Review: Doctor Strange

Not everything makes sense. Not everything has to.

Doctor Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) is a brilliant neurosurgeon with a massive ego. When he suffers permanent nerve damage to his hands after a car crash, he desperately searches for ways to repair them so he can practice again.  This leads him to Nepal where he encounters Mordo (Chiwetel Ejiofer) who brings him to a woman called The Ancient One (Tilda Swinton) they train him in the mystic arts and help him open his mind. Only a former master, Kaecilius (Mads Mikkelson) has stolen part of an ancient book and threatens to unleash dark magic on the Earth. Strange must now help them stop him.

When I first saw the teaser for Doctor Strange last year, I wasn't sold. I thought it drew too heavily from a film I already loved - Inception, and I wasn't thrilled with that. As time went on, I just became more and more hyped. Marvel tends to do that with me. This is unlike any other film Marvel has done. Visually, it's stunning. It's like riding a psychedelic theme park ride and should definitely be seen on the big screen. Story wise, it follows a very simple pattern as far as origin stories go, but it's never boring set up.

Cumberbatch does very well here, as does Swinton, Mikkelson, and Ejiofer. Supporting characters like Rachel McAdams (playing another doctor and Strange's ex girlfriend) and Wong (Benedict Wong, the librarian so to speak at the temple) don't have as much to do. Wong, even with his short amount of screen time is the stand out for me. I now want to see a Marvel short with just him listening to Luis from Ant-Man explaining things. The score is also very different from the other films. It fits the mystical tone.

And it wouldn't be Marvel without its Easter eggs. We catch a glimpse of the Avengers Tower in New York, and get an infinity stone mention, and even more curious - I think we may have just witnessed part of the origin of Captain Marvel's powers. 

Recommended: Yes

Grade: B

Memorable Quote: "Did those people work for you?" - Wong (Benedict Wong)

12 comments:

  1. I hope to see this in the theaters though I don't know if I'm up to really do anything at this point.

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    1. I know how you feel, but going to lose yourself for a few hours might be good for you. I plan on doing that with Arrival this weekend.

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  2. Sadly, most Marvel heroes' love interests don't play important roles in narrative. Doctor Strange suffers from this, too.
    But, it's a great entry to MCU, by far. Love your review!

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    1. I agree, I think the only one that really did was Pepper. I do give Marvel credit though, all of their female love interests are very strong and smart in their own right. There's no damsel among them.

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  3. Haha. You made me want to watch the scenes from Antman where Luis is explaining things, they were amazing.

    Yeah. I liked the film. I agree with you that the visuals were stunning and that the story followed a basic origins story pattern.

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    1. Luis from Ant-Man is hands down my favorite Marvel side character. I want him in everything now.

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  4. I do want to see this because it looks good and I love Benedict Cumberbatch. Your review makes me want to see it even more.

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    1. I hope you like it! I love Benny Batch too, very solid actor.

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  5. I really hope I catch this in theathres. Glad to read it's good but then again it's Marvel not DC :D

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    1. lol Marvel does tend to hit more. Eventually DC will get the memo and step it up. (I think they will with Wonder Woman)

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