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Directed by: Scott Derrickson
Starring: Benedict Cumberbatch, Rachel McAdams, Tilda Swinton, and Mads Mikkelsen
The Marvel cinematic universe returns with the debut of Doctor Strange. I must admit and say that I have little to no knowledge of the character. I know of him in cross-over stories such as Civil War and X-Men vs. Avengers but that’s as far as it goes.
I will also admit that my expectations for this are low. Based purely on the trailers I was expecting this to be bad. The only positive thing I had was the casting of Benedict Cumberbatch as Stephen Strange. Excellent actor, loved him in Sherlock. Was this film as bad as I expected it to be? Let’s find out.
So what’s this all about? Stephen Strange (Cumberbatch) is a skilled surgeon. He’s got everything going for him in life, however, all of that comes crashing down when he’s involved in a serious car accident which robs him of his ability to use his hands. After being told that a recovery is impossible, Strange travels to Nepal in search of The Ancient One (Swinton) who may have the ability to cure him. His journey draws him into the world of the mystic arts and a hidden world of mysticism and alternate dimensions. The Doctor finds himself on the front line of a battle against unseen dark forces bent on destroying reality. Strange is now forced to put his life of fortune and status behind to defend the world as the most powerful sorcerer in existence.
Wow! I actually feel bad for having all those negative thoughts beforehand. Doctor Strange is truly unlike anything I’ve ever seen from the Marvel Cinematic Universe. If you want to see Benedict Cumberbatch going on an acid trip, then this film is for you.
Ermahgerd, imagine taking some LSD and watching this in 3D? One day…
Benedict Cumberbatch kills it as Stephen Strange. He’s cocky, confident, smart, witty and charismatic. When it’s time to be serious he plays it off well. He begins as a very unlikable and selfish guy, which when you consider that this is a franchise opener, it’s a risky choice for the studio, but thankfully it pays off well, as he discovers to respect his new found power. I’m looking forward to the future of the character and how he will link up with other members of The Avengers.
The other actor that stood out for me was Mads Mikkelsen as Kaecilius. He doesn’t dominate the film in the same way Loki dominated The Avengers or Whiplash in Iron Man 2, but it’s enough to illustrate his intentions of destroying reality. Not only is he a very formidable villain, he is quite amusing when he isn’t carrying out his plans for world domination. I’m looking forward with much anticipation for his role in the upcoming Star Wars film.
I was much impressed by the cinematography. The comparisons to Inception and The Matrix are hard to ignore, and they are wonderfully reminiscent of those two films. It’s damn impressive for a Marvel film. My mind is already racing with ideas about how all of this can be included in Infinity Wars. I’ve got these images in my head of Strange and Scarlett Witch working together and using their powers to fight off Thanos.
Doctor Strange is one of the riskiest movies Marvel Studios has brought out. It’s a risk that does pay off. It never fails to entertain you.
I can find myself watching this again soon.
Rating: **** 1/2 (Champion)