown Cleveland or wherever when the lead performers needed to feel like thespians. Grade: B

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