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Just saw Doctor Strange. Some spoilers ahead.

The movie was intelligent and visually inventive, and the performances were consistently good, so it never bored me. But it never moved, touched, or thrilled me, either.

Dr. Strange is hard to care about in the movie. He never opens up his feelings, never takes risks with his heart and soul, never has to make an emotionally challenging choice. The movie talks about humility, but (as my wife Lea noted) nothing makes him feel humble for long.

Nor is he ever in lasting physical danger except for an auto accident early in the movie. He runs into a lot of rough situations, but I never doubted that he’d escape, and I never wondered how he’d do it.

There were also some problems of story logic:

The movie implies strongly that Strange has to study for years to become a sorcerer. But his training seems to take place over a series of weeks.

The villain twists New York City streets to push Strange into a series of long falls. Strange could use his Cloak of Levitation to fly rather than fall. But he never does, and the movie doesn’t explain why.

The movie establishes that magicians can conjure up portals to take them anywhere. During a fight with the villain’s henchfolk, Strange gets rid of them by pushing them through doorways to far-off places. Presumably, they could whip up portals and reappear to attack Strange a few seconds later, but they never do.

I don’t regret seeing the movie. It was like a guidepost or headline — “Here’s where the Marvel Cinematic Universe is now!” — and since the MCU interests me, the movie interested me.

But it didn’t make me care very much.

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